Gunmen and suicide bombers raided a Sikh spiritual complicated in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, killing 25 individuals earlier than safety forces killed all the attackers, the federal government stated.
The Islamic State militant group claimed accountability for the attack in a press release. Sikhs have been the goal of assaults by Islamist militants earlier than in South Asia. Their group in Afghanistan numbers fewer than 300 households.
Several hours after the early morning attack was launched, Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian stated an operation by the safety forces was over and all the attackers had been killed. He didn’t say what number of.
The ministry stated 25 individuals who had been in the spiritual compound had been killed, eight wounded and 80 rescued.
Narender Singh Khalsa, a member of parliament who represents the tiny Sikh group, stated he had had experiences that as much as 200 individuals had been trapped in the temple in the course of the attack.
“Three suicide bombers entered a dharamsala,” he stated, referring to a sanctuary space in a temple compound. “The gunmen began their attack at a time when the dharamsala was filled with worshippers.”
Outside, households gathered and girls cried as they waited to seek out out the destiny of their family.
In the late 1980s, there have been about 500,000 Sikhs scattered throughout Afghanistan, many from households that had been there for generations, however most fled after years of civil battle and the rise of the Taliban.
A Taliban spokesperson, in a message on Twitter, denied accountability for the attack.
Afghanistan’s neighbours condemn attack
Human rights activists and international locations together with the United States, India and Pakistan condemned the attack.
“We are shocked and disheartened … the authorities have a accountability to guard minorities and their locations of worship in Afghanistan,” Amnesty International South Asia stated on Twitter.
Afghanistan: We are shocked and disheartened to see the attack in opposition to the Sikh minority right now in Kabul. They are a small spiritual group in Afghanistan who had been persecuted by the Taliban when the was in energy.
“Such despicable acts haven’t any political, spiritual or ethical justification and have to be rejected outright,” a Pakistani overseas ministry assertion stated.
India stated the attack was notably egregious coming as Afghanistan sought to cope with the rising coronavirus pandemic.
“Such cowardly assaults on the locations of non secular worship of the minority group,” India stated, replicate the “diabolical mindset of the perpetrators and their backers.”
In 2018, a suicide bombing focusing on the Sikh group and claimed by Islamic State killed greater than a dozen individuals in the jap Afghan metropolis of Jalalabad.
The United States final month struck a cope with the Taliban on the withdrawal of U.S.-led worldwide troops however the settlement doesn’t embrace Islamic State militants.
The attack got here a day after the United States stated it might lower support to the federal government by $1 billion over frustrations that feuding political leaders couldn’t attain settlement and kind a crew to barter with the Taliban.
An official with Afghanistan’s NATO mission stated the response to the attack had been led and executed by Afghan forces however they’d obtained some recommendation and help from NATO.