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Afghan president calls for 'holy war' against corruption, says it impedes developing country


KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan's president has called for a "holy war" against corruption, one of the major problems facing his war-torn country as he tries to improve its economy and create jobs.

Ashraf Ghani, who has been in power almost a year, said Tuesday that corruption is a "cancerous lesion" threatening the survival of the state.

He says graft in government contracts, land grabbing and illegal drug production and trafficking are major problems. He says education is key to ending corruption.

Ghani says the government is investing in agriculture as the majority of Afghanistan's people live off the land. Ghani says Afghanistan should be known as an exporter of legitimate products.

Transparency International consistently ranks Afghanistan among the world's most corrupt countries. Most of the world's heroin comes from Afghanistan.

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