Kabul: An offshoot of the terror group Islamic State- ISIS Khurasan- has claimed responsibility for the attack on the Sikh gurudwara in Afghanistan's Kabul city which left 25 people dead, media reports said.
The timing of the attack assumes significance as it took place when the world is battling hard against COVID 19 outbreak.
The offshoot of the Islamic State terror group, ISIS Khurasan, claimed that the attack on Sikh temple in Kabul was carried out by Abu Khalild al-Hindi, reported Khaama Press.
The Amaq News Agency, affiliated with the terror group, released the photo of the suicide bomber who stormed the Sikh temple in Kabul city on Wednesday, reported Afghanistan-based Khaama Press.
The terror group also issued a brief statement claiming that the Sikh minority group was the target of the attack, reported the news agency.
Meanwhile, intelligence sources have pointed to a Pakistan ISI link to the bloody episode which left the world shocked in the middle of a global war against coronavirus.
Sources said that Pakistan’s militant organisation Lashkar-e-Taiba and Haqqani network is reported to have attacked the gurdwara to scarce the minuscule Sikh community of Afghanistan.
"It is believed that the militants were based in Khurram and Hangu districts of Pakistan bordering Afghanistan," sources said.
Shocking the nation, which is also witnessing the devastating consequence of COVID 19 outbreak, Islamist militants having roots in Pakistan bombed and fired at the gathering at Gurdwara Har Rai Sahib in Afghanistan on Wednesday.
According to reports, a group of armed gunmen entered the gurdwara complex, while the local congregation was offering prayers for the well-being of mankind from the curse of coronavirus, and began shooting indiscriminately among them with a few hurling bombs in the gurdwara complex.
Immediately after the attack a Sikh, who lives in the Gurdwara complex, uploaded a video giving details about the incident.
In the video, a frightened Sikh describes how he had a brush with terrorists whom he mistook for security personnel and narrowly escaped after the militant opened fire on him.
In the video, his terrified family is seen sitting in corner of a room .
Afghanistan’s Sikh member of parliament Ranjit Singh also reached the gurdwara but was denied entry by police due to security reasons .
While condemning the incident Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee’s chief secretary Roop Singh appealed to the government of India to ensure the safety and security of Sikhs living in Afghanistan and initiate a dialogue for the purpose with the Afghan government through the diplomatic channel.
"While the whole world is United against Corona Virus, some elements like Taliban/ TTP continue with their hatred," a source said.
"This is likely the LeT and Haqqani group that have been carrying out activities in the name of Daesh," the source added.
Experts have also linked the role played by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the attack conducted on Kabul Sikh temple.
Highly placed sources in Kabul have squarely placed the blame on the ISI which was unable to accept the return of President Ashraf Ghani, reported ANI news agency.
Despite the ISI's multiple attempts, President Ghani was re-elected this month, it reported.
Meanwhile, another source told IBNS that it has been learnt that the code name for the Kabul operation was Ops Black Star (Operation Black Star).
The source said the attack was carried out through LeT and Haqqanis by ISI.
"This was not an isolated event. It is part of a long term operation," source said.
"The aim was to eventually eliminate all monitors, which they have managed to do successfully. The Sikh population in Afghanistan is barely few hundred now," the source said.
Speaking to ANI from London, Premi Singh, an Afghan Sikh political activist said, "Whoever claimed responsibility for this barbaric attack, they are not human. By Sikh principle and code of principles, any atrocity against the civilians and any atrocity against the worship places is not justified at all in any way."
He added, "I urge the international community to come together for solidarity at this difficult time when the world is facing a coronavirus crisis and the Afghan Sikhs have been suffering through this barbaric attack."
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