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25 dead in ISIS raid on Kabul Sikh temple

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: At least 25 people have been killed and more than 8 wounded, after a suicide attacker stormed a Sikh worshipping site in Kabul on Wednesday, the Ministry of Interior has said, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority community in the country.

The Islamic State terrorist group have said they carried out the attack, the deadliest for months. But sources in the government blame Haqqani terrorist network for the attack.

A terrorist stormed a Sikh temple in Shor Bazar area at around 7:45 am in Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 25 minority Sikh people and other civilians and wounding 8, said spokesperson to the Ministry of Interior, Tariq Arian. As many as 150 Sikh worshippers are said to have been inside the building.

Shortly after the attack, Afghan forces took to the area and killed the assailant after nearly six hours of siege that killed 25 people, he added, Security forces rescued more than 80 Sikh worshippers including women and children who were trapped.

Earlier this month, the Taliban attacked a ceremony marking the anniversary of Jihadi leaders Abdul Ali Mazari, killing more than 27 people.

This the latest in a wave of terrorist attacks on worshipping sites including mosques and temples in Afghanistan. Similar terrorist attacks happened before. Over the past years, the Taliban had bombed or attacked several mosques, killing tens of worshippers.

The attack drew ire domestically and internationally. Dr. Abdullah in a tweet voiced deep sadness over the terrorist attack on Sikh minority community. “The atrocity against this peaceful community is unconscionable. Afghanistan is a rich and colorful multicultural country. Evildoers will fail to destroy it. We will spare no effort to bring the culprits to justice,” he said.

National Security Advisor Hamdullah Mohib in tweeter said that “I strongly condemn the terrorist attack on our Sikh sisters and brothers in Kabul and condole with the victims. This attack shows why a comprehensive ceasefire is a need and why we insisted on a peace process that puts an end to all forms of violence against the Afghan people. “I applaud the valor and professionalism demonstrated by our ANDSF in the face of terror rescuing worshipers, women and children.”

Spokesperson for the President, Sediq Sediqi, in a tweet said, “Yet another heartless, cowardly terrorist attack on a worshipping place in Kabul. The Afghan government strongly condemns today’s senseless attack on Sikh temple. Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this heinous act.”

Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in tweeter while condemning the attack over Sikh temple, expressed concerns over continuation of systematic attack on minority religious in the country.

U.S Embassy in Kabul in tweeter said that “our condolences to the families and victims in today’s attack against the Sikh temple. We strongly condemn these fanatics and criminals who target a house of worship to harm innocents. Peace will only come when people resolve their differences through words, not guns.”

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