INTERNATIONAL

Taliban commander orders closure of opium labs

Kabul, May 28: A Taliban commander in the Afghanistan’s Helmand province has ordered all opium labs to be moved out of the urban areas the group controls as US airstrikes targeting the facilities are killing many civilians, a media report said on Monday.

In a walkie-talkie conversation with his secretary shared on a Taliban WhatsApp group, the terror group’s shadow governor of Helmand Mullah Manan, said “due to one factory hundreds of the public are at risk from bombings and missiles” and called for facilities to shift to “mountains and valley sides” instead, the Guardian report said. In the message, Mullah Manan said: “Drones are roaming in the air and they have made men, women and children scared because of bombing. We must strictly explain to people that if they do not stop drugs factories in public houses they will go to jail.” Any Taliban who permitted such facilities would also be punished, he added. (IANS)