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Nine Homeless Drug Users Killed in Afghan Capital

FILE: Afghan health workers and security forces gather suspected drug users during a campaign in October 2017.

Gunmen have shot dead nine homeless drug users in the Afghan capital, officials said on February 16.

The incident took place late on February 15 in a cave on the outskirts of Kabul near the Koh-e Qurugh mountain, police spokesman Faramarz Tamanna told dpa.

One addict was found wounded and was taken to hospital, police added.

The motive for the attack in Kabul was not clear and police said they were investigating.

Drug addiction has been reportedly on the rise in the war-torn country that produces the majority of opium and heroin consumed in the world.

Afghanistan’s National Drug Use Survey has found that there are between 2.9 to 3.6 million drug users in the country of roughly 37 million.

"It's a social crisis," Dr Shokoor Haidari, deputy of the ministry's counter-drugs department, was quoted as saying by Reuters.

The ministry can only treat 40,000 people a year but far more seek help, said Haidari.

Lack of social services, unemployment, and easy access to drugs have fueled drug abuse in Afghanistan, Haidari said.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters