Assault at Sikh Temple in Afghanistan Kills A number of Individuals

KABUL, Afghanistan — Militants stormed a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday, leaving a number of individuals useless and others wounded, and stoking already heightened issues among the many nation’s spiritual minorities about whether or not the brand new Taliban authorities will be capable of shield them from rising violence by extremist teams.

The assault, which lasted over an hour, was the primary to focus on the nation’s Sikh group because the Taliban seized energy final summer season. It was the newest in a sequence of bloody terrorist assaults that since April have killed over 100 individuals, predominantly civilians among the many nation’s Shiite and Sufi minorities.

Abdul Nafi Takor, an Inside Ministry spokesman, mentioned that one Taliban safety member concerned in stopping the assault and that one civilian have been killed; he additionally mentioned that seven different individuals have been injured. A physician from a close-by navy hospital, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to talk to the information media, mentioned the hospital had obtained the our bodies of six worshipers killed on the temple.

The current bloodshed has upended a relative calm that got here after the collapse of the Western-backed authorities in August, which ended 20 years of battle, and has raised questions on whether or not the brand new Taliban authorities will be capable of make good on its hallmark pledge of offering safety.

The assault on Saturday started about 6:30 a.m. when a bunch of armed males threw a grenade at a guard outdoors the temple within the Karte Parwan neighborhood of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, in accordance with Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police. The boys then rushed inside, the place roughly 25 individuals had gathered to worship, Gurnam Singh, the president of the temple, mentioned in an interview.

“I used to be at house,” Mr. Singh mentioned, “and after I was about to go to the temple, I heard gunshots and explosions.”

A automobile bomb — the goal of which gave the impression to be the temple — was additionally detonated close by, in accordance with Taliban officers.

The Taliban authorities condemned the assault on Saturday and pledged to offer justice to the victims. The federal government “expresses its condolences to the households of the victims and assures that critical measures can be taken to establish and punish the perpetrators of this crime,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, wrote on Twitter.

No group has but claimed accountability for the assault on Saturday, nevertheless it follows a pattern of comparable assaults carried out in current months by the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan.

The spate of assaults has challenged the Taliban’s claims that they’ve extinguished the risk from ISIS within the nation and strengthened issues a couple of resurgence of extremist teams in Afghanistan that would finally pose a world risk.

This yr, United Nations consultants warned that terrorist teams had been having fun with extra freedom in Afghanistan because the Taliban seized energy “than at any time in current historical past.” One other current report by a United Nations panel of consultants warned that Taliban officers had been sustaining shut ties with Al Qaeda.

The blast on Saturday rattled Afghanistan’s Hindu and Sikh communities, minorities which were oppressed for many years and have been incessantly attacked in recent times. As soon as numbering within the a whole bunch of hundreds, only some hundred Hindus and Sikhs stay within the nation at this time, in accordance with group leaders.

Mr. Singh warned that the assault on Saturday might push the remaining few to depart the nation, too — basically extinguishing the group in Afghanistan.

“We’ve got been focused many instances previously, and we thought the state of affairs would change with the approaching of the Taliban, nevertheless it didn’t,” Mr. Singh mentioned. “We’re all despondent with what occurred, and perhaps everybody will go away Afghanistan tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. What to do right here?”

Christina Goldbaum reported from Kabul, and Najim Rahim from Houston. Yaqoob Akbary contributed reporting from Kabul.

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