Archive for Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Province leader ousted

December 19, 2006


— The Afghan government has fired the governor of its biggest drug-producing province, a center of Taliban resistance that has seen some of the country's heaviest fighting this year, officials said Monday.

Helmand Gov. Mohammad Daud, who has led the province that grows more than a third of the world's opium, was replaced over the weekend.

Opium production in Afghanistan this year rose 49 percent to 6,700 tons - enough to make about 670 tons of heroin. Helmand produces 42 percent of Afghanistan's poppy crop, according to U.N. figures.

Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said the appointment of Asadullah Wafa would help increase security in Helmand, but insisted the increase in poppy cultivation had nothing to do with the change.


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