KABUL: A minimum of 25 individuals wereThe assault highlights nation’s killed on Wednesday in an assault on a Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital the place worshippers have been providing morning prayers, the most recent brutal assault claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group.
The incident highlights the nation’s ongoing safety disaster and comes because the impoverished nation reels from a large reduce in US help and struggles with a raging insurgency, political impasse, and rising coronavirus instances.
Pakistan condemned the assault and mentioned there may very well be no justification for such an assault. In an announcement, its International Workplace expressed solidarity with the individuals of Afghanistan.
A witness to the assault, Singh Sonny, mentioned a person wearing a police uniform burst into the temple in central Kabul, shot a guard and began attacking worshippers in the principle corridor.
“Several other attackers also entered the building and they were going from room to room shooting people,” Sonny mentioned.
Only some thousand Sikhs and Hindus are estimated to reside in what’s an overwhelmingly Muslim nation. Inside ministry spokesman Tariq Arian mentioned the assault began round 7:45am. There have been conflicting accounts about what number of gunmen have been concerned, with safety sources giving differing numbers between one and 4.
A minimum of one attacker was subsequently killed by safety forces in an hours-long clearing operation.
IS claimed accountability for the assault, in line with the SITE intelligence group. The Taliban denied any involvement.
Anarkali Kaur Honaryar, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament, mentioned on the time of the assault about 150 individuals have been within the temple, the place worshippers collect for morning prayers.
“Some people inside the temple are hiding and their phones are off,” Honaryar mentioned whereas the assault was persevering with.
Arian mentioned 25 civilians had been killed and eight others wounded, whereas 80 individuals had been rescued from the temple. Graphic photographs posted on-line confirmed a number of our bodies in addition to terrified individuals who gave the impression to be Sikhs working from the scene.
IS has a historical past of concentrating on Afghan Sikhs and Hindus, together with a suicide bombing in Jalalabad in July 2018 that killed 19 individuals and wounded 21.
In current months, the militant group has suffered mounting setbacks after being hunted by US and Afghan forces in addition to Taliban offensives concentrating on their fighters, however it nonetheless retains the power to launch main assaults on city centres.
Earlier this month, the group killed 32 individuals and wounded dozens extra in an assault at a political gathering in Kabul.
So as to add to Afghanistan’s woes, Washington slashed the quantity of help to the nation this week after President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who has additionally proclaimed himself president, didn’t resolve their standoff.
Following a go to to Kabul, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo mentioned the US would instantly reduce $1 billion and was ready to tug one other $1bn in 2021, with additional cuts potential.
Weighing in on the matter, the International Workplace mentioned: “Pakistan strongly condemns the heinous terrorist attack on a gurdwara in Kabul that has resulted in the loss of precious lives and injuries to several worshippers. Such despicable attacks have no political, religious or moral justification and must be rejected outright.”
“Our hearts go out to the families who have lost their loved ones in this inhuman act and we pray for the swiftest recovery of the injured. We also express our abiding solidarity with the fraternal people of Afghanistan,” the assertion mentioned.
“Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. All places of worship are sacrosanct and their sanctity must be respected at all times,” it added.
Baqir Sajjad Syed contributed to this report
Revealed in Daybreak, March 26th, 2020