Kabul: Multiple blasts in gurdwara after gunmen kill guard
At least two explosions were reported from a gurdwara in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday. A group of gunmen also opened fire in the gurdwara in the Karte Parwan area, the president of the Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita Guru Gobind Singh confirmed. The security forces have cordoned off the busy area around the gurdwara and the number of casualties is yet to be known.
The Indian Express quoted Rajya Sabha MP from Punjab, Vikramjit Singh Sahney, as saying that gunmen who attacked the Kabul gurdwara are probably from the Daesh group. They are said to be rivals of the Taliban. "Now Taliban fighters have also reached and a fight is ongoing between them," said Sahney, adding four people from the gurdwara were missing, while the rest were safe.
News agency ANI reported that the attacks started at 7:15 am local time (8:30 am IST). The guard of the gurdwara was shot dead and three Taliban soldiers were wounded. Meanwhile, three attackers were cornered by the soldiers. Nearly eight persons are believed to be trapped inside the gurdwara even as three have come out. Two of them have been taken to the hospital.
An estimated 140 Sikhs remain in Afghanistan, mostly in Kabul and Jalalabad, after the Taliban assumed power last year. "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 Ministry of External Affairs tweeted.
A Taliban-appointed spokesperson for the Interior Ministry, Abdul Nafi Takor, confirmed the attack, but did not mention casualties, The Associated Press reported. No terror group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. The Islamic State group, known as the Islamic State in Khorasan Province, had in the past claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across the Taliban-ruled country.
On June 11, a blast hit the Batkhak Square in Kabul. On May 25, three explosions rocked the capital of Balkh province, leaving at least nine people killed and 15 others injured. On the same day, a blast at Masjid Sharif Hazrat Zakaria mosque in Kabul killed two. In March 2020, an attack at Kabul's Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib gurdwara killed 27 Sikhs.