Two killed in attack on Sikh temple in Afghan capital Kabul


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

All seven gunmen were killed after a standoff that lasted several hours in the temple complex, Zadran said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

A member of the security forces and a Sikh worshiper were killed in the attack, the state news agency Bakhtar said.

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 still alive or how many are dead,” he said, adding that the temple authorities didn’t know what to do because the Taliban wouldn’t let them in.

Sikhs are a small religious minority in Afghanistan, and very few remain since the Taliban takeover last year.

Religious minority groups such as the Sikhs are the target of violence in the country. In 2020, 25 people were killed in an attack on another Sikh temple in Kabul, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.

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

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

The European Union ambassador to Afghanistan said the attack is horrific and that “religious (and ethnic) pluralism must be protected with full force”.

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

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