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Deadly blasts hit Sikh temple in Afghan capital a day after attack on mosque

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This video capture purportedly shows a column of thick smoke rising into the sky after an attack on the Sikh temple in Kabul, Afghanistan on June, 17, 2022.

Three explosions have hit a busy road in the Afghan capital city of Kabul, leaving at least one dead and three others injured.

The explosions happened near the Sikh-Hindu temple in the fourth police district of the capital on Saturday, according to reports.

“The explosions hit a busy road near a Sikh-Hindu temple (Gurdwara) in Police District today in Kabul,” China’s Xinhua News reported citing eyewitnesses.

Reuters said the temple was the target of the attacks.

Afghanistan's interior ministry and witnesses said gunmen stormed the temple with at least one grenade.

"There were around 30 people inside the temple. We don't know how many of them are alive or how many dead. The Taliban are not allowing us to go inside, we don't know what to do," Gornam Singh, a temple official, was quoted by Reuters as saying.

Meanwhile reports show the security guard at the temple was killed and three Taliban soldiers were wounded.  

Singh, who said he was close to the scene, claimed the number of casualties could rise.

"Generally at that time in the morning we have several Sikh devotees who come to offer prayers at the gurdwara," he said.

He added that minutes after the first blast, a car bomb detonated in the area, but caused no casualties.

In the meantime, the security forces have cordoned off the area for precautionary measures, an eyewitness told Xinhua.

"We heard a huge blast in Kart-e-Parwan neighborhood at around 6 am local time (GMT +4:30 hours). The blast was followed by another explosion which occurred about half an hour after the first blast. The whole place has now been sealed off," he said.

"Several warning shots were also fired by the security forces," he added.

The explosion sent a column of thick smoke into the sky and triggered panic, the witness added.

Tolo TV aired footage showing heavy grey fumes of smoke rising from the area.

Two years ago, a Daesh (ISIS) attack on the temple had left dozens of people dead.

Religious minorities in Afghanistan have been the target of rampant attacks. However, Sikhs only make up a tiny religious minority there.

The Shia Hazara community, another minority in Afghanistan, has been the main target of frequent bomb attacks and explosions in the war-ravaged country.

On Friday, an explosion at a mosque in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz left one person dead and two others wounded.

Last month, three deadly explosions tore through passenger vehicles in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif and a separate one hit a mosque in Kabul, killing several people.

Back in April, a powerful blast hit a mosque in western Kabul during prayers, killing at least 10 people and wounding 20 others.

The Taliban took over the country in August 2021 after the withdrawal of US forces, who invaded the country more than two decades ago to topple the Taliban.

The upward number of attacks in recent months has been linked to the Daesh terrorist group's resurgence in the country.


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