25 killed by IS terrorist attack in Afghanistan

AFP
At least 25 people were killed yesterday in an attack on a Sikh-Hindu temple in Afghanistan's capital, Kabul.
AFP

At least 25 people were killed yesterday in an attack on a Sikh-Hindu temple in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, where worshippers were offering morning prayers, the latest brutal assault claimed by the Islamic State group.

The incident highlights the country’s ongoing security crisis and comes as the impoverished nation reels from a massive cut in US aid and struggles with a raging insurgency, political deadlock and rising coronavirus cases.

Witness Raju Singh Sonny said a man dressed in a police uniform burst into the central Kabul temple, shot a guard and started attacking worshippers in the main hall.

“Several other attackers also entered the building and were going from room to room shooting people,” Sonny said.

Only a few thousand Sikhs and Hindus are thought to live in what is an overwhelmingly Muslim nation.

Interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the assault started at around 7:45am local time. There were conflicting accounts about how many gunmen were involved, with security sources giving differing numbers between one and four. At least one attacker was subsequently killed by security forces in an hours-long clearing operation.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, according to the SITE intelligence group. The Taliban denied any involvement.

Anarkali Kaur Honaryar, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament, said about 150 people had been inside the temple, where several families also live and worshippers gather for morning prayers.

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