Anti-narcotics campaign AfghanistanOfficials in the ministry of counter-narcotics of Afghanistan on Tuesday informed of heavy casualties incurred to Afghan security forces during opium eradication across the country.

The report regarding increasing Afghan security forces casualties during opium eradication comes amid growing concerns by United Nations over
increasing opium cultivation in Afghanistan.

According to reports opium eradication campaign started around 40 days back in Afghanistan, and around 131 Afghan police and army service members have been killed which shows an increase as compared to the similar period last year.

The campaign have been launched in Kandahar, Helmand, Herat, Laghman, Kunar and Farah provinces of Afghanistan.

Deputy Afghan counter-narcotics minister Engineer Ibrahim Azhar told reporters, around 86 Afghan security forces and other individuals involved in eradication campaign have also been injured.

Mr. Azhar further added that Taliban militants had issued warnings to Afghan security forces and vowed to defend any eradication campaign in opium fields.

The eradication campaign continues in Nangarhar, Laghman and Badghis provinces of Afghanistan while the process is pipe line for the other provinces including Baghlan, Faryab and Badakhshan.

Around five to six thousand hectares of land have been cleared of opium despite Afghan counter-narcotics ministry initially planned to clear fifteen thousand hectares of land from opium.

Deputy Afghan counter-narcotics minister also said Taliban militants created considerable problems for the campaign in a number of provinces incluidng Kapisa.

Eng. Ibrahim Azhar calling the growth of opium cultivation a national tragedy said smugglers are earning around 70 billion dollars annually where only five percent of the interest goes to Afghanistan.

He also said that there over one million addicted individuals in Afghanistan.