NATO: Troops Can Target Afghan Drug Operations

Italian soldiers with the NATO- forces secure the area after a suicide attack near the city of Herat, east of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008. The suicide attack on Sunday had no casualties except death of the bomber, officials said. (AP Photo/Fraidoon Pooyaa)
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BUDAPEST, Hungary - A spokesman says NATO defense ministers have agreed their troops can target drugs facilities financing the Afghan insurgency.

James Appathurai told reporters Friday that NATO troops in Afghanistan would act with Afghan authorities to move against "facilities and facilitators" who use drugs to raise funds for the Taliban.

The United States has been trying to persuade allies to strike back by hitting the narcotics trading networks and laboratories where opium produced by poor Afghan farmers is transformed into heroin for the world market.