Drug barons in southern Afghanistan are inciting violence in an effort to destabilize the region and undermine the government's US-backed counternarcotics campaign, the US ambassador said Monday.
Neumann said a campaign by President Hamid Karzai's US-backed administration to forcibly eradicate poppies prompted the drug lords to take action.
"Drug dealers are trying to make more violence. Two years ago, there was no eradication of poppy. This year, President Karzai led a very strong policy to...eradicate poppy and to tell people not to grow," the ambassador told reporters in Kabul.
"There were efforts by drug dealers and terrorists together to prevent that. Now they are trying to use the violence to guard their wealth."