3 killed in clash over destruction of poppy crop in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR: Two men opened fire on government troops destroying opium poppies in central Afghanistan on Thursday, killing one soldier before both were also fatally shot, an official said.
The gunmen attacked a group of 50 militia soldiers as they worked in a poppy field near Deh Rawood in Uruzgan province, Governor Jan Mohammed Khan said. A second soldier was wounded in the ensuing gun battle. Khan claimed both assailants were known Taliban supporters, but didn’t elaborate. He said the poppy eradication effort in his province would go on.
President Hamid Karzai, with strong American backing, has vowed to clamp down hard on the country’s booming narcotics industry, which supplies most of the world’s opium, the raw material for heroin. Officials have expressed concern that the crackdown could prompt violence from farmers and traffickers. ap