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Illegal opium cultivation stays on a high in Afghanistan

Opium derived from poppy fields in remote parts of Afghanistan remain an economic essential for the country's poor. Julie Noce reports. Six-year old Nazer Gull is hard at work in this remote Afghan village. He's collecting resin from poppy flowers that will be turned into heroin, opium and other drugs. He and his extended family spend hours scraping off the sticky substance in this lucrative yet illegal business. Farmer Haji Janan says he needs to put food on the table.I have 20 people in my family, he says. We are poor and have lots of problems. There is no hospital or electricity in our village. Indeed it's hard to compete with this multi-billion dollar industry. The majority of the world's illegal opium supply comes from Afghanistan and forms a vital party of the economy. Even police and local government officials are thought to be involved although those claims are hard to substantiate. Blame is often lodged at the federal level. Deputy governor or Kandahar province Abdul Ali Shamsi. "We are continuously in contact with the Ministry of Counter Narcotics asking them to provide us capability, funds and assets to start the anti-narcotics campaign in Kandahar province as quickly as possible. The reason why we have not started the eradication of poppys yet is due to problems and shortages at the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics." Cultivation in Kandahar province was down by almost 40 percent last year, according to United Nations estimates, part of a nationwide fall of about a fifth. But the drop was more likely a result of crop failures than the success of any eradication campaign.

Several killed, wounded in Kabul attack: Afghan president

The Afghanistan president said a number of people were killed in a suicide attack on national security agency office in Kabul. A Taliban suicide car bomber attacked an office of Afghanistan's main national security agency in Kabul on Tuesday, killing or wounding several people, the first assault in the capital since the group declared their new spring offensive a week ago.President Ashraf Ghani condemned the attack "in the strongest possible terms" in a statement from the presidential palace, only a few hundred metres away from the scene of the blast.Several people were killed and wounded in the blast, which struck at the height of the morning peak hour, the palace said.Fighting has raged around the symbolically important northern city of Kunduz in the week since the Taliban announced their annual spring offensive, although the capital has been relatively quiet since the April 12 announcement.The Taliban said on their Pashto-language website that they had carried out the suicide bombing on "Department 10", an NDS unit, which is responsible for protecting government ministers and VIPs.

China eyes deeper military ties with Afghanistan

China wants to have deeper military ties with Afghanistan, including counter-terrorism intelligence cooperation and joint drills, a senior Chinese officer told a visiting Afghan envoy.
April 21, 2016 | 10:18 am GMT+7

Afghan president blasts Taliban "slaves", but opens door for talks

President Ashraf Ghani said Afghanistan faced a terrorist enemy led by Taliban "slaves" in Pakistan in a sombre speech to parliament on Monday that nonetheless left the door open to resuming peace talks with parts of the Taliban.
April 25, 2016 | 04:38 pm GMT+7

Afghan Taliban meets on succession after U.S. drones target leader: Taliban sources

The Afghan Taliban's leadership council met on Sunday to start considering succession after a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan targeted its commander, two Taliban sources told Reuters, in the strongest sign yet the insurgency had accepted he was dead.
May 23, 2016 | 08:10 am GMT+7

Afghans confirm death of Taliban leader in U.S. drone strike, many details remain unexplained

Afghan officials have confirmed the death of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour in a U.S. drone strike, but many details remain unexplained.
May 23, 2016 | 11:20 am GMT+7

Obama approves broader role for U.S. forces in Afghanistan

President Barack Obama has approved giving the U.S. military greater ability to accompany and enable Afghan forces battling a resilient Taliban insurgency, in a move to assist them more proactively on the battlefield, a U.S. official told Reuters.
June 10, 2016 | 10:22 am GMT+7

Afghan refugee with axe attacks passengers on German train

Several passengers are "critically injured", some "fighting for their lives".
July 19, 2016 | 08:35 am GMT+7

How much is an Afghan life worth? That depends

'A man in Kandahar may get $4,000 for his damaged car while a woman in Gardez gets $1,000 for her dead child. Civilians deserve better.'
March 20, 2017 | 02:03 pm GMT+7

Trump calls Afghanistan bombing 'very successful mission'

U.S. President Donald Trump described the bombing of Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan as a 'very successful mission.'
April 14, 2017 | 09:15 am GMT+7

Afghan women embrace a new empowerment: divorce

When Nadia's heroin addict husband began assaulting her, she did something unthinkable for many women in Afghanistan.
April 14, 2017 | 03:34 pm GMT+7

US 'mother of all bombs' killed 36 Islamic State militants in Afghanistan

First combat use of bomb with 11 tons of explosive.
April 14, 2017 | 04:01 pm GMT+7

IS death toll hits 90 from huge US bomb in Afghanistan

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed the mission as 'very, very successful.'
April 16, 2017 | 09:19 am GMT+7

Children pay the price in Afghan conflict: UN

From January to March, 210 children were killed.
April 27, 2017 | 05:21 pm GMT+7

Head of Islamic State in Afghanistan confirmed killed

U.S. and Afghan officials said their forces jointed killed the head of Islamic State in Afghanistan, Abdul Hasib, in an operation on April 27.
May 08, 2017 | 01:40 pm GMT+7
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