According to news reports the Islamic State claimed responsibility for an attack on a gurdwara in Afghanistan’s capital that killed an Afghan Sikh and a Taliban fighter.
The terror group’s local affiliate said on its Telegram channel that the attack was in response to insults directed at Prophet Mohammed, an apparent reference to remarks made by BJP officials.
According to the Islamic State Khorasan Province media wing, the attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs, as well as “apostates” who protected them in “an act of support for the Messenger of Allah,” according to AFP. According to the ISKP, one of its fighters “penetrated a Hindu and Sikh polytheist temple in Kabul after killing its guard and opened fire on the pagans inside with his machine gun and hand grenades.”
Terrorists stormed Kabul’s Gurdwara Karte Parwan on Saturday, when around 30 members of the Sikh community were inside for morning prayers.
According to a spokesperson for the Taliban’s interior ministry, the terrorists attempted to target the gurdwara with an explosives-laden vehicle, but were stopped before reaching the shrine.
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Following the attack, India granted “priority” e-visas to over 100 Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan, according to government officials.
The attack comes just days after the ISKP posted a video warning of an attack on Hindus and Sikhs on its propaganda website. The video featured Nupur Sharma, the now-suspended BJP spokesperson who made controversial remarks about Prophet Mohammed on a television channel. It emphasised the March 2020 attack on a Sikh temple, threatening more such attacks.
Sikhs were a tiny religious minority in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, numbering only about 300 families before the Taliban took over.