Statement Attributable to the Spokesman of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan On the Outbreak of Violence in Herat

The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan regrets the loss of life in Herat Following the outbreak of violence yesterday afternoon. He extends his heartfelt condolences to the families of those killed, in particular to Governor Ismail Khan, whose son, Midways Siddiqi, Minister of Aviation and Tourism, also died.

While fighting has somewhat subsided, the Special Representative learned with grave concern late this morning that the house of Chief Justice Kho dad was burned by protesters. No one was hurt in the act, but this attack raises the urgent issue of protecting the life and property of civilian leaders, no matter what their views might be.

The Special Representative calls upon all parties involved in the confrontation to exercise restraint, to protect the lives of civilians, to do all in their power to reduce tensions in the city and to allow the restoration of law and order.

Kabul, 22 March 2004