US military increases attacks on Afghan drug syndicate

KABUL (AP) - Richard Holbrooke tells The Associated Press that the forces in southern Afghanistan have taken the emphasis off eradicating crops and, instead, focused on interdicting the drugs.

He says Marines in Helmand province working alongside Afghan police, monitored by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, have seized nearly 300 pounds of poppy seeds, 77 pounds of heroin and 300 pounds of opium.

U.N. officials say the drug trade provides hundreds of millions
of dollars to Taliban fighters each year. NATO defense ministers approved the targeted drug raids late last year, saying the link between Taliban insurgents and drug barons is clear.


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