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Afghan Agents Seize Five Tons of Opium, Arrest 11 Suspects

Authorities in Afghanistan have raided a major heroin-producing center near the Pakistani border. Officials say they seized several tons of drugs and arrested seven people, including four Pakistanis.

The Interior Ministry says the operation by the newly-formed Afghan Special Narcotics Force took place late Tuesday in southern Helmand province.

It says the force seized and destroyed eight heroin-refining laboratories and confiscated four tons of opium and more than two tons of drug-making chemicals. The agents also killed one gunman.

On Monday, in the same province, three members of the anti-narcotics squad were wounded during a raid on a notorious heroin bazaar in the town of Bahram Chah. The squad arrested four suspected drug dealers, burnt about one ton of opium and destroyed an underground bunker filled with heavy weapons.

Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium. President Hamid Karzai has vowed to wage war on the drug trade. Last year, he presented an eight-point plan to eradicate poppy production.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.