Friday, July 22, 2011

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Illegal alcohol destroyed in Kabul

  • Friday, July 22, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • Thousands of bottles of alcohol were destroyed in Kabul this week, in what authorities described as the product of a crackdown on illegal smuggling and sales.

    The bottles were confiscated over a two-year period in and around the Afghan capital, according to Kabul police and criminal investigations chief Mohammad Zahir.

    They were taken almost exclusively from "Afghan sources and not foreigners," he said.

    The illicit items were being stored by Afghan customs officials, who burned the bottles Wednesday after receiving authorization from the city's attorney general's office, he added.

    Alcohol is largely banned in Afghanistan, and its sales and consumption considered a criminal offense for the country's

    Muslims, who constitute roughly 99% of the population.

    Certain areas that cater to foreigners, however, are permitted to sell it.

    Zahir said that it was in these areas -- mostly international hotels -- that local sellers had come into possession of the alcohol.

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