Kabul/New Delhi, June 18: Several blasts tore through a Gurdwara in Kabul on Saturday, killing two persons, including a Sikh, and injuring seven others, while Afghan security personnel thwarted a bigger tragedy by stopping an explosive-laden vehicle from reaching the place of worship of the minority community in the war-torn country.
In the latest targeted assault on a place of worship of the Sikh community in Afghanistan, GurdwaraKarteParwan in Kabul’s Bagh-e Balaneighbourhood was attacked early Saturday morning and a gun battle lasting several hours between the terrorists and Taliban fighters ensued, said Abdul NafiTakor, a spokesperson for the Interior Ministry.
Three attackers were killed by the Taliban forces, the Pajhwok news agency reported.
Takor confirmed that at least one member of the Islamic Emirate forces and an Afghan Sikh national were killed in the incident. Seven others were injured and hospitalised.
According to the statement from the Interior Ministry, an explosive-laden vehicle aiming to target the place was thwarted before reaching its goal.
The gurdwara was attacked early in the morning when up to 30 people were inside, the BBC reported.
Takor said a vehicle full of explosives was detonated outside of the gurdwara but that resulted in no casualties.
First the gunmen threw a hand grenade which caused a fire near the gate of the gurdwara, the Associated Press quoted the Interior Ministry spokesman as saying.
Khalid Zadran, a spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said the police operation ended after the last attacker was killed several hours later.
“The security forces were able to act quickly to control the attack and eliminate the attackers in a short period of time to prevent further casualties, he said.
In New Delhi, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Saturday strongly condemned the “cowardly attack” on a gurdwara in Kabul and said the government was closely monitoring the situation following the incident.
“The cowardly attack on GurdwaraKarteParwan should be condemned in the strongest terms by all. We have been closely monitoring developments since the news of the attack was received. Our first and foremost concern is for the welfare of the community,” Jaishankar tweeted.
“We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurdwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments,” the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs also tweeted.
Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has strongly condemned the attack and urged the Centre to extend immediate assistance to ensure the safety of minorities in the Afghan capital.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack. However, the attack is suspected to have been carried out by from ISIS Khurasan.
The Islamic State terror group had claimed responsibility for the attack in the Shor Bazar area.