UN: Afghan opium production increases
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- The United Nation says opium poppy cultivation will increase for a third year in a row and is heading for a record high.
The report issued Monday says cultivation is also dramatically increasing in areas of the southern Taliban heartland, especially in regions where thousands of U.S.-led coalition troops have been withdrawn or are in the process of departing.
The report says increased production is being driven by unusually high opium prices.
Afghanistan is the world's largest producer of opium, the raw ingredient in heroin, and last year provided about 75 percent of the global crop -- a figure that may spike to 90 percent this year due to increased cultivation.