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The Sandbox and Areas Reports Thread (February 2008)

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Governor of volatile Afghan province removed from post
The Associated Press Friday, February 29, 2008
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KABUL, Afghanistan: The governor of volatile Helmand province was removed from his post Friday after a year of record opium production and insurgency-related violence in the province.

Asadullah Wafa, who was appointed in December 2006 amid hope that he would be able to stabilize the province, said President Hamid Karzai issued a decree Friday releasing him from the Helmand post.

His removal leaves the country's key area in the battle against insurgents and narcotics without direct government representation, and comes after a series of confrontations between Wafa and British officials in the province over counterinsurgency strategy and the crackdown on drug production.

Wafa claimed that he wanted to be removed from his post and complained that he was dissatisfied with poppy eradication forces working in the province. Government officials could not immediately be reached for comment about the decision to remove Wafa.

His successor has not yet been announced, Wafa said. Wafa will continue his work as the ministerial adviser for tribal affairs.
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