Russia, US complete joint Afghan drug raid: official

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Russia and the United States destroyed four drug laboratories in their first joint anti-drug operation in Afghanistan, Russia's top drug control official said on Friday.

The raid "destroyed 932 kilogrammes (2,055 pounds) of high-grade heroin, 156 kilogrammes of morphine (and) a large amount of technical equipment," the head of Russia's Drug Control Service, Viktor Ivanov said, the Interfax news agency reported.

The amount is worth 250 million dollars and represents around 200 million doses, Ivanov estimated.

The raid destroyed three heroin labs and one morphine lab, which were located about five kilometres (three miles) from the Pakistan border at an important drug trafficking crossroads, Ivanov said.

Russia frequently slams what it describes as slack anti-drug policies of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, leading to an increased flow of drugs into Russia via Central Asian countries.

Ivanov travelled to Washington last week to discuss co-operation in fighting drug trafficking and accused the United States of failing to destroy heroin laboratories and crack down on poppy-growing land owners.

Russian drug control authorities have estimated that 30,000 Russians died in 2009 as a result of using heroin from Afghanistan, and a million have died over the last decade.

© 2010 AFP

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