Institute for War and Peace Reporting | Giving Voice, Driving Change
Herat police have received extra training in bomb disposal techniques following an IWPR report which highlighted the growing number of improvised explosive devices, IEDs, in the western province.
Noor Khan Nekzad, head of media at police headquarters in Herat province, said that the November 9 IWPR report had had a significant impact on their work (see http://iwpr.net/report-news/alarm-wave-attacks-herat)
“When the report of an increase in number of roadside mines in some districts of Herat province was published by IWPR, the ministry of interior affairs sent some policemen from Herat to the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif to be trained in short-term courses on how to defuse the mines,” he said. “After the courses are complete and our policemen return to their respective units, we will start a serious war against the armed opposition groups.”
The IWPR story reported on the wave of attacks in the previously stable western province which had alarmed officials and locals alike, including an October suicide attack on the office of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and a growing number of roadside bombs.
This previously unreported story was then featured in other Afghan media, including Radio Liberty, and was the subject of a one hour live call-in show on Radio Faryad in Herat. Some callers expressed satisfaction that the government and the international community would now address the situation in the province.
“The subject pursued by IWPR was a very important one,” said the editor-in-chief of Radio Faryad, Khalil Amiri. “I always select subjects for radio discussions from the IWPR website, because it publishes very important, investigative and credible reports.”
Sayed Abdullah Sadat, a reporter for Saba TV in western Afghanistan, said that IWPR’s story had strengthened public demands for better security and that subsequently there had been a noticeable improvement in efforts to detect and defuse roadside mines.
“I believe the impact of the report regarding increasing insecurity in Herat published by IWPR was considerable - ensuring better security and spurring the vigilance of the security authorities in the province,” he said.
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