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Foreign Tourists Wounded in Attack in Western Afghanistan | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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In this file photograph taken on October 30, 2014, Afghan youths ride their bicycles past the historic minarets of Herat province. The minarets, built by Queen Gowhar Shad in 1417, received heavy damage in past wars with the British and Soviets. Only five of its over twenty minarets are still standing today. Taliban militants attacked a group of 12 American and European tourists escorted by an Afghan army convoy in western Herat province on August 4, 2016, leaving at least seven people wounded as the insurgents step up nationwide attacks. 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 neighbouring provinces of Bamiyan and Ghor. / AFP PHOTO / Aref Karimi

Six foreign tourists and their driver were wounded in Afghanistan on Thursday in an attack by gunslingers on their convoy as it passed through western Herat province, Afghan government officials said.

The group of at least a dozen travelers included eight British citizens, three Americans and one German.

Despite sending security forces to the scene, the nationalities of the casualties were not clear, said Jilani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat’s governor.

The convoy, reportedly accompanied by security forces, was on its way froM Bamiyan province in central Afghanistan to the city of Herat in the west when it was attacked, Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said.

Photographs published by local media in Herat showed uniformed men standing around what appeared to be the burned remains of a small bus outfitted with a roof rack for luggage.

The group was taken to local clinics where they were treated for generally light injuries, Farhad said.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said in posts on Twitter they had killed the foreign “invaders” as well as seven “slave” Afghan soldiers.

The British Embassy in Kabul was providing assistance to its citizens affected by the attack and were coordinating with Afghan officials, spokeswoman Jenny Jones said.

A spokesman for the German Foreign Ministry in Berlin confirmed that the German national was involved but unharmed in the attack.

The American Embassy did not immediately respond to request for comment. Several foreign tourism companies advertise adventure tours to Afghanistan online, including one British firm which had a trip scheduled to the area in Herat this week.

Afghanistan remains locked in a violent insurgency and Western embassies typically warn their citizens against all but essential travel in the country, citing threats of attack and kidnapping.

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.