Two men, including German tourist killed in Afghanistan

Two men, including German tourist killed in Afghanistan

Unknown gunmen, thought to be criminal youths, killed a German tourist and his Afghan companion on Saturday in central Afghanistan, officials said, dpa reported.

"A German national - who introduced himself to locals as a tourist - was shot dead by two unknown gunmen in Lal Wa Sarjangal district, in Ghor province," said Abdul Rashid Bashir, the provincial deputy police chief.

He said the man's German passport had been found.

An Afghan local was also killed in the attack, Bashir said.

"The gunmen had opened fire on the SUV (sport utility vehicle) they were travelling in. Two local villagers were also injured in the attack," the police officer said.

"They were ambushed by armed men who were not Taliban insurgents, just some criminal youths," Abdullah Hewad, the governor of Ghor, told the German Press Agency dpa.

Ghor is a relatively peaceful province with minimal insurgency activity.

"The German national had come to the police headquarters this afternoon asking to get his Afghanistan visa extended," Hewad said. "The police explained to him that it is not possible to do so there. They apparently left in the afternoon."

The German and his Afghan companion were travelling overland to neighbouring Bamiyan province, he said.

"The dead body of the German tourist is in the provincial hospital in Chagcharan city," Bashir said, adding that it would be handed over to a NATO-led provincial reconstruction team within an hour.

Nobody has been detained so far, the deputy police chief added.

The killing comes just two weeks after the bodies of two German hikers, who went missing last month, were found in a mountainous region of Parwan province, neighbouring Kabul.

Nobody claimed to have killed the duo and the Taliban denied responsibility for their disappearances.

Criminal gangs not associated with the Taliban insurgents have been known to kidnap foreign tourists, but the last spate of incidents was in 2007-2009.

Two German engineers were kidnapped in July, 2007. One was killed by his captors, the other freed after 85 days.

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