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Topic - Habibullah Qaderi
KABUL, Afghanistan — The opium poppy harvest in Afghanistan"s volatile southern provinces will be much larger than last year"s record output, translating to greater funding for the Taliban insurgency, Afghanistan's counternarcotics minister says.
Poppy production "in Helmand, Uruzgan, even Nangarhar province in the east, will be much more than last year," Mr. Qaderi said, noting that the Taliban tends to halt fighting in high-yield areas to reap maximum profits for its war chest.
"They are taxing and protecting the growers and terrorizing poor farmers," he said. "Last year, they distributed leaflets saying you must grow poppy or we will kill you."