On Thursday, April 9, five bankers employed by the state-owned Central Bank were kidnapped and later killed when travelling from Kuhsan (Herat province) district to the city of Herat. Its is not clear if the bankers were carrying cash but they are not believed to have had any security escort with them. Government officials have blamed the attack on the Taliban, but the militant group have not confirmed their responsibility.
A heightened security presence is anticipated in Herat province in the near term following the incident.
On Sunday, March 29, a number of bank employees were kidnapped and later released in Logar province, suggesting that this may be an emerging trend for militant activity.
Taliban militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are, in part, intended to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country and to gain leverage amid ongoing peace negotiations.
Individuals in Herat province are advised to monitor developments, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.