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Islamic State claims responsibility for attack in Afghanistan that killed three Spaniards

CAIRO (Reuters) – Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack by gunmen on tourists in Afghanistan’s central Bamiyan province on Sunday, the group said on its Telegram channel.

Three Spanish tourists were killed and at least one Spaniard was injured in the attack, the Spanish Foreign Ministry announced on Friday.

Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Mateen Qaniee said four people were arrested following the attack in which gunmen opened fire. In addition to the three foreign tourists, an Afghan citizen was killed in the attack. Four foreigners and three Afghans were also injured, he added.

Mountainous Bamiyan is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and the remains of two giant Buddha statues that were destroyed by the Taliban during their previous rule in 2001.

Since taking control of Afghanistan in 2021, the Taliban have pledged to restore security and encourage small but growing numbers of tourists to return to the country. They sold tickets to visit the site of the destroyed Buddha statues.

Friday’s attack was one of the most serious targeting foreign citizens since the departure of foreign forces and the Taliban takeover in 2021.

Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack that injured Chinese citizens at a hotel popular with Chinese businessmen in Kabul in 2022.

(Reporting by Ahmed Tolba; editing by Kevin Liffey and Peter Graff)

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