Kabul: attack on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan kills two

Seven assailants attempted to storm the temple in the early hours of Saturday morning, throwing grenades at security guards standing at the entrance. The attackers also detonated a car bomb in the area, but no casualties were reported in the blast.

The seven gunmen were killed after a confrontation that lasted several hours inside the temple compound, Zadran said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack killed a member of the security forces and a Sikh worshipper, according to the state-run Bakhtar news agency.

Temple official Gornam Singh told Reuters that 30 people were inside the temple at the time of the attack. “We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many are dead,” he said, adding that temple authorities did not know what to do because the Taliban were not allowing them to enter.

Sikhs are a tiny religious minority in Afghanistan, very few left since the Taliban took power last year.

Minority religious groups like the Sikhs have been targets of violence in the country. In 2020, 25 people were killed in an attack on another Sikh temple in Kabul, for which Islamic State claimed responsibility.

A man pours water over smoldering ashes inside a house damaged when an explosive-laden vehicle exploded in an attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack, writing in a tweet that “attacks on civilians must stop immediately. UNAMA calls for the protection of all minorities in Afghanistan, including the Sikhs, Hazaras and Sufis”.

The European Union ambassador to Afghanistan said the attack was terrible and that “religious (and ethnic) pluralism must be protected with all its might”.

India’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply concerned at reports from Kabul of an attack on a holy Gurudwara in that city.”


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