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Bomb Distorts Sikh Funeral in Kabul

While the world is swirling to find a way to deal with the global ongoing CoronaVirus Pandemic, recent terrorist attacks in Afghanistan have not received the required media attention. An explosive device disrupted the funeral service for 25 members of the country’s Sikh minority community who had been killed by the Islamic State group. No one was hurt in the blast, theAfghan Interior Ministry said.

“Incidents leading to the attack”

On 25 March 2020, an attack took place in a Sikh house of worship in Kabul’s old city. The responsibility of this attack was taken by the Islamic State Affiliate on the group’s media, as stated by the SITE Intelligence Group. The act was said to be done by a lone IS Gunman identified as an Indian National Abu Khalid al- Hindi. This individual held almost 80 people hostage and wounded eight people. This gunman was finally brought down by the Afghan Special Forces aided by international troops. Amongst those who dies was a 6-year-old boy and an Indian national.

“The cremation”

The cremation ceremony was held on Thursday, 26 March 2020, where more than a hundred families came to mourn the losses they suffered. The coffins of the victims were taken to the crematorium for burial as the women remained behind in the Gurudwara. An explosion took at the gates of the crematorium, however, it did not take any victims.

The Sikhs are a part of the minority groups in Afghanistan where they have been subjected to years of discrimination and are constantly targeted by extremist Islamic groups.

“Taliban claims no involvement”

When the news of the attack broke out, the Taliban refused any involvement with the
explosions. The Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed tweeted that the Taliban were not involved. This was the result of the peace deal signed by the Taliban and the U.S. last month that would eventually lead to all American troops leaving the country, on the agreement that the final withdrawal would be tied to Taliban pledges to deny space in Afghanistan to other militant groups, such as their rival, the Islamic State group.

“Their Plight”

“I am under pressure from my people, who say we cannot cannot live in this country anymore. Our children and our women are not secure,” said Narindra Singh Khalsa, a member of Afghanistan’s Parliament representing Sikhs and Hindus.

However, this was not the first attack of its kind on minorities living in Afghanistan. Recently, the IS Affiliate attacked a gathering of Shiite Muslims, who are also a minority community, in Kabul which resulted in the death of 32 people.In July 2018, a convoy of Sikhs and Hindus was attacked by an Islamic State suicide bomber as they were on their way to meet Afghan President Ashraf Ghani in the eastern city of Jalalabad. Nineteen people were killed in that attack.

“What does this mean?”

In conclusion, this month’s attack, along with the previous attacks raises immense concerns by all domestic and international parties that the Islamic State is attempting to reassert itself and gain dominance by targetting minority groups. This is a cause of great concern as this seeks to threaten the existence and lives of all groups that are reviled this Sunni Militant group. It also threatens the US-Taliban peace treaty and causes immense problems for all parties involved. Such attacks have also contributed to the large scale migration of the Hindu and Sikh groups to India in search of asylum.

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