Two people have been killed in an armed clash over picking the saffron harvest in west of Afghanistan.
The incident took place on Monday in a village in the Ghourian district of Herat province.
District Governor Farhad Khademi told Ariana News that two people were killed and another was wounded after the two sides engaged in armed clashes in a saffron field.
A tribal elder is also among the dead, the Governor Khademi said.
Arif Jalali, a chief physician in Herat Regional Hospital, said their emergency department have received a patient who was wounded in the incident.
Saffron is one of the most expensive spices in the world, and has long been seen as an alternative crop to growing opium poppies.
Virtue and Vice Ministry reject claims of ordering gender segregation in restaurants
The Ministry of Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice has rejected claims that orders were given to restaurants in Herat to separate male and female patrons.
This comes after reports emerged recently that officials from the provincial department of promotion of virtue and prevention of vice visited restaurants and instructed owners to separate patrons according to their gender.
However, Herat officials said this was a misunderstanding and that segregation is not being enforced and that families can eat together in restaurants and spend time together in parks.
One restaurant manager in Herat, Basir Ahmad Ahmadi, said: “When families came, we had to tell the family to sit apart … and when we told the families, they said they would go home to eat.”
Jawad Tawangar, an employee at one restaurant in Herat, said: “Fortunately, after the Ministry of Virtue and Vice responded in Kabul, the issue of restrictions has returned to normal and restaurants can allow families to eat together again.”
The spokesman for the ministry, Akef Mahajer, meanwhile said no one has the right to prevent families from walking in public together.
Mahajer: “Our compatriots can go to a hotel and restaurant with their families and have tea or go shopping with their families. The reports of segregation were untrue.”
Herat officials also said no order to this effect has been issued and that families can visit restaurants together.
Naeem ul-Haq Haqqani, Herat’s director of information and culture, said: “We reject [the reports of segregation] completely and it is not true.”
“Sitting around a table and eating with the family is not a problem from the Islamic point of view, nor from the custom of the community, but it can be useful for encouraging families and for getting more involved in the community,” said Negina Barak, a resident of Herat.
Five killed in twin blasts in Herat
At least five people were killed in two explosions in Afghanistan’s western province of Herat on Friday evening, security sources said.
The blasts happened around 6:00pm in District 12 of the provincial capital Herat.
Twenty two others were wounded in the explosions which took place in a playground where youths were playing.
The cause of the blasts remains unclear.
Former district police chief in Ghor gunned down
Habib-u-Rahman Malikzada, former police chief of Tiora district of Ghor province was gun downed by unknown assailants in western Herat province on Tuesday, relatives of the deceased said.
According to his relatives, Malikzada was shot close to the entrance of his house in PD1 of Herat city on Tuesday morning.
Sabir Herawi, a spokesman for the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) Intelligence, has confirmed the incident, stating that the culprits fled the area after attacking Malikzada.
So far, no group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack.
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