armed attack in a Hindu-Sikh temple in Kabul

Several attackers entered a Hindu-Sikh temple in the Afghan capital on Wednesday where around 150 people had come to pray. Security forces attempted to regain control of it in the morning.

Armed men stormed a Hindu-Sikh temple in central Kabul on Wednesday (March 25th), over which security forces are trying to regain control, the Afghan Interior Ministry said.

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“Around 7.45 a.m. [locales, NDLR], several attackers entered a Hindu-Sikh temple, “ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP.” People are trapped inside the building and (the security forces) are trying to rescue, “he added.

“About 150 people” are in this temple, where families from the neighborhood regularly come to pray in the morning and where others live, said a representative of the Hindu-Sikh community in the Parliament.

Several attacks in March

The Taliban have denied any link to the assault. “The attack has nothing to do with us,” tweeted spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid.

In the past, similar assaults have been claimed by the Islamic State (IS) organization, present in Afghanistan since 2015.

The last major attack dates back to last week. At least 24 police and soldiers were killed by the Taliban in southern Afghanistan.

For its part, ISIS has multiplied attacks in the Afghan capital, often against religious minorities.

In early March, the group claimed responsibility for an attack on a political rally of the Hazara minority, whose members are overwhelmingly Shiite. Thirty people were then killed.

Fighting extremist groups

This attack comes at a critical time for Afghanistan, the country being faced with an internal political crisis, a Taliban offensive, as well as the new coronavirus.

On February 29, the United States and the Taliban signed a historic agreement providing for the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan within fourteen months, in exchange for guarantees from the insurgents. As part of this agreement, the Taliban have notably committed to fighting extremist groups like IS in order to prevent Afghanistan from serving them as a sanctuary.

With AFP

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