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Feb 06,2008
Big opium harvest set for Afghanistan
by UPI

NEW YORK - The United Nations predicts Afghanistan will harvest a near-record opium poppy crop this year along with an increasing amount of cannabis.

The annual U.N. winter survey of poppy planting patterns serves as a warning to Europe and the rest of the world to brace for an influx of heroin, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

Released by the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, the report says there is some evidence sharp increases in cultivation are leveling off yet the "total amount of opium being harvested remains shockingly high."

In the preface to the report, the executive director of drug and crime office points to a link between Afghanistan's opium harvest and the Taliban insurgency.

"This is a windfall for anti-government forces," Antonio Maria Costa said.

The U.N. report said Afghanistan currently supplies 90 percent of the world's opium.

In addition, the report said the country has become one of the biggest suppliers of cannabis, the plant that yields marijuana and hashish.

© 2008 United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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Related news
New U.S. push to kill Afghan poppies by UPI posted on Oct 08,2007

British PM announces shift in Afghanistan by UPI posted on Dec 13,2007

Bombing kills Afghan deputy governor by UPI posted on Jan 31,2008

Saving Afghanistan by The San Diego Union-Tribune posted on Jan 18,2008

Holbrooke: Poppy eradication 'wasteful' by UPI posted on Mar 31,2009

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