German shot dead in Afghanistan: local officials

24th September 2011, Comments 0 comments

A German tourist was shot dead by armed motorcyclists while travelling in central Afghanistan Saturday, local officials said.

The man was killed alongside an Afghan companion in the usually stable central Afghan province of Ghor.

The incident came in the same month that two German nationals were found dead after apparently going climbing in mountains north of the Afghan capital Kabul.

The deputy police chief of Ghor, Abdul Rashid, told AFP that the tourist made his fatal journey to a forested area despite being told that safety there could not be guaranteed.

"We said we cannot guarantee their security but later we learned they had gone to to Dawlatyar district in an SUV vehicle and that armed men had opened fire on their vehicle," he said.

"The German tourist and one local villager have been killed and two other Afghans who were apparently the guides have been injured."

He added that the body of the German national was being brought to the capital Kabul.

Provincial governor Abdullah Haiwad said the party was attacked by two armed motorcyclists.

The German embassy in Kabul was not immediately reachable for comment.

Ghor provincial spokesman Abdul Hai Khatibi also confirmed the incident but did not know the nationality of the victim.

"One foreigner has been killed and two Afghan companions were injured when they were attacked by armed men in Dawlatyar district today at around 3:00pm (1030 GMT)," he said.

"We have reports that their vehicle was attacked by armed men. The body of the foreigner has been brought to the the provincial capital Chaghcharan. We are trying to identify it."

Afghanistan's Taliban-led insurgency has been raging for ten years since a US-led invasion in 2001, making most of the country highly dangerous for Western tourists.

Germany forms the third-largest contingent of foreign troops in war-torn Afghanistan, with some 5,400 soldiers in the north under NATO command. There are around 140,000 foreign forces in Afghanistan in total.

Earlier this month, the bodies of two Germans were found after they went missing near the Salang Pass in August.

They had set out to go climbing in the famous Hindu Kush range around 100 kilometres (60 miles) north of Kabul.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said an examination of the bodies had led officials to believe "with a likelihood bordering on certitude" that the two were the missing Germans.

German media identified the pair as Siegbert S., 69, and Willi E., 59, and said they were members of an aid group who had been kidnapped to be robbed.

© 2011 AFP

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