KABUL– An Islamic State militant stormed a Sikh temple in the heart of Kabul, killing 25 adorers and taking dozens of people hostage in a prolonged siege that as soon as again exposed the capability of insurgents to perform attacks in the Afghan capital.
Lots of Sikh adorers were collecting for early morning prayers on Wednesday when a shooter stormed the temple, according to the Interior Ministry. Guy, females and kids rushed out of the compound as the assailant moved through the temple. An Afghan security authorities at first said there were 2 gunmen, however the investigation later on concluded there was only one.
A minimum of 80 members of the tiny religious minority in Afghanistan were caught till elite Afghan forces, backed by members of the U.S.-led military union, killed the opponent, bringing the siege to an end after about 6 hours.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as the U.S. is withdrawing forces from Afghanistan with strategies to pull all 13,000 troops out by the middle of next year. A statement from the militant group said the attack remained in response to India’s treatment of Muslims in the disputed area of Kashmir.
It was the second attack this month in Kabul by Islamic State. More than 30 individuals were killed in Kabul three weeks back in an attack on an outdoor ceremony in the capital.
The Taliban, which just recently signed a deal with the U.S. implied to end the American military existence in Afghanistan, denied duty.
On Tuesday, the top U.S. envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, stated the Taliban and the Afghan federal government had actually accepted move on a detainee swap, which under the offer is a precondition for talks amongst Afghans to start. The date set for the release of detainees is March31
The U.S.-Taliban deal set a tentative start date for speak with start on March 10, however that has actually slipped as the Afghan federal government has actually been not able to settle on a negotiating team amid a dispute over the result of a twice-postponed governmental election held last September.
The attack exposed the continued security vulnerabilities in Kabul as the U.S. withdraws forces, and it showed the ability of Islamic State to carry out deadly assaults.
Abdullah Khenjani, creator Democratic Society, a Kabul-based think tank, said the attack makes it clear that the Taliban aren’t the only militant group that poses a danger.
” Such attacks defy the premature celebrations of the Afghan government about the defeat of Islamic State in Afghanistan,” he stated. “Unfortunately, the U.S.- Taliban deal provoked other terrorist groups to claim significance by attacking soft targets.”
Wednesday’s attack came 2 days after a surprise go to from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who looked for unsuccessfully to broker an offer in between President Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah, the country’s previous chief executive officer, who has actually declared himself president and is attempting to establish a parallel government.
Mr. Pompeo vowed to immediately cut off $1 billion in U.S. aid to Afghanistan because of the deadlock but stated it would not impact American support for the nation’s security forces.
Hamdullah Mohib, Afghanistan’s national security consultant, condemned the lethal assault.
” This attack shows why a thorough #cease fire is a need & why we demanded a #peace procedure that puts an end to all forms of #violence against the #Afghan individuals,” he stated on Twitter
On Wednesday, Mr. Ghani’s government revealed a 20- person working out team for the talks. There was no immediate reaction from Mr. Abdullah, or other power brokers in Afghanistan, consisting of the previous president Hamid Karzai, a vocal critic of the federal government’s handling of the procedure.
Wednesday’s attack was the first of its kind on the Sikh minority religious center in Afghanistan. Sikhs have resided in Afghanistan for centuries, however many got away the nation throughout the country’s civil war in the 1990 s. When Mr. Ghani took power in 2014, Parliament developed an unique seat for a member of the Sikh community.
In 2018, 19 members of the nation’s Sikh and Hindu neighborhood were eliminated by a suicide bomber in the eastern city of Jalalabad while they were waiting to see Mr. Ghani.
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