KABUL, Afghanistan — Militants stormed a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital on Saturday, leaving a number of folks lifeless and others wounded, and stoking already heightened considerations among the many nation’s non secular minorities about whether or not the brand new Taliban authorities will be capable of defend them from rising violence by extremist teams.
The assault, which lasted over an hour, was the primary to focus on the nation’s Sikh group because the Taliban seized energy final summer time. It was the newest in a sequence of bloody terrorist assaults that since April have killed over 100 folks, predominantly civilians among the many nation’s Shiite and Sufi minorities.
Abdul Nafi Takor, an Inside Ministry spokesman, stated that one Taliban safety member concerned in stopping the assault and that one civilian had been killed; he additionally stated that seven different folks had been injured. A physician from a close-by army hospital, who spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of he was not approved to talk to the information media, stated the hospital had acquired the our bodies of six worshipers killed on the temple.
The current bloodshed has upended a relative calm that got here after the collapse of the Western-backed authorities in August, which ended 20 years of conflict, and has raised questions on whether or not the brand new Taliban authorities will be capable of make good on its hallmark pledge of offering safety.
The assault on Saturday started about 6:30 a.m. when a bunch of armed males threw a grenade at a guard exterior the temple within the Karte Parwan neighborhood of Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, according to Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police. The lads then rushed inside, the place roughly 25 folks had gathered to worship, Gurnam Singh, the president of the temple, stated in an interview.
Reporting From Afghanistan
“I used to be at dwelling,” Mr. Singh stated, “and once I was about to go to the temple, I heard gunshots and explosions.”
A automotive bomb — the goal of which seemed to be the temple — was additionally detonated close by, based on Taliban officers.
The Taliban authorities condemned the assault on Saturday and pledged to offer justice to the victims. The federal government “expresses its condolences to the households of the victims and assures that severe measures shall be taken to determine and punish the perpetrators of this crime,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, wrote on Twitter.
No group has but claimed accountability for the assault on Saturday, however it follows a pattern of comparable assaults carried out in current months by the Islamic State’s affiliate in Afghanistan.
The spate of assaults has challenged the Taliban’s claims that they’ve extinguished the risk from ISIS within the nation and strengthened considerations a couple of resurgence of extremist teams in Afghanistan that might finally pose a global risk.
This 12 months, United Nations consultants warned that terrorist teams had been having fun with extra freedom in Afghanistan because the Taliban seized energy “than at any time in current historical past.” One other current report by a United Nations panel of consultants warned that Taliban officers had been sustaining shut ties with Al Qaeda.
The blast on Saturday rattled Afghanistan’s Hindu and Sikh communities, minorities which were oppressed for many years and have been continuously attacked in recent times. As soon as numbering within the lots of of hundreds, only some hundred Hindus and Sikhs stay within the nation at present, based on group leaders.
Mr. Singh warned that the assault on Saturday could push the remaining few to go away the nation, too — primarily extinguishing the group in Afghanistan.
“We’ve got been focused many occasions previously, and we thought the scenario would change with the approaching of the Taliban, however it didn’t,” Mr. Singh stated. “We’re all despondent with what occurred, and perhaps everybody will go away Afghanistan tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. What to do right here?”
Christina Goldbaum reported from Kabul, and Najim Rahim from Houston. Yaqoob Akbary contributed reporting from Kabul.