Kabul, March 26
India's Ambassador to Afghanistan Vinay Kumar on Thursday visited the gurdwara where at least 25 worshippers were killed after it was attacked by a heavily armed suicide bomber and offered condolences to families of the victims of the horrific attack.
At least 25 worshippers were killed and eight others injured when a heavily armed suicide bomber stormed a prominent gurdwara on Wednesday in the heart of Afghanistan's capital of Kabul, in one of the deadliest attacks on the minority Sikh community in the strife-torn country.
The Islamic State (IS) terror group, which has targeted Sikhs before in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the attack in Shor Bazaar area.
"Amb @vkumar1969 visited the gurudwara and met community leaders, elders and families of the victims of terrorist attack. He shared their grief and offered condolences. He was told that the injured are receiving satisfactory treatment," the Indian embassy in Afghanistan said in a tweet.
The embassy also said it was working for the return of the mortal remains of Tian Singh, one of the deceased from Delhi, whose family wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help them bring back the mortal remains.
"@IndianEmbKabul is working for the return of the mortal remains of Shri Tian Singh. @IndianEmbKabul will continue to provide all assistance to the community and families as may be required in these difficult days," it said.
Prime Minister Modi said on Wednesday that he was "saddened" by the attack on the gurdwara when 150 worshippers were inside the building.
"I am saddened by today's terror attack at Gurudwara in Kabul. I express my condolences to the families of all the deceased," he said in a tweet.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) also condemned the attack that lasted for about six hours, terming it cowardly and reflective of a "diabolical mindset".
"Such cowardly attacks on places of religious worship of the minority community, especially at this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, is reflective of the diabolical mindset of the perpetrators and their backers,” it said in a statement.
The MEA said India stood in solidarity with the people, the government and the security forces of Afghanistan in their efforts for bringing peace and security to the country.
"We commend the brave Afghan security forces for their valorous response to the attack and their exemplary courage and dedication to protect the Afghan people and secure the country," it said.
Photos from the blast scene showed security forces carrying wounded people away on stretchers. Some Afghan media outlets shared videos of the family members of victims waiting outside a city hospital in tears.
Police in Kabul said that at least 11 children were rescued from the gurdwara.
Sikhs have been target of attacks by Islamist militants before in Afghanistan.
In July 2018, ISIS terrorists bombed a gathering of Sikhs and Hindus in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing 19 people and injuring 20.
Awtar Singh Khalsa, one of the country's best-known Sikh politicians then, was among those killed in the attack. PTI
India in touch with families of those killed and injured in Kabul terror attack: MEA
New Delhi: The Indian Embassy in Kabul is in touch with family members of the victims of the dastardly terror attack at a gurdwara in the Afghan capital, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said on Thursday.
Twenty-five people were killed after gunmen stormed the gurdwara in Kabul and opened fire at the people inside on Wednesday.
One of the deceased was Tian Singh, a 71-year old Delhi resident.
The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack which came weeks after a historic deal between the US and the Taliban to bring lasting peace to Afghanistan.
"Understandable grief and anger at the cowardly terrorist attack on Gurudwara in #Kabul. Our Embassy @IndianEmbKabul is in continuous touch with the families of those killed and injured," Jaishankar tweeted.
The external affairs minister said efforts were on to bring back mortal remains of Singh from Kabul.
"Medical opinion against moving injured at this stage. Embassy @IndianEmbKabul is working on the return of mortal remains of Shri Tian Singh. Will keep you updated," he said.
India on Wednesday strongly condemned the terror attack, saying targeting of a religious place in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic reflected the "diabolical mindset" of the perpetrators and their backers.
"Such cowardly attacks on the places of religious worship of the minority community, especially at this time of COVID-19 pandemic, is reflective of the diabolical mindset of the perpetrators and their backers," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.
The MEA said India stands in solidarity with the people, the government and the security forces of Afghanistan in their efforts for bringing peace and security to the country. PTI
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