Afghanistan: June 2, 2002

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Small groups (a hundred or less) of American troops are increasing their raids on villages and fortified compounds that intelligence data indicate contain Taliban or al Qaeda members. This is dangerous work, as in rural Afghanistan, visitors with guns are usually met with guns. But intelligence work continues to pile up evidence of where Taliban and al Qaeda are and the raids are catching people with Taliban and al Qaeda connections. 

The UN estimates that this year's poppy harvest will produce 3,000 tons of opium. This is less than the record breaking 1999 crop (4,600 tons.) Government attempts to halt poppy cultivation have led to armed resistance. 

About a million Afghan refugees have returned from camps in Pakistan and Iran. So great has been the rush of refugees to go back home that UN refugee resettlement organizations have run out of money and are furiously begging for more. 

Germany announced that it would evacuate its 1,100 peacekeeping troops from Afghanistan if war broke out between India and Pakistan.

 

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