Afghan troops destroy narcotics in restive province

Indo Asian News Service

Kabul, March 28 (IANS) Afghan troops waged an anti-drug operation and destroyed a large amount of narcotics along with a heroin factory in Helmand province, Afghan Special Forces said on Tuesday.

"Afghan forces and counter-narcotics police carried out a special operation in Naw Zad district, destroying over 20,000 litres of liquid opium, 1,090 kg of morphine and more than 15,170 kg of ammonium chloride," Xinhua news agency cited a statement as saying.

Six drug traffickers and terrorists were also killed during the raid which took place on March 19, according to the statement.

The destroyed drugs and chemicals valued $3.9 million, the statement said, adding that more than 300 pieces of equipments that had been used for processing heroin and other drugs were also destroyed.

Helmand, notorious for poppy growing, is also a known Taliban stronghold.

The destruction of the drugs was a heavy blow for insurgents and anti-government militants as they have been using profits from the illegal drugs to fund insurgency, the statement said.

Much of the world's opium poppy is cultivated in the militancy-hit country, particularly in western and southern parts of the country, where government security forces have little presence.