Global News Journal

Beyond the World news headlines

Western Afghanistan, a new worry ?


       By Golnar Motevalli

Herat province in west Afghanistan is seen as one of the country’s safest areas. It is one of the largest, most prosperous Afghan provinces — its capital’s wide, smooth and tree-lined boulevards are a far cry from Kabul’s crumbling skyline.

But the past few months have seen a sharp increase in violence.

Last month a cabinet minister and former militia leader, Ismail Khan, was the target of a bomb attack in Herat city. A day earlier, Herati traders took to the streets to protest against rising insecurity in the province.

Khan, who is seen by many Heratis as an icon of the anti-Taliban and anti-Soviet mujahedin, was unharmed, but three civilians were killed.

 The district of Guzara in Herat has seen a spate of Taliban attacks, including the shooting dead of three men and the hanging of another and an ambush on a policeman’s home in which his teenage son was killed.