Unidentified armed men attacked a Sikh temple in central Kabul on Wednesday, killing a minimum of 11 and wounding 10 others, the Aghan media reported.
Four suicide attackers were also killed within the operation against them, said Afghan National Army Commando Corps’ official.
The attack comes as Afghanistan is facing myriad crises including a raging insurgency, political deadlock, a huge cut in US aid, a flailing social process and rising coronavirus cases.
“At around 7:45 am (0315 GMT), variety of attackers entered a Hindu-Sikh temple,” interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP.
“People are stuck inside the building and (security forces) try to rescue them.”
The Taliban denied any involvement within the attack. While no other group immediately claimed responsibility, Islamic State jihadists frequently orchestrate assaults on the country’s religious minorities.
“There are about 150 people inside the temple. Families live there and that they usually gather to supply prayers within the mornings,” said Anarkali Kaur Honaryar, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament.
“Some people inside the temple are hiding and their phones are off. i’m very concerned.”
Around 1,000 Sikhs and Hindus are estimated to reside in Afghanistan.
Earlier this month, militants killed 32 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a political gathering in Kabul.
To add to the country’s woes, Washington slashed the quantity of aid to the country in the week .
The decision came after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Kabul during a bid to resolve a standoff between President Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who is also proclaiming himself president following a contested election.
Pompeo, who lashed out at their “failure” to return to an agreement, said the US would immediately cut $1 billion and was “prepared” to tug another $1 billion in 2021, with further cuts possible then .
The US and therefore the refore the Taliban signed a deal last month that was alleged to pave the way for talks between the Afghan leadership and the insurgents, but with Kabul unable to agree who is in government, the talks have stalled.
With a GDP of only about $20 billion, the cuts represent a devastating blow to Afghanistan’s donor-dependent economy.
Meanwhile, coronavirus is constant to spread across Afghanistan. Officially there are 74 confirmed cases and two deaths, but many observers fear the amount is way higher.
The impoverished country is testing few people, “social distancing” is an abstract concept for an illiterate population familiar with crowding into mosques and enormous family gatherings, and thousands of individuals have returned from pilgrimages to coronavirus-hit Iran in recent weeks.