Aid workers fled a Western city of Afghanistan after four United Nations offices and an Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission office were violently attacked and burned down. Approximately 60 United Nations and other foreign aid workers were evacuated by US soldiers to the airport where the Afghan army was stationed, and then to Kabul, reports the New York Times.
The attacks were a result of President Karzai’s announcement of the removal of the warlord governor of Herat, Ismail Khan. Karzai stated that Khan would be moved to a Cabinet position in the Interior Ministry in Kabul, reports the Associated Press.
Herat was under the control of Khan since the fall of the Taliban. He had stifled political dissent and independent media in the province while imposing Taliban-like restrictions on women and girls. A Human Rights Watch report found that women’s rights to work, free speech, and free association were being curtailed in Herat under Khan’s rule.