Islamic State group claims deadly attack on tourists in Afghanistan

Islamic State group claims deadly attack on tourists in Afghanistan
Islamic State group claims deadly attack on tourists in Afghanistan
Read also: Three Spanish tourists and an Afghan killed by gunfire in Bamiyan

The attack targeted “a busload of tourists from coalition countries,” said the jihadist group, referring to the international coalition led by the Americans to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. This action “is consistent with the directives of the leaders” of IS “to target nationals of coalition countries wherever they are,” the group said.

Taliban authorities announced on Saturday the arrest of seven suspects.

Madrid said on Sunday that the three Spaniards killed were Catalans, including a mother and her daughter as well as a 63-year-old retiree. An 82-year-old Spanish woman was seriously injured and transported to a hospital managed by the Italian NGO Emergency in Kabul. “His injuries are progressing favorably but his prognosis is uncertain,” said the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Tourism on the rise

The minister, José Manuel Albares, “strongly condemned” the attack in a message published on X on Sunday, adding that he would work to “ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished.” “The two Spaniards who were not injured are now out of Afghanistan. The operation to repatriate the rest of the Spanish victims is still underway,” he continued.

The security situation may have improved in Afghanistan since the return of the Taliban to power in August 2021, but a certain number of armed groups, including IS, remain a threat. Especially for the Hazaras, a majority Shiite community in Bamiyan province that ISIS considers heretics.

Tourists are increasing in number in Afghanistan under the Taliban regime and the Bamiyan region is the favorite destination for these travelers. More than 5,000 foreigners visited the country in 2023 according to figures from the Taliban government, which supports this still embryonic sector. However, several Western nations have called on their nationals not to travel to Afghanistan due to the risks of attacks and kidnappings.

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