Scotland

Scot caught up in Taliban attack in Afghanistan

Photo showing burnt out bus in which the tourists were being taken to Herat Image copyright EPA
Image caption The group of tourists was being escorted by Afghan army personnel who repelled the attack

At least one Scot has been caught up in an attack on foreign tourists by Taliban militants during a sightseeing tour of Afghanistan.

The attack happened as their minibus passed through Herat province.

The group of a dozen travellers was being escorted by Afghan army personnel to Herat city when it was ambushed, Afghan officials told the BBC.

A military spokesman said six of the tourists as well as their driver had been injured.

The tourists comprised eight Britons, three US citizens and one German. News agency AFP said there were "two Scots" among the eight Britons in the minibus.

A spokesman for the Taliban said it had carried out the attack.

Afghanistan's main roads are notoriously dangerous, with militant attacks and kidnappings frequent, many of them carried out by the Taliban.

Jailani Farhad, a spokesman for Herat's governor, said the attackers had used small arms fire and an improvised explosives device.

He said it was not yet clear who had been injured, although the German foreign ministry said its citizen was unharmed.

The tourists are being held at an Italian military hospital in Herat city and are set to be evacuated to Kabul.

Image copyright PAjhwok Afghan News
Image caption The tourists were taken to Herat city
Image copyright PAjhwok Afghan News
Image caption The group of tourists comprised eight Britons, three Americans and a German

Afghan interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi told Afghanistan's Tolo news channel the tourists had been on their way from Bamiyan to Herat, via Ghor.

The ambush took place in the Chesht-e-Sharif district. Security reinforcements have been sent to the area.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Afghanistan's Bamiyan province has attracted foreign visitors despite the ongoing violence
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Herat city is home to many famous sites reflecting Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage

Despite the ongoing insurgency, Afghanistan does see a small number of tourists every year, organised by several foreign adventure tourism companies.

Bamiyan province is especially popular with adventure tourists, attracted by its ancient culture and natural beauty.

Many Western nations advise against all but essential travel to the country.


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