Explosions, gunfire rock Sikh Gurdwara in Afghan capital Kabul

Several blasts and gunfire hit a Sikh Gurdwara in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on Saturday, according to media reports. The blast happened in the Karta Parwan area of ​​Kabul, Tolo news tweeted along with the video following the blast. Shots were also fired from the area. Karte Parwan Gurdwara is located nearby. The casualties in the blast were unknown.

“We are very concerned about the reports coming from Kabul about an attack on a holy Gurudwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and await further details on the unfolding developments,” the Foreign Ministry spokesman in New Delhi tweeted.

Abdul Nafi Takor, a Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Interior Ministry, confirmed the attack but did not provide further details or say if there were any casualties, The Associated Press reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

The Islamic State group known as the Islamic State in Khorasan province has claimed responsibility for attacks on mosques and minorities across the country in the past.

“We heard a huge explosion in the Kart-e-Parwan area around 6:00 AM local time. The blast was followed by another explosion that happened about half an hour after the initial blast. The whole place is now locked down,” the Chinese state news agency Xinhua quoted an eyewitness as saying. Security forces have cordoned off the area as a precaution, he said.

The blast sent a thick column of smoke into the air, causing panic, the witness said.

“There is fear of possible victims. Several warning shots were also fired by the security forces,” he added. Community leaders estimate that there are only 140 Sikhs left in the Taliban-ruled country, mostly in the eastern city of Jalalabad and the capital, Kabul.

In March 2020, at least 25 worshipers were killed and eight others injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed a prominent gurudwara in the heart of Kabul in one of the deadliest attacks on the country’s minority Sikh community.

The Islamic State terror group claimed responsibility for the attack in the Shor Bazar area.

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