Friday 24 January 2020

At least six foreign tourists wounded in Afghanistan attack by gunmen on convoy

At least six foreign tourists and their driver were wounded in Afghanistan on Thursday in an attack by gunmen on their convoy as it passed through western Herat province, government officials said.

The group of at least a dozen travelers included eight British citizens, three Americans, and one German, but the nationalities of the casualties were not clear, said Jilani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat's governor.

He said security forces had been sent to the scene.

The convoy, reportedly escorted by security forces, was on its way from scenic Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan to the city of Herat in the west when it was attacked, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

Both officials described the foreigners as tourists.

Photographs published by local media in Herat showed uniformed men standing around what appeared to be the burned remains of a small bus outfitted with a roof rack for luggage.

The group was taken to local clinics where they were treated for generally light injuries, Farhad said.

The British embassy in Kabul was providing assistance to its citizens affected by the attack, and were coordinating with Afghan officials, spokeswoman Jenny Jones said.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that the German national was involved but unharmed in the attack.

The American embassy did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Several foreign tourism companies advertise adventure tours to Afghanistan online, including one British firm which had a trip scheduled to the area in Herat this week.

Afghanistan remains locked in a violent insurgency and Western embassies typically warn their citizens against all but essential travel in the country, citing threats of attack and kidnapping.

Bamiyan, home to Afghanistan's first national park, is one of the country's more peaceful areas and attracts some of the few tourists who do visit.


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