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Afghan Official: 650 Tons of Drugs Seized in Past 12 Months


File - In this April 11, 2016 photo, Afghan farmers harvest raw opium at a poppy field in Zhari district of southern Kandahar province, Afghanistan.

An Afghan official says that in the past 12 months the country's counter-narcotics department has seized almost 650 tons of contraband drugs and alcohol.

Gen. Baz Mohammad Ahmadi, deputy interior minister for the counter-narcotics police, says the confiscated drugs include raw opium, heroin and hashish. He says that during that same time, the police arrested 2,683 smugglers and traffickers, including 67 women.

He added that 20 policemen and 17 army soldiers have also been arrested for drug trafficking during the same time period. Ahmadi spoke on Tuesday as part of his annual reports on the fight against drug trafficking.

Opium poppy cultivation is rising across Afghanistan despite billions of dollars spent to curb drug trafficking in the past decade, including programs encouraging farmers to switch to other cash crops.

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