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Afghanistan: Foreign Help to Fight Drug Trade Very Slow


Afghanistan's anti-drug force commander says foreign help to combat trade in opium and heroin has been very slow, but he predicted big gains in the anti-narcotic campaign in the coming year.

The international community has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to train Afghan police in destroying laboratories and opium crops, as well as to fund projects to help farmers grow legal crops.

General Mohammed Daud told reporters the international community must do more to provide alternative sources of income for farmers being forced to stop growing opium poppies. He said the donor countries have not yet fully delivered on their promises.

The general said 1,300 police officers were being deployed this month from Kabul to provinces where local authorities need help to enforce the government's anti-poppy campaign.

He said 2006 will be the year when his special force will arrest all smugglers, especially those who have links with the government.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.