Unidentified gunmen and suicide bombers stormed a Sikh gurdwara in the heart of Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least 27 worshippers and wounding as many, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority community in the country, according to media reports. Eight people were injured in the attack.
Meanwhile, all the four terrorists have been killed by Afghan security forces.
The gunmen attacked the gurdwara in Shor Bazar area at about 7:45 a.m. (local time). Around 150 people were reportedly worshipping in the gurdwara at the time of the attack.
Kabul police earlier said that at least 11 children were rescued from the gurdwara.
Sikh lawmaker Nardendar Singh Khalisa told reporters close to the scene that up to 150 people were praying inside the gurdwara when it came under attack.
India has condemned the heinous terror attack on the gurdwara in Kabul and said such “cowardly attacks especially at this time of COVID 19 pandemic is reflective of diabolical mindset of perpetrators, their backers”.
We strongly condemns the heinous terror attack on a Gurudwara in Kabul.
Such cowardly attacks on places of worship of minority community especially at this time is reflective of the diabolical mindset of the perpetrators & their backers. @IndianEmbKabul
— Raveesh Kumar (@MEAIndia) March 25, 2020
“We convey our sincerest condolences to the immediate family members of the deceased and wish speedy recovery to the injured. India stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the affected families of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
India, meanwhile, commend the brave Afghan security forces for their valorous response to the attack and their exemplary courage and dedication to protect the Afghan people and secure the country.
The ministry added that India stands in solidarity with the people, the Government and the security forces of Afghanistan in their efforts for bringing peace and security to the country.
Reacting to the terror attack, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri on Wednesday tweeted, “Suicide attack on a Gurudwara Sahib in Kabul needs to be strongly condemned. These killings are a grim reminder of atrocities that continue to be inflicted upon religious minorities in some countries and the urgency with which their lives and religious freedom have to be safeguarded.”
Suicide attack on a Gurudwara Sahib in Kabul needs to be strongly condemned. These killings are a grim reminder of atrocities that continue to be inflicted upon religious minorities in some countries & the urgency with which their lives & religious freedom have to be safeguarded. pic.twitter.com/yQM3u41dVI
— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) March 25, 2020
The Ashraf Ghani government has blamed the Pakistan-backed Haqqani network for the terror attack.
However, the Taliban, has denied involvement in the attack on the Sikh shrine. Though the US and Taliban have signed a peace deal, violence in Afghanistan remains unabated.