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Drugs worth $12.6m seized

AT-KABUL: The Afghan Special Operations Forces have seized Taliban drugs worth around 12.6 million US dollars as joint Afghan-US operations is underway to eliminate the key financial resource of the group coming from drugs trade.

According to a report by the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission, Afghanistan’s 777th Special Mission Wing provided air assault capability for the 7th Special Operations Kandak Commandos during a nighttime raid of a narcotics production facility in Helmand district, Afghanistan, Apr. 11-12.

The report further adds that the Commandos seized a large cache of opium worth approximately $12.6 million in lost revenue to the Taliban. The facility contained 120 55-gallon fuel drums of raw opium, four barrels of pure heroin, 150 60-kg. bags of morphine base powder, 25 5-kg. bags of brown heroin, 25 50-kg. bags of opium heroin byproduct, and assorted narcotics processing equipment. Five Taliban fighters were detained during the operation.

“Operations like this, which would not have occurred a year ago, showcase the growing capabilities of the Afghan Commandos,” said Gen. John Nicholson, NATO Resolute Support commander. “This success demonstrates the mounting military pressure on the Taliban. They can not win.”

According to the report, discovery of this narcotics production facility comes three weeks after the citizens of Lashkar Gah launched a large-scale protest to the Mar. 23 Taliban attack that killed more than a dozen Afghans during a wrestling match in Helmand’s provincial capital. The Lashkar Gah protest instigated a chain reaction with protests in more than 17 provinces calling for the Taliban to join the Afghan-led peace process.

“Such a groundswell applies social pressure at the same time as we apply military pressure,” said Nicholson. “This movement and the fact that over 87%-90% of the Afghan people reject the Taliban proves that this is not a popular insurgency.”

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