Afghanistan Afghanistan's counternarcotics minister has resigned only weeks after Afghan laborers finished cultivating an opium poppy crop that could exceed last year's record haul.
Habibullah Qaderi's resignation, confirmed by a deputy minister Sunday, came as U.S. and Afghan officials debate privately whether to use herbicides to reduce the drug problem.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai rejected that approach for the 2007 growing season, partly because some Afghans fear the chemicals could affect livestock, legitimate crops and drinking water, fears the U.S. says are unfounded.
Much of the profit from the country's $3.1 billion drug trade is believed to fund Taliban fighters waging a violent campaign against the government. Officials said Sunday that recent clashes between police and insurgents left 11 suspected militants dead in the south, while Taliban fighters ambushed police in Kandahar province, wounding 15 officers.