A gunman attacked a tourist convoy that passed through western Herat province in Afghanistan. The bus carried 8 Britons, 3 American citizens, and 1 German. Six of the passengers, including the driver, were injured in the attack.
Afghan officials told the BBC that the group was being escorted by Afghan army soldiers to Herat city when the bus was ambushed. According to a Herat’s governor spokesman, Jailani Farhad, the attackers used small firearms and an improvised explosive. He added that it is not known yet who were the tourists injured during the assault, but the German foreign ministry said its citizen was not harmed. All tourist and the Afghan driver received medical treatment and shelter at an Italian military hospital in Herat city and then were evacuated to Kabul.
Spokeswoman Jenny Jones said that the British embassy in Kabul helped its citizens that were affected by the attack and said that the diplomatic institution was coordinating actions with Afghan officials.
Interior ministry spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, stated that the convoy was going to the city of Herat, located in the west of the country, and departed from Bamiyan province, in central Afghanistan. The attack took place via Ghor, in the Chesht-s-Sharif district.
After the attack, photograph of the scene shows uniformed men near what it seems the tourist bus, which is burnt.
Reuters reports that the Taliban claimed the attack and its spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid posted on Twitter that they had killed foreign invaders and 7 slave Afghan soldiers.
Some people continue to travel the world despite the war that takes place in it
Despite the great dangers not only for tourist but locals in Afghanistan, tourist still go to the country to find adventure. It is a small group of foreigns that are not scared by the Taliban, who rarely attacks tourist in its country. Tourist agencies promote Afghanistan travels as adventure trips.
Bamiyan is one of Afghanistan more peaceful areas and attracts a significant part of the few tourists that visit the country. Bamiyan is home to Afghanistan first national park that keeps safe its ancient culture and natural beauty.
And although many Western nations advise its citizens not to go to countries in active conflict, like Afghanistan, people still visit its landmarks to know new cultures and new places.
The BBC says that the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) does not have data from the Afghan government on tourists statistics, but the UNWTO does receive information on tourist expenditures.
According to the data provided by the Afghan government, between 2012 and 2014 the country saw a great drop in the money that the country received from tourists, from $168 million in 2012 to $91 million in 2014. To illustrate how tourism has dropped, Afghan Logistics and Tours was evaluated.
— Farishta Jalalzai (@JalalzaiF) August 4, 2016
The company has been affected by the war and its consequences to the tourist sector. Muqim Jamshady, who is the chief executive of Afghan Logistics and Tours, based in Kabul, told the BBC that in 2003 around 300 foreign people used his services a year, but now the number was reduced to 100.