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Pakistan drug force seizes huge Afghan opium haul
( 2003-10-22 21:13) (Reuters)

Pakistan's anti-drug force has seized over 1,000 kgs (2,200 lbs) of opium smuggled in from Afghanistan and worth more than $6 million on the international market.

An officer of Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) said the seizure was made on Tuesday in Chagai district bordering Afghanistan, some 300 km (185 miles) west of provincial capital Quetta.

"The consignment was destined for the Gawadar coastal region for onward smuggling to the Middle East," said the ANF officer in Baluchistan, which borders Afghanistan and Iran.

He said the opium had an estimated wholesale value of@than $6 million if sold outside Pakistan.

The officer said smugglers exchanged fire with ANF personnel but fled, leaving their vehicle in the desert.

Pakistani narcotics officials say the country is transit route for about a quarter of the 3,400 tonnes of opium produced in Afghanistan each year. Most ends up refined into heroin and sold in Europe.

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