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Afghans Attack Anti-Poppy Military Crew By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: January 7, 2005
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, Jan. 6 (AP) - Two men opened fire Thursday on government troops who were destroying opium poppy crops in central Afghanistan, and one soldier was killed before both gunmen were shot dead, Gov. Jan Muhammad Khan said.
The gunmen attacked a group of 50 militiamen as they worked in a poppy field near Deh Rawood, in Uruzgan Province.
A second soldier was wounded in the gun battle.
Governor Khan said both of the attackers were Taliban supporters, but he did not elaborate. He said the poppy-eradication effort in his province would go on.
President Hamid Karzai, with strong American backing, has vowed to clamp down hard on Afghanistan's booming narcotics industry, which supplies most of the world's opium, the raw material for heroin. Officials have expressed concern that the crackdown could prompt violence from farmers and traffickers. Taliban militants as well as warlords resisting President Karzai's authority are believed to profit from the trade.