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Multiple explosions and gunfire tore through a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing one person and injuring seven others, a Taliban official said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Gunmen attacked the Sikh place of worship, known as gurdwara, in Kabul and a shootout between the assailants and Taliban fighters ensued, said Abdul Nafi Takor, spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Taliban appointed interior.
He said a vehicle full of explosives exploded outside the temple, but there were no casualties. “The gunmen first threw a hand grenade which caused a fire near the door,” he said.
Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for Kabul’s police chief, said the police operation ended after the last attacker was killed hours later. He did not specify the number of attackers involved.
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Zadran said a Sikh was killed and seven others injured in the attack and a member of the Taliban security forces was also killed in the rescue operation.
“Security forces were able to act quickly to control the attack and eliminate the attackers in a short time to avoid further casualties,” he said.
Videos posted on social media show plumes of black smoke rising from the temple in Kabul’s Bagh-e Bala neighborhood and gunfire can be heard.
A regional affiliate of the Islamic State group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan province has recently increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country.
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The IS affiliate, which has been operating in Afghanistan since 2014, is seen as the biggest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban leadership. Since seizing power in Kabul and elsewhere in the country last August, the Taliban have launched a massive crackdown against IS in eastern Afghanistan.
In March 2020, a lone Islamic State gunman ransacked a Sikh temple in Kabul, killing 25 worshippers, including a child, and injuring eight others. As many as 80 worshipers were trapped inside the gurdwara as the gunman threw grenades and fired an automatic rifle into the crowd.
There were fewer than 700 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan at the time of the 2020 attack. Since then, dozens of families have left, but many do not have the financial means to move and have remained in Afghanistan, mostly in Kabul , Jalalabad and Ghazni.
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