The holy Guru Granth Sahib of Gurudwara in the Afghan capital Kabul, which was attacked by unidentified assailants on Saturday, has been recovered from the compound, from where plumes of smoke were seen billowing after the attack early this morning , according to visuals posted on social media.
At least two people – a Sikh worshiper and a Muslim security guard – were killed in the attack on the Gurdwara Karte Parwan. The Ministry of Interior (MoI) had in a first statement said that a number of unknown armed individuals entered the “dharamshala” and used a grenade which injured two people.
Abdul Nafay Takor, spokesman for the interior ministry, said seven people were injured in the attack. The injured were evacuated from the hospital, he said.
According to TOLO News, residents heard several explosions near a “dharmashala” in the Kartae-Parwan area of Kabul. According to the statement from the Afghan Interior Ministry, an explosive-laden vehicle targeting the “dharmashala” was foiled before reaching its objective. Residents said they heard multiple explosions and gunshots in the area. The attackers were killed, the Afghan minister was quoted by Afghan media as saying.
Visuals posted by locals on social media show a barefoot man wearing the Guru Granth Sahib on his head. The visuals show two or three other people, all walking without accompanying shoes.
According to Sikh religious belief, the Saroop, a physical copy of the Guru Granth Sahib is considered a living guru. The carrying of Guru Granth Sahib is governed by a strict code of conduct and as a sign of respect, the Guru Granth Sahib is carried on the head and the person walks barefoot.
According to reports, the Holy Book was taken to the residence of Gurnam Singh, president of Gurdwara Karte Parwan.
Photographs and videos shared by Afghan media outlet Tolo News showed thick plumes of black smoke billowing from the area.
According to sources, around 25-30 people were present inside the gurudwara compound for their morning prayers when the attackers entered the premises. About 10-15 people managed to escape but the gurdwara guard, identified as Ahmad, was killed by the assailants.
Early reports suggest an explosion took place outside the gurdwara gate early this morning. Another explosion was then heard inside the complex and some stores attached to the gurdwara caught fire. No group has claimed responsibility so far. “The sound of explosions was heard in the Karte Parwan neighborhood of Kabul city. Details of the nature and casualties of this incident are not yet known,” Tolo News in Afghanistan said.
Religious minorities in Afghanistan, including the Sikh community, have been targets of violence in Afghanistan. In October last year, 15-20 terrorists entered a Gurdwara in Kabul’s Kart-e-Parwan district and tied up the guards.
In March 2020, a deadly attack took place at the Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib gurudwara in the Short Bazaar area of Kabul in which 27 Sikhs were killed and several injured. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack.
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