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Afghan leader angered over drug raid

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai on Saturday condemned a joint U.S.-Russia raid on drug laboratories in eastern Afghanistan, saying it was carried out without the permission of his government.

The operation was "a blatant violation of Afghanistan's sovereignty and of international laws," Karzai said in a statement. "Any repetition of such acts will prompt necessary reaction by our country."

Thursday's raid reportedly destroyed approximately one ton of heroin worth $250 million at laboratories in the Shinwar district of the eastern province of Nangerhar.

"While Afghanistan remains committed to its joint efforts with the international community against narcotics, it also makes it clear that no organization or institution shall have the right to carry out such a military operation without prior authorization and consent of the government of Afghanistan," Karzai said.

The U.S. and its former Cold War foe Russia have improved cooperation in Afghanistan recently. U.S.-funded Afghan fighters forced Soviet troops to leave Afghanistan at the end of the 1980s after a decade of occupation.

But two decades after the withdrawal, the Russian government has recently agreed to allow North Atlantic Treaty Organization countries to transport non-lethal supplies via its territory to more than 150,000 U.S. and NATO forces currently battling Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

The Russian officials had previously accused the U.S. and NATO forces of not doing enough to clamp down on drug production and trafficking in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan produces more than 90 percent of world's opium, from which heroin is derived.

Afghan leader angered over drug raid 10/30/10 [Last modified: Saturday, October 30, 2010 11:42pm]
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