Afghanistan turns into biggest drug producing centre

Afghanistan, which today is one of the world's biggest centres of the illegal production and proliferation of drugs, accounts for more than 75% of the overall production of raw opium, said colonel-general Nikolai Reznichenko, spokesman for Russia's Federal Frontier Service (FPC). According to General Reznichenko, in 2000 Afghanistan produced 3,300 tons of raw opium, in 1999 -- 4,500 tons. This drop is exclusively the result of unfavourable weather conditions -- the strong drought that hit Afghanistan last year. At the same time, the opium reserves in Afghanistan are sufficient for flooding all of Europe, noted Reznichenko. The drug business is used for financial injections of the Islamists and the Afghan Taleban movement, as well as terrorist groupings in Afghanistan. In this connection the spokesman for the Federal Frontier Service of the Russian Federation pointed to the particular importance that the activity of the Russian frontier group in Tajikistan in blocking the channels of the spread of drugs from Afghanistan is acquiring. Reznichenko said that last year Russian frontier guards confiscated on the Tajik-Afghan border 3,130 kilos of narcotic means, including over 800 kilos of heroin. Since the beginning of the current year 730 kilos of drugs have been confiscated, including 460 kilos of heroin. In 2000 the number of military clashes on the Tajik-Afghan border between Russian frontier guards and drug traffickers from Afghanistan increased by a third. In the course of these clashes 7 servicemen of the Russian frontier group in Tajikistan were seriously wounded, and 4 were killed.

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