Casualties reported amid attack on Sikh temple in Kabul

The temple in Afghanistan’s capital was targeted by unidentified gunmen

An unknown group of assailants invaded the Sikh temple in Kabul Saturday morning. The area was reportedly roiled by gunfire and loud explosions, according to witnesses.

Images posted to social media showed thick plumes of smoke rising from the spot where the temple is believed to be located. Media reports claim that the temple complex was set on fire by the attackers. This reportedly led to a shootout among temple guards and assailants.

Gornam Singh, a local temple official told reporters that there were dozens of people inside the building when it was attacked. “There were around 30 people inside the temple. We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many dead. The Taliban are not allowing us to go inside, we don’t know what to do,”He said it, according to Reuters.

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The site of a roadside bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 2021. © Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/Anadolu/Getty Images
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According to a Taliban spokesperson for interior affairs, the attackers attempted to drive an explosive-laden vehicle into the temple building. But it was stopped by the Taliban. According to him, the Taliban has now secured the site. According to Taliban, at least two persons were hurt in this incident.

The Hindu received information from President, India World Forum Puneet Singh Chandhoke, that two were among the victims of the attack. The fate of others is unknown. He added that some individuals were transported to the hospital. Indian media reports that the attackers killed a security officer and an elderly male. Taliban have not identified any suspects. Indian media claims that the Islamic State, also known as ISIS (previously ISIS), may be responsible.

Before the Taliban tookover in 2001, there was a few hundred Sikhs living in this predominantly Muslim country. According to The Hindu, while some Sikhs fled the country since then, the Kabul temple remains the heart of the 150-strong local community.

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A Taliban fighter stands on guard outside an United Nations distribution center on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan, October 28, 2021.
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Chandhoke stated that the India World Forum requested visas be issued by the Indian government to allow the Sikhs remaining in Afghanistan. Indian media reported that hundreds of Sikhs were evacuated from New Delhi by special aircraft last year.

24 people were killed in an attack that took place in March 2020 on Kabul’s temple. It was also blamed for IS.

Afghanistan was the victim of several attacks, including on hospitals and mosques, since US forces left Afghanistan in August. In November 2021, a high-ranking Taliban commander was killed in an attack on Kabul’s military hospital.

Both the US and UN warned of Al-Qaeda and Islamic State growing in power after the Taliban took control.



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