U.S. goes after Afghan drug trade

KABUL, Afghanistan, July 21 (UPI) -- A U.S. military airstrike Tuesday targeted Afghanistan's poppy crop in an attempt to staunch the Taliban's cash flow from opium and heroin sales.

CNN reported the military dropped 1,000-pound bombs onto a poppy field in southern Afghanistan that held about 300 tons of poppy seeds.


"There is a nexus that needs to be broken between the insurgents and the drug traffickers," Tony Wayne of the U.S. State Department told CNN. "Also, it is part of winning the hearts and minds of the population because in some cases they are intimidated into growing poppies."

The U.S. Agency for International Development has been offering Afghan farmers seeds, fertilizers and improved irrigation to help them make the switch from growing poppies.

A U.N. report suggests a decline in Afghanistan's opium trade in Afghanistan, with the number of poppy-free provinces increasing from 13 in 2007 to 18 in 2008, CNN reported.

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