New Delhi: India has expressed concern over explosions and gunfire reported from a Gurudwara in the Afghanistan capital Kabul on Saturday morning and said it is closely monitoring the situation.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement: "We are deeply concerned at the reports emanating from Kabul about an attack on a sacred Gurudwara in that city. We are closely monitoring the situation and waiting for further details on the unfolding developments." At least two blasts were reported from near the Gurdwara in Karte Parwan area in Kabul this morning, according to local media. No group has claimed responsibility so far for the attack in which one person has died, according to sources.
"The sound of explosions was heard in Karte Parwan area of Kabul city. Details about the nature and casualties of this incident are not yet known," Afghanistan's Tolo News tweeted. Photographs and videos put out by Tolo News showed thick black plumes of smoke rising from the area.
Manjinder Singh Sirsa of the BJP said he has spoken to Gurnam Singh, president, Gurdwara Karte Parwan, who informed him that the incident took place early morning when a granthi was heading inside the gurdwara for 'Parkash', the first morning prayer in the gurudwara.
A group of unidentified gunmen reportedly stormed into the gurdwara and opened fire.
Initial inputs suggested that an explosion took place outside the gate of the gurdwara killing at least two Afghans. Afterwards, two explosions took place inside the complex, some shops attached to the gurdwara caught fire, it is believed that at least two attackers are still inside the gurudwara complex.
According to sources, 25-30 people were present inside the gurdwara for morning prayers. While attackers entered the premises 10-15 people managed to flee but the seven or eight people are still believed to be trapped inside. The numbers have not been confirmed. The guard of the gurudwara has been shot dead by the attackers.
Religious minorities in Afghanistan, including the Sikh community, have been targets of violence in Afghanistan.
In October, last year 15 to 20 terrorists entered a Gurdwara in the Kart-e-Parwan District of Kabul and tied up the guards.
In March 2020, a deadly attack took place at Sri Guru Har Rai Sahib gurudwara in Kabul's Short Bazaar area in which 27 Sikhs were killed and several were injured. Islamic State terrorists claimed responsibility for the attack.
Meanwhile, earlier this month on June 11, several people were injured in a blast at Batkhak Square in the 10th district of Kabul.
Prior to that, there was a blast in Police District-4 of Kabulfrom with explosives strapped on a bicycle, the Kabul security department said.
On May 25 this year, three explosions rocked the capital of Balkh province, leaving at least 9 people killed and 15 others injured. Meanwhile, on the same day, a blast at Masjid Sharif Hazrat Zakaria mosque in Kabul City left at least two worshippers dead, according to officials.