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Taliban increases influence, territory in Afghanistan: US watchdog

In this photograph taken on October 27, 2017 an Afghan woman collects saffron flowers after picking them in a field on the outskirt of Herat. For years, Afghanistan has tried to give farmers alternatives such as fruit crops and saffron to wean them away from poppy farming -- the lifeblood of the Taliban insurgency. International donors have splurged billions of dollars on counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan over the past decade, including efforts to encourage farmers to switch to other cash

 

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