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ISIS Claims Kabul Gurdwara Attack, Cites Prophet’s “Insult”: Report

The ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a Gurdwara in Afghanistan, saying it was retaliation for ‘insults’ to Prophet Muhammed.

Protests in several countries were sparked by suspended BJP leader Nupur Sharma’s remarks earlier this month about the Prophet.

In a message posted on its Amaq propaganda site, ISIS said Saturday’s attack targeted Hindus and Sikhs and the “apostates” who protected them in “an act of support for the Messenger of Allah”.

The group said one of its fighters “penetrated a temple for Hindu and Sikh polytheists in Kabul, after killing its guard, and opened fire on the pagans inside with his machine gun and hand grenades”.

Two people were killed and at least seven others injured in the attack.

Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Nafi Takor said the attackers lobbed at least one grenade when they entered the Gurdwara, setting off a blaze.

The attack follows a visit by an Indian delegation to Kabul to discuss the distribution of humanitarian aid from India to Afghanistan.

Afghan and Indian media reports said the delegation discussed with Taliban officials the possibility of reopening the Indian embassy, which was closed after the Taliban seized power in August last year.

The number of bombings across Afghanistan has dropped since the Taliban returned to power, but several attacks — many targeting minority communities — have rocked the country in recent months, including several claimed by ISIS.

While ISIS is a Sunni Islamist group like the Taliban, the two are bitter rivals and greatly diverge on ideological grounds.

The number of Sikhs living in Afghanistan has dwindled to around 200, compared to about half a million in the 1970s.

In recent months, many Sikhs including women and children took refuge in the complex that was attacked on Saturday.

The community has faced repeated attacks over the years. At least 25 people were killed in March 2020 when gunmen attacked another Gurdwara in Kabul in an attack that was also claimed by ISIS.

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