Kabul (Afghanistan) | Jagran News Desk: India has strongly condemned the terror attack on a gurudwara in Afghanistan's Kabul and said that targeting of a religious place in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak reflects the "diabolical mindset" of the perpetrators and their backers.

"India stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the affected families of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan. Such cowardly attacks on the places of religious worship of the minority community, especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic, is reflective of the diabolical mindset of the perpetrators and their backers," Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

At least 27 people were killed and several others were injured after some armed militants stormed a Sikh gurudwara in Afghanistan's Kabul on Wednesday.

According to reports, the gunmen stormed the temple in the first Police District of Kabul city at 7:45 am and security forces in sharp reaction cordoned off the area and tried to clean the temple from the attacking insurgents.

"At least 11 people have been killed and 11 others wounded in attack at Dharamshala, a Sikh worship area in PD1 of Kabul," Afghanistan security official said, as quoted by TOLO news.

"Three attackers are still fighting with security forces and one has been shot. Foreign troops have also responded to the attack on Dharamshala, a Sikh temple in PD1," the official added.

The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the attack, according to media reports. 

The security forces have cordoned off the area, located in old Kabul, and are trying to counter the attack. They are locked in a continuing battle with the gunmen.

The Afghanistan officials also said that 11 children have been rescued from the gurudwara. According to some reports, 150 people were inside the gurudwara when the attack took place.

 

"Afghan forces have cleared the first floor of a Sikh worship area in PD1 of Kabul, where suicide bombers are battling security forces," Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian was quoted as saying by TOLO news.

"A number of people have been rescued who were trapped inside the building," he said.

Meanwhile, the Taliban -- which recently signed a peace deal with the US in Qatar's Dohar -- has denied its involvement in the attack.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that the militant group had no link with the attack in Shor Bazar area of Kabul, Khama News agency reported.

Sikhs have been the target of attack by Islamist militants before in Afghanistan. Two years ago, the Islamic State group targeted a Sikh gathering in Afghanistan, killing 19 people. 

 

(With agency inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma