Seven assailants tried to storm the temple in the early hours of Saturday morning, throwing grenades at security guards standing at the entrance. The attackers also detonated a car bomb in the area, but there are no reports of casualties.
All seven gunmen were killed in a clash that lasted several hours at the temple complex, Zadran said. There was no immediate responsibility.
A member of the security forces and a Sikh worshiper were killed in the attack, according to the state-run Bakhtar news agency.
Temple official Gornam Singh told Reuters that 30 people were inside the temple during the attack. “We don’t know how many are alive or how many are dead,” he said, adding that temple officials were wondering what to do as the Taliban did not let them in.
The Sikhs are a small religious minority in Afghanistan, with very few remaining after the Taliban takeover last year.
Religious minority groups such as the Sikhs have been targeted for violence in the country. In 2020, 25 people were killed in an attack on another Sikh temple in Kabul, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack, tweeting that “attacks on civilians must end immediately. UNAMA is calling for the protection of all minorities in Afghanistan, including Sikhs, Khazars and Sufis.”
The European Union’s ambassador to Afghanistan said the attack was terrible and “religious (and ethnic) pluralism must be fully defended.”
India’s foreign ministry said it was “deeply concerned by reports from Kabul of an attack on Saint Gurudwara in that city”.