Australian injured in deadly shooting in central Afghanistan – ABC News

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An Australian tourist has been injured during a deadly shooting in central Afghanistan.

Several gunmen opened fire in the city of Bamyan late on Friday local time, killing at least four people, including three foreign nationals, a Taliban spokesman said.

According to Abdul Mateen Qani, a spokesman for the Taliban’s interior ministry, seven other people, including four foreign nationals, were wounded in the attack.

He did not elaborate or give the nationality of the foreign citizens.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFAT) confirmed it was providing consular assistance to an Australian, but did not provide further information “owing to our privacy obligations”.

Besmillah Taban, the former general director of Afghanistan’s police criminal investigation unit in the Interior Ministry, said in a post on social media platform X that “one of the causalities” was Australian.

Mr Taban is a critic of the current Taliban government. He sought asylum in Australia after it returned to power in 2021.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that three Spaniards died in the attack and at least one more was injured.

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez described them as “tourists” in a post on social media platform X, writing that he was “overwhelmed” by the news.

BBC Persian reported sources said the injured were an Australian citizen, a Norwegian, a Lithuanian and a Spaniard, adding two Afghan citizens were killed and one of the Spanish victims was a woman.

Four suspects were arrested at the scene in Bamyan province, a major tourist area, and an investigation was underway, Mr Qani said.

No-one immediately claimed responsibility for the late-evening attack.

The attack took place in front of the “Lajord” restaurant in the centre of the town about 6pm, local time, BBC Persian reported. 

Graphic videos posted online showed people carrying bodies into a van following the incident.

The Taliban seized power in Afghanistan in August 2021 as US and NATO forces were in the final weeks of their withdrawal from the country after 20 years of war.

Blame is likely to fall on the Islamic State (IS) group’s affiliate in Afghanistan, a major Taliban rival.

IS militants have carried out scores of attacks on schools, hospitals, mosques and minority Shiite areas throughout the country.

Bamyan is probably best known as the site of two massive Buddha statues that were carved into the cliff face between the 4th and 6th centuries and which were destroyed by the Taliban at Al Qaeda’s urging in early 2001.

ABC/AP

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