The city of Herat has been largely untouched by the war in the rest of Afghanistan. It lies on the border with Iran and Turkmenistan, which helps as far as trade and prosperity goes.

But Herat's economic growth has been held back by a growing trade in kidnappings.

The city is a major trading centre full of businessmen and that has made it a target for abductions. Businessmen say the threat of kidnappings and criminals is driving investors away.

More than 100 people were also killed in Herat last year in so-called targeted assassinations.

This year President Ashraf Ghani fired the Herat chief of police and all 15 district chiefs in a mass sacking, saying they had failed to establish security.

So what is next for the city? And can the violence be stopped? Nicole Johnston reports.

Source: Al Jazeera