Kabul: Closely armed gunmen and suicide bombers blasted their approach right into a Sikh gurdwara within the coronary heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Wednesday, killing a minimum of 25 worshippers and wounding eight others, in one of many deadliest assaults on the minority neighborhood within the strife-torn nation.
The gunmen attacked the gurdwara in Shor Bazar space at about 07:45 (native time) as 150 worshippers have been contained in the constructing, authorities stated.
“At least 25 people were killed and 8 others were wounded in the attack at Dharamshala, a Sikh worship place in Kabul,” TOLOnews quoted the Ministry of Inside as saying.
“All four suicide bombers who attacked Dharamshala, a Sikh worship area in PD1 of Kabul, were killed after nearly six hours of fighting. Afghan special forces confirmed,” it stated in a tweet.
The ministry stated in an announcement that 80 folks, together with ladies and youngsters, have been rescued from the gurdwara.
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Former president of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai strongly condemned the assault on Sikh worship place and expressed his condolences to the victims’ households, the report stated.
The ISIS terrorist group, which has focused Sikhs earlier than in Afghanistan, claimed accountability for the most recent assault.
The group issued an announcement confirming that its members carried out the assault on Sikhs in Kabul metropolis, Khaama Press Information Company reported.
Photographs from the blast scene confirmed safety forces carrying wounded folks away on stretchers. Some Afghan media retailers shared movies of the relations of victims ready exterior a metropolis hospital in tears.
Police in Kabul stated that a minimum of 11 youngsters have been rescued from the gurdwara.
Sikh lawmaker Nardendar Singh Khalisa informed reporters near the scene that as much as 150 folks have been praying contained in the gurdwara when it got here underneath assault.
The one consultant of Sikhs neighborhood in Afghanistan stated he obtained a name from a worshipper contained in the gurdwara, informing him concerning the assault.
In keeping with unconfirmed stories a minimum of 4 folks have been killed within the assault. Afghan protection forces had blocked off the realm and are attempting to counter the assault, Afghan Inside Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian has stated in an announcement.#Afghanistan
— Prasar Bharati Information Providers (@PBNS_India) March 25, 2020
“I rushed over to help. There were about 150 worshippers inside the gurdwara at the time of the attack,” Khalisa was quoted as saying by the official Bakhtar Information Company.
“Afghan forces have cleared the first floor of a Sikh worship area in PD1 of Kabul. A number of people have been rescued who were trapped inside the building,” stated Inside Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian.
Earlier, the nation’s primary militant group, the Taliban, denied involvement within the assault.
Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid stated in an announcement that the militant group had no hyperlink with the assault in Shor Bazar space of Kabul.
Battle-torn Afghanistan is presently mired in a political stalemate with two politicians- Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah – each claiming victory within the presidential election.
The US, eager to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, has been attempting to interrupt the impasse and in addition save a historic deal it signed with the Taliban militant group that’s speculated to pave the way in which for peace within the nation.
The assault comes a day after the US stated it will reduce its assist to the federal government by USD 1 billion over frustrations that the political leaders couldn’t attain an settlement and kind a staff to barter with the Taliban.
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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul on Tuesday in a bid to resolve a standoff between President Ghani and his rival Abdullah, who additionally proclaims himself president following a contested election.
Sikhs have been goal of assaults by Islamist militants earlier than in Afghanistan.
In July 2018, ISIS terrorists bombed a gathering of Sikhs and Hindus within the jap metropolis of Jalalabad, killing 19 folks and injuring 20.
Awtar Singh Khalsa, one of many nation’s best-known Sikh politicians then, was amongst these killed within the assault.