Iranian authorities hanged 19 narcotics traffickers, some publicly, in an anti-drug drive in which more than 1,000 people were rounded up and dozens killed in shootouts, Iranian news reports said Saturday.
There are no official estimates available, but officials have reported that drug abuse rose alarmingly during the 8-year war with Iraq. Iran's crackdown began after the Aug. 20 cease-fire.The official Islamic Republic New Agency, monitored in Nicosia, said 10 smugglers were convicted of running drug trafficking networks, carrying illegal weapons, clashing with security forces, and possessing a total of 167 pounds of heroin and 1,166 pounds of opium.
The agency said some were executed in Tehran's Qasr prison and others publicly hanged in Bani-Hashem Square in the northwest suburbs. It did not say when.
Tehran Radio, also monitored in Nicosia, said nine other convicted smugglers were hanged Friday and Saturday in other Iranian cities.