At least two people were killed and seven injured on Saturday in an attack on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, officials said, but responsibility was not immediately claimed.
Gray smoke covered the area in photos broadcast by the domestic broadcaster weigh, A Taliban internal spokesman said the attackers had loaded a car loaded with explosives but it detonated before reaching the target.
He said Taliban officials were guarding the site.
“There were around 30 people inside the temple,” said Gornam Singh, a temple official. “We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many are dead.”
Temple officials didn’t know what to do as the Taliban were not letting them in, Singh said. Reuters,
A spokesman for the Kabul commander said his forces had taken control of the area and removed the attackers. He said a Sikh worshiper was killed in the attack and a Taliban fighter was killed during a clean-up operation.
Since taking power in August, the Taliban say they have secured Afghanistan, although international officials and analysts say the insurgency remains at risk of a resurgence.
Some of the attacks in recent months have been claimed by the Islamic State terrorist group.
Sikhs are a small religious minority in largely Muslim Afghanistan, comprising about 300 families before the country’s fall to the Taliban. But many later left, say members of the community and the media.
Like other religious minorities, Sikhs have been the target of constant violence in Afghanistan. One assault In another temple in Kabul in 2020, Islamic State claimed that 25 people were killed.
Pakistan strongly condemned the terrorist attack.
“Pakistan is deeply concerned about the recent incidents of terrorist attacks on religious places in Afghanistan,” the Foreign Office said in a statement.
“Yesterday, terrorists targeted the Imam Sahib Mosque in Kunduz, killing and injuring many worshipers. These acts of terrorism targeting religious places are completely counterproductive.”
It reiterated its condemnation of terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”.
“We express strong solidarity with the people of Afghanistan and support all efforts of the Afghan authorities in fighting the threat of terrorism and ensuring the safety of all our citizens.”
Amnesty International South Asia also condemned the “reprehensible attack” against the Hindu and Sikh communities. It said the incident reflected a trend of serious “increasing attacks” against minority groups in the country.
It added: “The Taliban, as de facto authorities, are responsible for the security of minority communities and their places of worship. They must conduct a thorough investigation of the attacks, which must be in line with international law and standards.
Afghan Hindus and Sikhs are the smallest minority groups, most of whom have already left Afghanistan for fear of persecution.
Saturday’s eruption is a explosion According to officials, one person was killed and two were injured at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz the previous day.