Gunmen launched an attack on a Sikh Gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul on Saturday, killing at least two people, Kabul police chief spokesman Khalid Zadran said.
Seven attackers tried to storm the temple early Saturday morning, throwing grenades at security guards standing at the entrance. The attackers also detonated a car bomb in the area, but no casualties from the blast were reported.
The seven gunmen were killed after a clash that lasted several hours inside the temple compound, Zadran said. There was no immediate attribution of responsibility.
The attack killed a member of the security forces and a Sikh devotee, according to the state-run Bakhtar news agency.
Temple official Gornam Singh told Reuters that 30 people were inside the temple at the time of the attack. “We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many are dead,” he said, adding that the temple authorities did not know what to do as the Taliban would not allow them to enter.
Sikhs are a small religious minority in Afghanistan, with very few since the Taliban seized power last year.
Religious minority groups such as Sikhs have been targets of violence in the country. In 2020, 25 people were killed in an attack on another Sikh temple in Kabul, for which ISIS claimed responsibility.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) condemned the attack, writing in a tweet that “attacks on civilians must cease immediately. UNAMA calls for the protection of all minorities in Afghanistan, including Sikhs, Hazaras and Sufis.”
The European Union’s ambassador to Afghanistan said the attack is terrible and “religious (and ethnic) pluralism must be protected with all its might.”
The Indian Foreign Ministry said they were “deeply concerned by reports coming out of Kabul of an attack on a holy Gurudwara in that city.”