11 dead as gunmen storm Kabul’s gurdwara, India condemns attack

Afghan forces have cleared the first floor of the gurdwara, reports claimed

kabul AP/PTI

India has strongly condemned the attack on the oldest gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital city of Kabul. Early Wednesday morning, gunmen stormed the building located in the old city, killing 11 people, according to reports. The fight between the Afghan security forces and the gunmen is still on.

The attack comes at a time when the Taliban and the US are negotiating the release of 5,000 prisoners as part of the US-Taliban deal. So far, the Taliban has denied any responsibility for the attack on the gurdwara.

Not the first time that the Sikh community has been targeted in the country, the attack on the shrine highlights their vulnerability. Videos circulating on social media suggest that there are people still trapped in the building.

“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,”said a statement put out by the ministry of external affairs. “We commend the brave Afghan security forces for their exemplary courage,'' the release read.

The attack also helps strengthen position on the Citizens Amendment Act (CAA), as it suggests that minorities like Sikhs in neighbouring countries are a target of attack. Minister of Urban Development Hardeep Puri was the first to strongly condemn the attack. “Suicide attack on a Gurdwara Sahib in Kabul needs to be strongly condemned. Those killings are a grim reminder of atrocities that continue to be inflicted upon religious minorities in some countries and the urgency with which their lives and religious freedom have to be safeguarded.''

While it is not clear who is behind the attack, a report by AFP suggested that the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

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