Iran: January 23, 2002


: A major anti-drug operation along the Afghan and Pakistani border have left 21 drug smugglers dead, another 1600 suspects arrested and over five tons of drugs seized. The drug problems on the Afghan border are an old problem, only made worse when drug production increased in Afghanistan (after Pakistan cracked down in the late 1990s on poppy growing in its territory). In the last 20 years, some 3,000 Iranian policemen (and some soldiers) have been killed in anti-drug operations.