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15 September 2004 -- The new governor of Afghanistan's Herat Province, Sayyed Mohammad Khairkhwa, has pledged to disarm factional fighters in the area.

Khairkhwa, a former ambassador to Ukraine, said disarming unauthorized militia forces will be one of his top priorities.

Khairkhwa was recently appointed by Afghan Transitional Administration Chairman Hamid Karzai, who sacked the previous governor, Ismail Khan.

Earlier, the UN Security Council condemned the attacks on UN and other humanitarian agencies operating in Herat. UN offices were burned and looted following Khan's dismissal. After that incident, the UN flew about 40 international staff from Herat to Kabul and suspended refugee operations.

Herat is a key transit route for many refugees returning home from Iran.

(RFE/RL, Reuters)
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