KABUL, Afghanistan – U.S. Ambassador John R. Bass and DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon presented the DEA Purple Heart Award to the families of nine DEA-trained Afghan officers killed in the line of duty, and six officers wounded. Eight of the officers died and five were wounded in a terrorist attack on August 6, 2019 in Kabul. Another officer died and one was wounded during a firefight with Taliban-affiliated drug traffickers on January 9, 2019. The ceremony on December 10th at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul honored their sacrifices.
“Our shared fight against drug trafficking is among the toughest anywhere in the world,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “We stand by our Afghan partners in this struggle, and know that the sacrifices made by these brave men will bring greater stability to Afghanistan and its people, and strengthen the bonds between our two nations.”
The fallen and injured officers worked closely with the DEA on important investigations that resulted in the seizure of tons of drugs and chemicals. They dismantled laboratories and destroyed drug trafficking organizations closely tied to terrorist acts.
“The United States and Afghanistan are committed to strengthening the rule of law together. The success of counternarcotics operations reinforce the confidence of the Afghan people in their security forces and judicial system,” said U.S. Ambassador John R. Bass.
The DEA’s role in Afghanistan is to identify and target Afghan illicit drug trade that funds the insurgency, terrorism, transnational crime and corruption.
For more than 10 years, the DEA, the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs and the Department of Defense have trained the Sensitive Investigative Unit and National Interdiction Unit in Afghanistan. These elite counternarcotics police units conduct warrant-based, high-risk operations to target the illicit financial flows to the insurgency.