The US Department of State has expressed concern over the safety of the Sikh community in Afghanistan. The State has also appealed to the people of Afghanistan to live together peacefully and ensure the security of religious minorities in their country.
Deeply concerned about the safety of the Sikh community in Afghanistan. Afghan Sikhs have long been an integral part of the multicultural tapestry of Afghanistan, and Afghans must come together now to ensure the security of religious minorities: US Department of State pic.twitter.com/422ygpe8IM— ANI (@ANI) April 8, 2020
This statement of the US comes after the Islamic State imposed a 10-day ultimatum for all Sikhs to leave Afghanistan. Which comes in the wake of a recent attack on a Sikh house of worship in Kabul, which left 25 dead, along with one gunman.
The Sikh population living in Afghanistan remains among the most targeted, forcing many to flee to other countries to seek refuge. Afghanistan has historically been home to hundreds of thousands of Sikhs for centuries. Today, the Sikh population has dwindled to barely one thousand, made up of less than 300 families, with only a few operating Gurdwaras across the country, including Gurdwara Guru Hai Rai in Kabul, the site of the most recent attack.
As many as 25 people have been killed, and several injured, in the Gurdwara attack in Kabul, Afghanistan after unknown gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the religious place. Later, the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, reported an intelligence group. The gunmen and suicide bombers stormed the gurdwara in Shor Bazar area at around 07:45 (local time) when 150 worshippers were inside the Sikh religious premise.
Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian has reportedly said that the defence forces have cordoned off the area and trying to counter-attack. The Taliban denied its involvement and its spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that they have no relation with the attack in Shor Bazar.