Indian condemns Kabul Gurudwara attack

Afghan personnel arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul on March 25. — AP

Afghan personnel arrive at the site of an attack in Kabul on March 25. — AP

"India stands ready to extend all possible assistance to the affected families of the Hindu and Sikh community of Afghanistan", said a press release from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also expressed grief over the attack.

People switched off their phones and tried to hide when the attack began, she said. The Islamic State's local affiliate has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The ministry said in a statement that 80 people, including women and children, were rescued from the gurdwara.

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Sikh lawmaker Nardendar Singh Khalisa told reporters close to the scene that up to 150 people were praying inside the gurdwara when it came under attack.

Sikhs, a small religious minority in Afghanistan that numbers fewer than 300 families, have been targeted by Islamist militants before. At the same time, Pakistan has taken advantage of this opportunity to help terrorist groups operating in Afghanistan.

Security personnel inspect the temple in Kabul, alongside media representatives, after gunmen stormed the building and killed worshippers Wednesday.

The security forces have cordoned off the area, located in old Kabul, and are trying to counter the attack.

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As news of the latest attack broke, a spokesman for the Taliban, which recently signed a withdrawal deal with the U.S. government and is now moving towards intra-Afghan talks, was quick to deny any responsibility in the killings. To add to Afghanistan's woes, Washington slashed the amount of aid to the country this week after President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who has also proclaimed himself president, failed to resolve their standoff.

This is the deadliest attack since the peace deal was signed between the U.S. and Taliban in Doha, where the U.S. has agreed to completely withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.

What do we know about the attack?

Terrorists wanted to target Indian diplomats visiting Gurudwara at the time of the attack, according to reports.

The Taliban group announced that the Islamic Emirate is not involved in today's attack on Sikh temple in Kabul city.

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"We are shocked and disheartened. the authorities have a responsibility to protect minorities and their places of worship in Afghanistan", Amnesty International South Asia said on Twitter.

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