Tuesday, Nov 29, 2022
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Two Killed, Seven Injured In Blasts In Sikh Gurdwara In Afghanistan's Kabul

The Taliban said another attack at the gurdwara was thwarted as an explosive-laden vehicle was stopped from reaching the gurdwara by security personnel.

Inside the Gurdwara Sahib in Karte Parwan, Kabul, Afghanistan
Inside the Gurdwara Sahib in Karte Parwan, Kabul, Afghanistan

Two people were killed and seven were injured in a series of blasts at a Sikh gurdwara in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday. The dead include a Taliban militant and an Afghan Sikh national. 

The Karta Parwan area of Kabul, where the gurdwara is located, is a centre for Afghan Hindu and Sikh communities. Gunfire was also reported from the area.

Karte Parwan Gurdwara was attacked early on Saturday morning and a gun battle between the terrorists and Taliban fighters ensued, said Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Interior Ministry. 

He added that the attackers were killed but did not give exact details about the number of the attackers. He further said that another attack at the gurdwara was thwarted as an explosive-laden vehicle was stopped from reaching the gurdwara by security personnel.

There were 30 people inside the gurdwara when blasts ripped it, as per the BBC. Residents said they heard several blasts and gunfire in the area.

Gurnam Singh, the president of the Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita Guru Gobind Singh Karte Parwan, confirmed the attack to The Indian Express. He said, "Gunmen have opened fire in the gurdwara. We are on the other side of the building right now. Some people are suspected to be dead, but details will be clear only when we move inside."

"We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurudwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments," the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi tweeted.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann on Saturday strongly condemned the attack on a gurdwara in Kabul and urged the Centre to extend immediate assistance to ensure the safety of minorities in the Afghan capital.

BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, "Terrifying visuals from Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul, Afghanistan which was attacked by terrorists early morning today. Multiple blasts were reported at Gurdwara Sahib premises. Praying for peace and safety for all in Gurdwara Sahib."

BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said, "Terrifying visuals from Gurdwara Karte Parwan in Kabul, Afghanistan which was attacked by terrorists early morning today. Multiple blasts were reported at Gurdwara Sahib premises. Praying for peace and safety for all in Gurdwara Sahib."

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. Earlier, the ISIS group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP) has claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across Afghanistan.

"We heard a huge blast in Kart-e-Parwan neighbourhood at around 6 a.m. local time. The blast was followed by another explosion which occurred about half an hour after the first blast. The whole place has now been sealed off," China's state-run Xinhua news agency quoted an eyewitness as saying. 

In March 2020, at least 25 worshippers were killed and eight others were injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed a prominent gurudwara in the heart of Kabul in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority Sikh community in the country. The ISIS had claimed responsibility for the attack in the Shor Bazar area.

There were less than 700 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan at the time of the 2020 attack. Since then, dozens of families have left but many cannot financially afford to move and have remained in Afghanistan, mainly in Kabul, Jalalabad and Ghazni, according to AP.

Now there are around 150 Sikhs left in the country, according to The Express. 

(With PTI Inputs)

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