Courageous Constraint

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Opium harvesting tools

Despite efforts by ISAF to eradicate cultivation of the opium poppy, farmers still grow this plant because of financial reward or intimidation from the Taliban. These simple tools, bought from the bazaar in Sangin are used to make shallow incisions in the seed capsule, and then a few hours later to scoop the opium which oozes out slowly. The Taliban rely on the income from selling opium to fund their activities; British commanders would know when the opium harvest had started as attacks on their troops dwindled whilst the Taliban worked the fields. The opium poppy is also the source of legal medicines like morphine.

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