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Afghanistan turmoil

Afghan poppy season returns in force under Taliban rule

Farmers say authorities have not halted cultivation, despite public pledges

Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has tripled by area since the U.S.-led invasion that deposed the Taliban in 2001.   © Reuters

NEW DELHI -- Afghanistan's opium poppy farmers resumed cultivating the crop this month with apparent impunity, despite assurances from the Taliban that the country will not become a hotbed for the illegal drug trade.

"We've started planting poppy seeds for this year," said a farmer in the southern province of Helmand. "We're also growing wheat and corn, but poppies sell at a high price."

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