Aussie injured in Afghanistan shooting

Bamyan in Central Afghanistan. Picture: Google Maps
Bamyan in Central Afghanistan. Picture: Google Maps

An Australian tourist has been injured in a deadly shooting incident in central Afghanistan.

Three foreign tourists and an Afghan were killed when gunmen opened fire in the city of Bamyan on Friday night, the country’s Interior Ministry said.

“Unfortunately, this evening in the Bamyan city, there was a shooting against the public, in which three foreigners including one Afghan were killed and four foreigners including three Afghans were injured,” Interior Ministry spokesman Mufti Abdul Mateen Qani said on social media platform X.

“The security forces started trying to find the killers, and so far, four people have been arrested in this case.

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan strongly condemns this accident, expresses its deep feelings to the families of the victims and assures that all the criminals will be found and punished, hopefully.”

An Australian tourist was one of the foreigners injured in the armed attack, which took place in the city’s bazaar.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez took to X to express his heartbreak at the killing of his compatriots.

“Overwhelmed by the news of the murder of Spanish tourists in Afghanistan,” he said.

“The consular emergency unit of the (foreign affairs ministry) is working to offer all necessary assistance.”

Bamyan in Central Afghanistan. Picture: Google Maps
Bamyan in Central Afghanistan. Picture: Google Maps

Graphic footage from the aftermath of the attack shows men loading bloodied corpses into an ambulance.

The European Union’s Diplomatic Service released a statement condemning the attack in the “strongest terms”.

“We condemn in the strongest terms the armed attack against a group of foreign tourists visiting Bamyan, Afghanistan,” the statement reads.

“Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of the victims who lost their lives and those injured in the attack.”

The Taliban, an authoritarian Islamist regime, gained control of Afghanistan after the US withdrew from the country in 2021 following 20 years of counter-insurgency warfare.

Australia does not have formal diplomatic ties with the new government.

A Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman confirmed with NewsWire the department was providing “consular assistance to an Australian man in Afghanistan”.

Bamiyan Valley in central Afghanistan. Picture: UNESCO
Bamiyan Valley in central Afghanistan. Picture: UNESCO

“Owing to our privacy obligations we cannot provide further comment,” the spokesman said.

DFAT states on its website its ability to provide assistance in Afghanistan is “severely limited” at present.

Bamyan is a UNESCO heritage listed area known for two giant Buddhist statues that were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

“Carved into the Bamiyan Cliffs are the two niches of the giant Buddha statues (55m and 38m high) destroyed by the Taliban in 2001 and numerous caves forming a large ensemble of Buddhist monasteries, chapels and sanctuaries along the foothills of the valley dating from the 3rd to the 5th century C.E.,” UNESCO states.

“In several of the caves and niches, often linked by galleries, there are remains of wall paintings and seated Buddha figures.”