Three Spanish tourists and an Afghan civilian have been killed in a shooting attack in Bamiyan province, central Afghanistan.

The Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, wrote on social messaging platform X that he was “shocked by the news of the murder of Spanish tourists in Afghanistan”.

The Spanish foreign ministry said that the consular emergency unit had been fully mobilised and the victims and their families were being assisted.

Four suspects were arrested at the scene in Bamiyan, a top tourist area, and officials said an investigation was under way. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the late-evening attack.

Earlier on Friday, the Taliban interior ministry spokesperson, Abdul Mateen Qani, said that four other foreigners and three Afghans were wounded in the attack, without giving the nationalities of the foreign victims.

A resident, who did not want to be named, said he “heard the sounds of successive gunshots, and the city streets leading to the site were blocked immediately by the security forces”.

Mountainous Bamiyan is home to a Unesco world heritage site and the remains of two giant Buddha statues that were blown up by the Taliban during their previous rule in 2001.

Since taking over Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban have vowed to restore security and encourage a small but growing number of tourists into the country.

The attack on Friday was among the most serious targeting foreign nationals since foreign forces left the country and the Taliban took over.

The Taliban government “strongly condemns this crime, expresses its deep feelings to the families of the victims and assures that all the criminals will be found and punished”, Qani said in a statement.

Blame is likely to fall on the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan, a Taliban rival. IS militants have carried out scores of attacks on schools, hospitals, mosques and minority Shia areas throughout the country.

Facebook Comments Box
Translate »