Oct. 8, 2021 – The action was captured in a series of astonishing photographs and interviews by journalists working for Associated Press. “They are our countrymen, they are our family and there are good people inside of them,” said one Taliban fighter. “God willing, the people in the hospital will be good with them and cure them.”

The people’s belongings were thrown onto a fire and burned before they were taken to the city’s largest drug rehab centre, the Avicenna Medical Hospital for Drug Treatment, where the new arrivals were stripped, bathed, and had their heads shaved. “This is just the beginning; later we will go after the farmers, and we will punish them according to (Islamic) Sharia law,” said lead patrol officer Qari Ghafoor.

According to drug workers working on the ground, there are an estimated 100,00 to 150,000 heroin injectors in Kabul, many of whom are also addicted to smoking and injecting methamphetamine, a drug that is now being made locally from the mountain shrub ephedra and, like heroin, exported around the world. 


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