An attack on a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital killed two Reuters

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© Reuters. View shows smoke rising, as seen from a building in Kabul, Afghanistan, June 18, 2022 in this still image obtained by Reuters from a video on social media via REUTERS

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From Mohammad Yunus Yawar

KABUL (Reuters) – An attack on a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital, Kabul, killed at least two people and injured seven on Saturday, officials said, another deadly incident in a stream of violence against minorities and places of worship.

Gray smoke rose over the area of ​​images broadcast by local television station Tolo. A Taliban spokesman said the attackers loaded the car with explosives, but it detonated before reaching its target.

“There were about 30 people in the temple,” said temple official Gornam Singh. “We do not know how many of them are alive or how many are dead.

A spokesman for the Kabul commander said his forces had taken control of the area and cleared it of attackers. A Sikh worshiper was killed in the attack and a Taliban fighter was killed during the clean-up operation, he added.

There was no immediate responsibility for the blast.

Since taking power in August, the Taliban have said they have increased security in Afghanistan and removed the country from threats from troops, although international officials and analysts say the risk of a resumption of armed forces remains.

The Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for some attacks in recent months.

Saturday’s blast was widely condemned as one in a series of attacks on minorities, with a statement from neighboring Pakistan saying its government was “seriously concerned about the recent influx of terrorist attacks on places of worship in Afghanistan”.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said in a statement that minorities in the country must be protected, and Indian President Narendra Modi said on Twitter (NYSE 🙂 that he was “shocked” by the attack.

The Sikhs are a small religious minority in predominantly Muslim Afghanistan, comprising about 300 families before the country fell to the Taliban. But many left after that, community members and the media said.

Like other religious minorities, Sikhs are a constant target of violence in Afghanistan. An attack on another temple in Kabul in 2020, which killed 25, was carried out by Islamic State.

Saturday’s blast erupted in a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz the day before, killing one person and injuring two, according to authorities.

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