Iraqi police raid illegal drugs lab in northern city
Police in Kirkuk stormed a home in the city that had been turned into a "drug manufacturing plant", local media reported.
"Two people have been taken into custody and two drug-making devices and 51 cartons of pills have been seized," officer Khitab Omar said on Wednesday.
The police chief did not clarify what drugs had been taken in the raid.
Amphetamine, in particular crystal meth, usage has been on the rise in Iraq in recent years along with strong prescription painkillers such as Tramadol.
Last year, local media reported that makeshift home meth labs were popping up around the country at an alarming rate.
"Drug trafficking has significantly increased, however, most of the seized narcotics have come in from neighbouring countries," drug enforcement officer, Faris Ali, told The New Arab.
Ali said that police have dismantled at least 20 "drug trafficking networks" this year alone.
Prior to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, the only drugs available to Iraqis were alcohol and cannabis but with the chaos created by the conflict other substances found their way on the streets.
Doctors in the southern city of Basra called on the government last year to open a drug rehabilitation centre for crystal meth addicts.
Samir al-Jabri, an expert the illicit drug trade, said that the majority of drugs still come into Iraq through the porous border with neighbouring Iran.
"Smugglers that have been arrested have admitted they get the drugs from Iranian dealers but now drug labs have begun to appear here in Iraq, which is a worrying sign," Jabri said.
Last year, Iraq banned the sale and consumption of alcohol, but officials warned that this prohibition had led to an increase in narcotics smuggled from Iran.