Attack on Sikh temple in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, 2 injured – official

Sikhs are a small religious minority in largely Muslim Afghanistan, consisting of about 300 family members before the country’s collapse to the Taliban.

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At least two people were injured in an attack on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Saturday morning.

The temple official said, “There were about 30 people inside the temple. We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many are dead. The Taliban are not letting us in, we don’t know what to do.” Gornam Singh told Reuters.

A Taliban internal spokesman said the attackers injured two as they tried to drive a car laden with explosives into the area. He said the vehicle exploded before reaching the target and Taliban officials were guarding the scene.

It was not immediately clear who was behind the explosion.

Local broadcaster Tolo broadcast footage that showed heavy gray smoke billowing from the area.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August, but international officials and analysts say the insurgency remains at risk of a resurgence.

There have been several attacks in recent months, some of which are claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.

Sikhs are a small religious minority in largely Muslim Afghanistan, consisting of about 300 family members before the country’s collapse to the Taliban. According to community members and media reports, many had left the country in the wake of the takeover.

The Sikh community, like other religious minorities, has been the target of constant violence in Afghanistan. In 2020, 25 people died in an attack by Islamic State on another temple in Kabul.

India’s foreign ministry was “deeply concerned” about reports of the attack. “We are monitoring the situation closely and await further information on further developments,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.

Saturday’s blast follows an explosion at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz on Friday, killing one and injuring two, according to officials.