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‘Azra road key drug trafficking route’

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: The Azra road which is located in the central Logar province has become a major drug trafficking route threatening the local people, a high-ranking official said on Friday.

The district’s administrative chief Hameedullah Hameed told Pajhwok Afghan News that the road was being used as a drug trafficking route over the past few years.

“Smugglers, using the road for trafficking drugs to other provinces, have been paying money to the government’s armed opponents,” the district chief alleged.

According to him, the insurgents continue fuelling insecurity in the district aimed at creating an atmosphere for the drug dealers to continue their illegal trade.

He added that illicit drugs from Kunar, Laghman, Nuristan, Badakhshan and Nangarhar provinces are smuggled through Azra to Ghazni province, from where the narcotics were smuggled to Iran.

Given a shortage of security personnel in the district, smuggling through Azra could not be curbed, he argued. “I’m often told about the inadequate number of security forces, an issue that has been shared with the governor’s office.”

To improve the district’s security, he stressed on the need to put a halt to the drug smuggling menace.

Meanwhile, Abdul Wali Wakil, a provincial council member, also termed insecurity as a key reason behind becoming Azra district of as a drug smuggling route.

Pajhwok Afghan News quoted him as saying, “The Taliban received more than 100 million Afs annually through drug smuggling.”

Stressing on the need to combat drugs smuggling in order to maintain security in the district, he said that drug money was spent funding the war and construction of luxurious houses for the Taliban leaders in Pakistan.

At the same time, provincial governor’s spokesman acknowledged that thousands of kilograms of drugs were smuggled through Azra every year.

However, he said that this year security forces had frustrated four drug smuggling attempts in the tow.

This is worth mentioning that Afghan security forces recently launched an anti-drug operation and seized a large amount of narcotics in eastern Paktia province.

The Afghan security forces destroyed over 190,000 kg hashish, 1,700 kg of opium and 18 kg of heroin in Paktia province. According to officials, the torched drugs were worth over 44 million US dollars.

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