Afghan Sikh, security guard & Taliban soldier killed in terror attack on Kabul gurdwara | India News – Times of India

ISLAMABAD/AMBALA/AMRITSAR/CHANDIGARH: A terrorist attack on the last remaining gurdwara in Kabul early Saturday morning left an Afghan Sikh, a private security guard and a Taliban soldier dead and several others injured. The attackers were killed by Taliban forces, the Afghan interior ministry said without giving details about the number of assailants. Pajhwok news agency, however, said there had been three attackers and that all three were dead.
Two of the deceased were identified by Sikhs in Kabul as Sawinder Singh (age about 60) and Ahmad, who worked as a private security guard at the gurdwara.

At least 30 members of the minority Sikh community were at the Karte Parwan Gurdwara in Kabul’s Bagh-e-Bala area when an explosives-laden vehicle blew up near the Sikh temple at about 6.30 am. Taliban officials later said the vehicle had been prevented from reaching the gurdwara.
The huge blast was followed by gunfire and multiple explosions that Taliban officials described as grenade attacks. Interior ministry spokesman Abdul Nafay Takor said Taliban forces engaged the terrorists in an hours-long gun battle. “At least one member of the Islamic Emirate forces and an Afghan Sikh national were killed,” Takor said, adding that all the attackers had been eliminated.

Armed assailants entered the gurdwara after blowing up the entrance. Gurmeet Singh, an Afghan Sikh, said from Kabul: “We could hear bomb blasts and gunshots at our home. At the time of the attack, the holy saroop of Sri Guru Granth Sahib was enshrined inside the gurdwara and daily prayers were being recited. The incident took place at about 6.30 am Kabul time.”
Gurdwara Karte Parwan president Gurnam Singh said, “Initially, we were not allowed to enter the gurdwara premises. But once the Taliban forces took control of the situation, we went there. We first shifted the holy saroop (scripture) to our home nearby. Injured people were taken to hospital. Unfortunately, we lost Sawinder Singh in this attack and a security guard.” Afghan Sikhs said the gurdwara has been severely damaged. They said the last rites of Sawinder Singh were conducted inside the gurdwara complex and the injured are still undergoing treatment.
Kabul residents said they heard several blasts and gunfire in the area. TV footage showed plumes of smoke rising from the area.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemned the “barbaric” terrorist attack in Kabul. “Shocked by the cowardly terrorist attack against the Karte Parwan Gurudwara in Kabul. I … pray for the safety and well-being of the devotees,” Modi tweeted. External affairs minister S Jaishankar also strongly condemned the “cowardly attack” and said the government was monitoring the situation closely.
In Amritsar, Akal Takht officiating jathedar Giani Harpreet Singh asked the Union government to take up the issue of the safety and evacuation of Sikhs from Afghanistan with the Afghan government. At the same time, he also asked Sikhs and Sikh bodies across the world to discuss the issue of settlement and safe evacuation of the Sikhs of Afghanistan with their respective governments.
According to community leaders, Afghanistan’s Sikh population has shrunk from what it was in the 1970s. Just before last year’s fall of the country to the Taliban, about 300 Sikhs lived in predominantly Muslim Afghanistan. Many had left the country in the wake of the takeover, community members said. Currently, about 140 Sikhs reside in Kabul. In the 1970s, over 100,000 lived in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has seen continuing attacks by rival Sunni Muslim militant group Islamic State (IS) since the Taliban took power. An attack claimed by IS at another temple in Kabul in 2020 had killed 25 Sikhs.
Saturday’s attack follows an explosion on Friday at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz that killed one and injured two. At least six people were killed last month in a similar attack on a mosque in Kabul.

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