Australian injured in Bamyan attack in stable condition

Joe McDowell, an Australian injured in a deadly shooting in Bamyan province in central Afghanistan, is now in stable condition in the hospital.

Six people, including three foreigners, were killed, and at least five others were injured when gunmen opened fire in a market in the city of Bamyan, about 180 kilometers west of Kabul, on Friday, May 17.

Humanitarian aid organization Emergency said five people wounded in the attack were taken to its surgical center for war victims in Kabul in the early hours of Saturday.

It confirmed an Australian was among those taken to the hospital, along with nationals from Spain, Lithuania, Norway, and Afghanistan.

“The wounded people arrived at our hospital at 3 a.m. this [Saturday] morning, about 10 hours after the incident took place,” the NGO’s country director Dejan Panic said in a statement. “The Afghan national was the most critically injured, but all patients are now stable.”

The organization said it continues to treat patients injured in attacks around the country despite the security situation improving after the Taliban returned to power in 2021.

Jibra’il Omar, an Australian academic previously known as Timothy Weeks, posted a photo with McDowell on the social media platform X.

“Today I visited my Australian brother, Joe McDowell, who is well and is now in Kabul,” he wrote in Persian, adding that McDowell thanked Afghanistan for its support.

The bodies of three Spanish tourists and three Afghans who were killed were transported to Kabul, the Taliban government said.

Anne-France Brill, one of the dozen foreign travelers on an organized tour, escaped unhurt. She described the terrifying seconds when a gunman on foot approached the group’s vehicles and opened fire.

“There was blood everywhere,” she told AFP from Dubai, where she landed on Saturday after being evacuated from Kabul.