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Gambia seizes almost one ton of cannabis

BANJUL, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The border patrol unit of the Gambia Armed Forces seized over 900 kilograms of cannabis at the border of Gambia and Senegal, a military source told Xinhua on Monday.

The raid took place in the village of Foni near the border with the southern Senegalese region of Casamance, 70 kilometers from Gambia's capital Banjul.

"The seizure took place on Saturday night following a tip-off by villagers that some rebels from Casamance were engaged in illegal cannabis cultivation and drug trafficking near the border," the source said.

According to the source, the impounded cannabis was planted by rebels who sought refuge in Gambia during the civil unrest in Casamance.

The Casamance Movement of Democratic Forces (MDFC), a separatist organization in Senegal, has been fighting for the independence of Casamance since 1980.

Gambia is a transit point for Latino-American cartels trafficking drugs, mostly cocaine, to Europe.

In June 2010, a joint security force between the Gambian and British police seized more than two tons of cocaine worth about 1 billion U.S. dollars in the small fishing village of Bonto, in the west coastal region of Gambia, a few kilometers away from Banjul.

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