Dozens wounded during Ghoryani arrest operation: police

Herat officials said Thursday at least 32 civilians were wounded in a shootout between security forces and local strongman Habibullah Ghoryani who has been accused of a range of alleged crimes.

Police said in a statement that Ghoryani and his guards were suspected of being involved in drug trafficking, kidnapping, land grabbing, extortion and other illegal activities.

According to police a shootout took place after police were called to an assault incident allegedly involving Ghoryani’s guards.

“Ghoryani’s loyal guards entered a coffee shop in PD12 of Herat city yesterday and assaulted some people. The people urged police to take legal action,” the statement read.

The statement added that when police arrived in the area Ghoryani’s guards opened fire. Police then shot back.

Police claim 14 policemen were wounded and nine police vehicles and three weapons were damaged in the shootout.

According to the statement 32 civilians including one woman and three children were among those wounded in the clashes.

Police said that two of Ghoryani’s guards were killed and eight others arrested during the operation. Weapons and ammunition were also seized.

According to police Ghoryani fled the area.

Local health officials meanwhile, stated that 36 people including civilians, women and children had been wounded during the shoutout.

According to sources close to Ghoryani two of his guards were killed and fours wounded during the clashes.

A video clip shows that houses and buildings in the immediate area of the shootout sustained extensive damage and were riddled with bullet holes.