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Kabul temple attack leaves 25 dead, questions about attacker

Kabul temple attack leaves 25 dead, questions about attacker

DPA
Kabul
Twenty-five people were killed in a terrorist attack on a Sikh temple in Kabul before authorities could kill the attacker and free 80 hostages, the Afghan Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
The Islamic State terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack, via a statement on the group’s mouthpiece Amaq News agency.
However, authorities were not sure if they believed the claim.
Raju Sign Sonney told dpa he saw an attacker enter the Sikh temple wearing an Afghan military uniform before he began shooting and throwing grenades into the crowd.
Sonney escaped, but said four members of his family were among those killed, including his mother, father, sister-in-law, and nephew.
At the time of the attack, at least 25 children were attending their morning religious class in the temple, Sonney said. It took almost six hours for security forces to control the situation.
Eighty people were rescued from the temple, according to the ministry statement, with eight people initially confirmed to have been wounded.
Speaking to dpa on Wednesday, a security source estimated a far higher number of wounded, without specifying a number.
The ministry statement said only one attacker was involved, contradicting earlier ministry information suggesting up to four suicide bombers carried out the attack.
Speaking to dpa, security sources indicated they believed the Haqqani network, the Taliban’s military arm, might have been behind the attack.
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid took to Twitter to deny the group’s involvement.
Governments across the world, including Pakistan, Britain, the US, and India, condemned the attack.
A number of high-profile Afghan politicians have also spoken out against the incident, insisting that the killing of innocent civilians must be stopped. Sikhs in Afghanistan are a religious minority and have been targeted in attacks in the past.
In 2018, an Islamic State suicide bombing in eastern Nangarhar province killed at least 19 people, the majority of whom were members of the Sikh community. After that attack, many of the community’s members decided to leave Afghanistan.

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