Gunmen ambush, kill German tourist in Afghanistan

AP News
Posted: Sep 24, 2011 2:09 PM
Gunmen ambush, kill German tourist in Afghanistan

Gunmen ambushed and killed a German tourist and an Afghan man on Saturday in a relatively stable area of central Afghanistan, police said.

The German man was riding in a vehicle with three Afghans when they were stopped late in the afternoon by two armed gunmen on a motorbike in Dawlat Yar district, said deputy provincial police chief Abdul Rashid Bashir. After an argument, the gunmen fatally shot the German and one of the Afghan men. The two other Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack.

Bashir said the German man had traveled from Herat province in the west and was heading to Bamiyan province.

Bamiyan is home to the country's first national park and is where the Taliban dynamited two giant, 1,500-year-old Buddha statues a decade ago.

Germany's Foreign Ministry in Berlin could not confirm the death.

"The German Embassy in Kabul is aware of the report and doing everything in its power, in close contact with the Afghan authorities, to clarify the matter," said a ministry spokesman who is barred from being identified under government rules.

Last month, two Germans who worked for GIZ, a German development and assistance organization, disappeared while hiking in the mountains of Parwan province. Their badly decomposed bodies were found Sept. 5 in a remote, mountainous area of the province north of Kabul. Initial reports indicated that the two agricultural advisers had been shot, but Salamg district police chief Quddus Khan said on closer inspection the Germans might have died from blunt trauma. It was unclear when they died.

Separately, the U.S.-led coalition said a NATO service member was killed Saturday during an insurgent attack in the south. NATO did not release other details.

So far this year, 440 international troops have died in Afghanistan.