Poppy revenues become main financial support to Afghan Taliban: local media

Source: Xinhua| 2017-05-22 14:18:48|Editor: xuxin
Video PlayerClose

KABUL, May 22 (Xinhua) -- The Taliban militants have been using the money collected as taxes from poppy growers to buy weapons and keep on fighting against government in Afghanistan, reported a local newspaper the Daily Weesa on Monday.

Quoting some villagers in the northern restive Saripul province, the paper claimed that the farmers in areas controlled by the Taliban militants are encouraged to cultivate opium poppy.

"Increase in poppy plantation means increase in Taliban revenues and supporting their financial resources to buy more weapons and further destabilize the province and the country at large," the villagers was quoted as saying in the report.

Confirming the report, governor of Saripul province, Zahir Wahdat, said that the Taliban militants have been encouraging farmers to cultivate poppy and that is why poppy fields are in constant increase in areas controlled by the armed militants.

The militancy-battered Afghanistan produced 4,800 tons of opium poppy in 2016 against 3,300 tons produced in 2015, according to a joint survey of Afghan Ministry for Counter-Narcotics and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC).

Majority of the illegal crop was produced in the restive areas controlled by anti-government militants.