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Afghanistan bans fertilizer chemical commonly used to make bombs

KABUL (AP) - Afghanistan has banned the use of a fertilizer chemical also used to make bombs.

President Hamid Karzai's office issued a decree Friday banning the use, production, storage, purchase or sale of ammonium nitrate and giving Afghans 30 days to turn in any supplies to authorities.

A statement says an investigation showed that militants had used the chemical in a series of bombings.

The government also has ordered training for customs house workers to detect the chemical, and says anybody violating the ban will be prosecuted.

NATO-led forces already have been confiscating the chemical with government permission, urging farmers to use fertilizer containing urea nitrate instead.

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