ISIS Claims Attack on Sikh Temple in Kabul That Killed 2

By Reuters
June 19, 2022Afghanistan
ISIS Claims Attack on Sikh Temple in Kabul That Killed 2
A general view of the site where an explosive-laden vehicle detonated amidst an attack on a Sikh Temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, on June 18, 2022. (Ali Khara/Reuters)

KABUL—The ISIS terrorist group claimed an attack on a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital Kabul on Saturday. Officials said at least two people were killed and seven were injured in the attack.

On an affiliated Telegram channel, the local branch of ISIS said the attack was in response to insults leveled at Mohammed, the founder of Islam—an apparent reference to remarks made by an Indian government spokeswoman.

Grey smoke billowed over the area in images aired by domestic broadcaster Tolo. A Taliban interior spokesman said attackers had laden a car with explosives but it had detonated before reaching its target.

A temple official, Gornam Singh, said there were around 30 people inside the building at the time.

A spokesman for Kabul’s commander said one Sikh worshipper had been killed in the attack and one Taliban fighter was killed as his forces took control of the area.

Since taking power in August, the Taliban terrorist group says it has increased security in Afghanistan and removed the country from terrorist threats, although international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in terrorism remains.

ISIS has claimed some attacks in recent months.

The group said a suicide attacker stormed the temple on Saturday morning armed with a machine gun and hand grenades after killing its guard.

Other terrorists reportedly fought for more than three hours with Taliban fighters who tried to intervene to protect the temple, targeting them with four explosive devices and a car bomb.

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

The U.N.’s mission to Afghanistan said in a statement that minorities in the country needed to be protected and India’s President Narendra Modi said on Twitter he was “shocked” by the attack.

Sikhs are a tiny religious minority in largely Muslim Afghanistan, comprising about 300 families before the country fell to the Taliban. Many have since left, according to members of the community and media.

Like other religious minorities, Sikhs have been a continual target of violence in Afghanistan. An attack at another temple in Kabul in 2020 that killed 25 was also claimed by ISIS.

Saturday’s explosion followed a blast at a mosque in the northern city of Kunduz the previous day that killed one person and injured two, according to authorities.

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.