Gunmen attack Sikh religious gathering in Kabul, killing 4

Gunmen attack Sikh religious gathering in Kabul, killing 4”

Gunmen and suicide bombers have stormed a Sikh religious complex in the Afghan capital Kabul and were locked in a continuing battle with security forces, the Ministry of Interior has said.

The United States last month struck a deal with the Taliban on the withdrawal of USA -led worldwide troops but the agreement does not include Islamic State militants.

Narender Singh Khalsa, a lawmaker who represents the Sikh community, said he had reports that four people had been killed.

"The gunmen started their attack at a time when the dharamsala was full of worshippers", he said.

Police said the attack on the temple in the Shorbazar area began at about 07:45 (03:15 GMT).

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian has reportedly said that the defence forces have cordoned off the area and trying to counter-attack.

Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid said in a statement that the militant group had no link with the attack in Shor Bazar area of Kabul, Khama News agency reported.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers there were or who they were. Later he heard the sounds of explosions, adding that he believes they were hand grenades.

The country's main militant group, the Taliban, has denied involvement in the attack. In recent years, large numbers of Sikhs and Hindus have sought asylum in India, which has a Hindu majority and a large Sikh population.

In 2018, the Sikh community was targeted in a suicide bombing that killed over a dozen people in the city of Jalalabad in Afghan's East. Nineteen people were killed in that attack.

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