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Afghanistan Sends Soldiers To Dismantle Heroin Labs

Mon., Nov. 3, 1997

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have sent heavily armed men to destroy heroin laboratories hidden along Afghanistan’s rugged border with Pakistan, a spokesman said Sunday.

“We want to destroy some heroin labs we know about and arrest the people involved in making heroin,” said Taliban spokesman Abdullah, who, like many Afghans, uses only one name.

Dozens of Security Ministry officers were deployed in eastern Nangarhar province, he said in a telephone interview from his headquarters in the provincial capital of Jalalabad.

Foreign anti-drug officials say most of the opium grown in Afghanistan is refined into heroin in small laboratories along the porous border with Pakistan. The narcotic generally is smuggled into Pakistan through the semi-autonomous northwestern tribal belt, where tribal leaders shun federal laws banning the drug trade.

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