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Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting are stable

Messenger Online

Published: 09:40, 19 May 2024

Tourists wounded in deadly Afghanistan shooting are stable

Photo: Collected

Tourists wounded in an attack in Afghanistan which left three Spaniards and three Afghans dead were in a stable condition, a hospital said Saturday (18 May), as a survivor described the horror of the shooting in an open market. The group was fired on while shopping in the bazaar in the mountainous city of Bamiyan, around 180 kilometres (110 miles) from the capital Kabul, on Friday.

French tourist Anne-France Brill, one of the dozen foreign travellers on an organised tour, said a gunman on foot approached the group's vehicles and opened fire.

"There was blood everywhere," the 55-year-old told AFP from Dubai, where she landed Saturday after being evacuated from Kabul with two Americans.

"One thing is certain," she said, the assailant "was there for the foreigners".

Brill, who works in marketing and lives near Paris, said she helped collect the bloodied belongings of her wounded fellow travellers before a Taliban escort brought them to the capital, where they were taken in by a European Union delegation.

The attack is believed to be the first deadly assault on foreign tourists since the Taliban returned to power in 2021 in a country where few nations have a diplomatic presence.

The bodies of those killed were transported to Kabul overnight Friday, along with the wounded and survivors, after bad weather made an airlift impossible.

Italian NGO Emergency, which operates a hospital in Kabul, received the injured who it said were from Spain, Lithuania, Norway, Australia and Afghanistan.

"The wounded people arrived at our hospital at 3:00 am (2230 GMT Friday) this morning, about 10 hours after the incident took place," said Dejan Panic, Emergency's country director in Afghanistan, in a statement.

"The Afghan national was the most critically injured, but all patients are now stable," he added.

Spain's government on Friday announced that three of the dead were Spanish tourists.

Its foreign ministry said one of the wounded was also a Spanish woman, who had been seriously injured and underwent surgery in Kabul. The dead included three Afghans -- two civilians and a Taliban member, the government's interior ministry spokesman Abdul Mateen Qani said.

Local officials said the civilians were working with the tour group, while the Taliban security official had returned fire when the shooting broke out.