Three Spanish tourists shot dead by gunmen in central Afghanistan

Three Spanish tourists and an Afghan civilian were killed by gunmen in central Afghanistan’s Bamiyan city on Friday, Spain’s government said.

Spanish prime minister Pedro Sánchez posted on X that he was “shocked by the news of the murder of Spanish tourists in Afghanistan”.

He added that the foreign ministry was working to offer all necessary assistance and he was following the situation closely.

Abdul Mateen Qani, Afghanistan’s interior ministry spokesperson, said while no group has claimed responsibility for the late-evening attack, four people had been arrested.

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”, Mr Qani said.

Mr Qani also added that an Afghan civilian was also killed, and four other foreigners and three Afghans wounded in the attack.

A resident, who preferred not 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,” reported The Guardian.

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.

Afghanistan has seen a surge in terror attacks in the recent months after the Taliban took control of the country in August 2021 post the exit of the US and Nato forces. The Taliban government has vowed to restore security in a bid to encourage tourism.

This attack is among the most serious in which foreign nationals have been killed or wounded since the Taliban retook power. The Islamic State-Khorasan Province, an affiliate of the terrorist group Isis and Taliban’s biggest rival in the region, have frequently targeted schools, hospitals and mosques after the departure of the US and Nato forces.