At least two killed in attack at Sikh temple in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul

At least two people have been killed and seven others injured following an attack on a Sikh temple in the Afghan capital, Kabul, officials said.

A Taliban interior ministry spokesman said that attackers had laden a car with explosives but it had detonated before reaching its target.

Taliban authorities were securing the site, he added.

A spokesman for the commander of Kabul’s security forces said soldiers have taken control of the area and cleared it of attackers. One Sikh worshipper and a Taliban fighter have been killed during the clearing operation, he added.

Members of the Sikh community said they were been prevented from entering the building by the Taliban.

“There were around 30 people inside the temple. We don’t know how many of them are alive or how many dead. The Taliban are not allowing us to go inside, we don’t know what to do,” Gornam Singh told news agencies on Saturday.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Local broadcaster Tolo aired footage showing heavy grey fumes of smoke rising from the area.

Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers say they have secured the country since taking power in August, but international officials and analysts say the risk of a resurgence in violence remains.

Multiple attacks have taken place in recent months, with some claimed by the ISIL (ISIS) group.

Sikhs are a tiny religious minority in largely Muslim Afghanistan, comprising about 300 family members before the fall of the country to the Taliban. Many had left the country in the wake of the takeover, according to community members and media reports.

The Sikh community, like other religious minorities, has been the continual target of violence in Afghanistan. An attack claimed by ISIL at another temple in Kabul in 2020 killed 25.