Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 4
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Iranian police killed three drug smugglers during an armed conflict in the country's southeastern province of Kerman.
The incident took place near the Manujan city, the province's police commander, Hossein Chenarian said, Iran's official IRNA news agency reported Sept. 4.
Police seized 772 tonnes of opium from the smugglers during the operation which started last night.
The report also said that the armed conflict still continues, as of 9:38 local time (GMT+4:30).
The smugglers were trying to carry the cargo to central Iran, Chenarian said.
Iran is situated on a major drug route between Afghanistan and Europe, as well as the Gulf States. The Islamic Republic shares about 900 kilometers of common border with Afghanistan, over which 74 percent of opium is smuggled.
It was reported that some 500 tonnes of drugs were seized in the country during the 12-month period from 21 March 2013 to 21 March 2014.
The fight against drugs annually costs Iran about $1 billion, according to the official estimates. The statistics also say there are about two million drug users in Iran.