Three tourists killed as several gunmen open fire in Afghanistan – Sky News

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At least four people – including three tourists – have been killed by gunmen in Afghanistan’s Bamiyan province, the Taliban’s interior ministry has said.

A further four foreign nationals and three Afghans were injured in the attack, which saw several gunmen open fire in the mountainous region, they added.

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said three of its nationals died in the attack and that at least one more had been injured.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was “overwhelmed” by the news in a post on X.

Four people have been arrested, Taliban spokesman Abdul Mateen Qani said.

Nobody has claimed responsibility for attack and blame is likely to fall on the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan, a major Taliban rival which claimed an attack on Chinese citizens at a Kabul hotel in 2022.

The Bamiyan province is home to the remains of two giant Buddha statues blown up by the Taliban in 2001 and the region is a UNESCO world heritage site.

More on Afghanistan

Read more: How Western tourism is on the rise in Afghanistan

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Tourism in Afghanistan peaked in the 1960s and 1970s when the country formed part of the popular “hippy trail” route.

Since seizing power in August 2021, the Taliban has tried to promote Afghanistan as a travel destination – despite the fact many countries’ foreign offices, including the UK’s, say it is unsafe to travel to.

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While the numbers remain small, their efforts appear to have so far paid off. In 2021, 691 foreign tourists visited Afghanistan and by 2023, the number had risen to 7,000.

Friday’s attack was among the most serious to target foreigners since the Taliban took over.

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