Taliban militants attacked a group of 12 American and European tourists escorted by an Afghan army convoy in western Herat province Thursday, leaving six of them and their driver wounded.
The tourists — eight British, three Americans and one German national — were ambushed by Taliban gunmen in the restive district of Chesht-e-Sharif, while en route from the neighboring provinces of Bamiyan and Ghor.
“The foreign tourists — three Americans, six Britons, two Scots and one German — were travelling with an Afghan army convoy when they were ambushed by the Taliban in Chesht-e-Sharif,” said Jilani Farhad, the spokesman for Herat’s governor.
He said the insurgents had been repelled and the foreigners were being escorted to Herat city, adding that at least six foreigners and their Afghan driver were left wounded.
It is unclear why they were travelling overland at a time when Western embassies typically warn their citizens against all travel in Afghanistan, citing threats of kidnapping and attacks.
Afghanistan remains locked in a violent insurgency. But that has not stopped some tourists, including foreigners, from travelling to provinces such as Bamiyan.
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.
The latest attack follows a Taliban truck bombing on Monday at a hotel for foreigners in Kabul, which triggered a seven-hour gun and grenade assault that highlighted growing insecurity in the city.
The guests and staff of the Northgate hotel escaped unharmed, but one policeman was killed after the suicide truck bomber paved the way for two other armed insurgents to enter the heavily guarded facility near Kabul airport.