Deadly attack on Sikh temple in Kabul leaves community in fear | Taliban News

A member of Afghanistan’s Sikh group has appealed to the worldwide group to assist shield non secular minorities within the nation following an assault on the Karteparwan Gurudwara – a Sikh temple – in Kabul that left a minimum of two useless and three injured.

The Taliban stated in a press release {that a} automotive laden with explosives was prevented from coming into the temple complicated on Saturday and detonated earlier than it reached the supposed goal.

A spokesman for the commander of Kabul’s safety forces stated one Sikh worshipper was killed and a Taliban fighter additionally died throughout an operation to clear the temple of attackers, in response to information studies.

Particulars of Saturday’s assault, together with photographs and videos of victims and survivors, have been shared with Al Jazeera by Sikh group members in Kabul and dwelling in exile overseas.

Witnesses dwelling near the temple stated they heard and felt the impression of the large blast, which was adopted by computerized gunfire as attackers entered the Gurudwara.

“I stay near the Gurudwara and was simply preparing for the day after I felt the loud explosion. I’ve by no means earlier than felt something so robust,” a Sikh resident of Kabul, who solely wished to be recognized as Anita, advised Al Jazeera.

A Taliban fighter stands guard in front of the Sikh temple in Kabul following an attack by gunmen on June 18, 2022 [Sahel Arman/AFP]
A Taliban fighter stands guard in entrance of the Sikh temple in Kabul following an assault by gunmen on June 18, 2022 [Sahel Arman/AFP]

Anita is among the many estimated 140 Hindus and Sikhs that also stay in Afghanistan; a group that when numbered roughly 200,000 members in Afghanistan within the Seventies.

Years of non secular persecution and battle have pressured many Afghan Hindus and Sikhs to flee the nation, decreasing their numbers to about 7,000 by 2016, and now to a mere 140 who’ve chosen to stay for the reason that Taliban takeover of the nation in August 2021.

In 2020, an assault by the ISIL (ISIS) armed group on a 400-year-old Gurudwara in Kabul left 25 useless and triggered a brand new exodus of Sikhs from the nation.

‘Killed for our religion’

“As soon as once more, we’re sharing the horrible information of one other assault on the Sikh group in Afghanistan,” stated Charan Singh Khalsa, an Afghan Sikh and Hindu group chief now dwelling in exile however who maintains shut connections to the group in Kabul.

Khalsa stated there have been about 30 folks contained in the Gurudwara when the assault befell on Saturday and practically all of them managed to flee with few accidents.

“About eight folks have been caught inside; considered one of them was killed … whereas [the] relaxation have been injured. We’re ready for information on their scenario. Please pray for his or her wellbeing,” he stated, describing how gunmen stormed into the Gurudwara after a bomb exploded on the gate of the temple.

Sardar Savinder Singh Ghazneci, a devotee who lived on the Gurudwara, was amongst these killed together with a guard who was stationed on the gate, Khalsa stated.

“Sardar Ghazneci was a devotee who volunteered on the Gurudwara and was dwelling there when the assault occurred. He was shot by a gunman that entered the Gurudwara after the primary explosion,” Khalsa stated.

The sufferer’s entire household had migrated to India after the Taliban takeover final yr fearing persecution from the armed group.

“He stayed again to guard their enterprise and serve the Gurudwara. His loss is felt tremendously by the group,” stated Khalsa, who appealed to the worldwide group to be aware of the injustices towards Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.

“We’ve been repeatedly focused by completely different teams, killed for our religion and loyalty to Afghanistan. Why then, after so many assaults, the world stays silent to our plight?” he requested.

“I plead to nations, particularly those that have Sikh and Hindu of their governments, like Canada, UK and India, please don’t ignore the distress of our brothers and sisters,” he stated.

“There are particular applications for Afghans in danger, however none of them highlights the threats to our group. Why does the world ignore our ache?”

‘Issues are getting worse’

There was an uptick in assaults on Afghanistan’s non secular minorities, together with on Hazara Shia Muslims, and Sufi Muslims. Most of those assaults have been claimed by the Islamic State Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-Okay), the regional department of ISIL.

Afghan Sikh priest carrying the Guru Granth Sahib, the Sikh holy book, at the Karte Parwan Gurdwara temple in Kabul
An Afghan Sikh priest carrying the Guru Granth Sahib – the Sikh holy e-book – on the Karte Parwan Gurudwara in Kabul in 2021 [File: Mohd Rasfan/AFP]

The goal of Saturday’s assault, the Karteparwan Gurudwara, was the one operational Sikh temple in Kabul of the 4 Gurudwaras in Kabul, Anita advised Al Jazeera.

“Many individuals have been dwelling contained in the Gurudwara for the reason that Taliban takeover to be near the group. Even the Sardar [Ghazneci] who was killed lived there after his household left,” she stated.

“The Taliban assured the Sikhs they gained’t damage us, folks felt safer dwelling collectively within the Gurudwara. Who would have imagined such an assault would occur once more?”

Most of Anita’s household have additionally migrated to India after dropping relations to repeated assaults on Afghanistan’s Sikh and Hindu communities.

She, too, had thought of leaving the nation after the Taliban takeover final yr.

“I had stayed again to take care of our home, however issues are getting worse,” Anita stated.

“I used to be alleged to go to affix my household in India, however I haven’t been in a position to get a visa,” she stated, including that the assault had now strengthened her resolve to depart her beloved homeland – Afghanistan.

“We’ve to depart if we should survive,” she stated, choking again tears.