18 May, 2024 @ 13:36
1 min read

Three Spanish tourists are shot dead in Afghanistan: Multiple others injured

Wtcg And Partners Funds Humanitarian Rescue Mission In Afghanistan Copia 1

THREE tourists from Spain’s Catalunya region were killed yesterday in a shooting that took place in Afghanistan’s Bamyan province. Seven other people were injured in the incident, including another Spaniard. 

The Catalan authorities have confirmed that they are working with the central Foreign Ministry in order to repatriate the bodies from the Asian country and offer psychological support to the families of the victims. 

So far, the identities of the victims have not been released. Nor is the motivation for the attack known. 

According to Spanish press reports, at least one man opened fire on the group of tourists as they were coming out of a market in Bamyan city, the capital of the province of the same name. 

Read more: Nearly 300 Afghan refugees who helped Spain during western military action arrive on plane from Pakistan

Wtcg And Partners Funds Humanitarian Rescue Mission In Afghanistan Copia 1
A file photo from Afghanistan, where the shooting took place.

As well as the Spaniard, the wounded included nationals from Afghanistan, Norway, Australia and Lithuania, according to a report in the BBC. 

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but Spanish press reports have cited experts who believe that the Islamic State – Khorasan Province could be behind it. This local branch of jihadist group ISIS is enjoying ‘growing freedom’ in the country, according to the United Nations. 

The same experts said that the ruins of the Buddhas of Bamyan statues in Afghanistan are attracting more visitors from abroad, making them a target for those seeking to commit atrocities against foreigners. The statues were destroyed by the Taliban back in March 2001. 

“Overwhelmed by the news of the murder of Spanish tourists in Afghanistan,” wrote Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez on X (formerly Twitter) after hearing news of the attack. “I want to convey all my affection to the family and friends [of the victims].”

Spain closed its embassy in Kabul back in August 2021, when the Afghan capital fell to the Taliban as the United States forces withdrew. 

Travel advice on the Spanish Foreign Ministry webpage states that Spaniards ‘should not under any circumstances travel to Afghanistan’, and points out that there is ‘a risk of kidnap or attack in the whole country’.

Simon Hunter

Simon Hunter has been living in Madrid since the year 2000 and has worked as a journalist and translator practically since he arrived. For 16 years he was at the English Edition of Spanish daily EL PAÍS, editing the site from 2014 to 2022, and is currently one of the Spain reporters at The Times. He is also a voice actor, and can be heard telling passengers to "mind the gap" on Spain's AVLO high-speed trains.

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