x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Roadside bombs in Afghanistan double

Kidnappings and roadside bombings doubled this year in Afghanistan, according to the country's American ambassador.

KABUL, AFGHANISTAN // The US ambassador to Afghanistan says the number of roadside bombs and kidnappings in Afghanistan roughly doubled this year. William Wood says the number of roadside bombs has risen from roughly 1,000 in 2007 to about 2,000 in 2008. The number of kidnappings rose from around 150 to around 300. Mr Wood called 2008 a "good year but also a hard year". He said Afghanistan saw progress on the drug front. Cultivation of opium poppies declined by almost 20 per cent in 2008. Opium poppies are the main ingredient in heroin. Many officials believe violence in Afghanistan will rise in 2009, when the US is to send up to 30,000 more troops into the country.

* AP