IS claims Afghan attack on Sikhs, Hindus

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Jul 2018 08:35:54



THE Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Afghanistan that killed at least 19 people, mostly Sikhs and Hindus.
The bomber targeted a delegation from the minority communities as it was travelling to the Governor’s residence in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Sunday for a meeting with President Ashraf Ghani.
Avtar Singh Khalsa, a long-time leader of the Sikh community, was among those killed. Another 20 people were wounded.

In a statement released on Monday, IS said that it had targeted a group of “polytheists.” Sikhs and Hindus face discrimination in the conservative Muslim country and have been targeted by Islamic extremists in the past, leading many to emigrate. The community numbered more than 80,000 in the 1970s, but on Monday only around 1,000 remain.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday termed the terror strike as an attack on the nation’s multicultural fabric.

“We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday. They are an attack on Afghanistan’s multicultural fabric,” he wrote on Twitter. “My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover soon. India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan Government in this sad hour,” Modi said.

External Affairs Minster Sushma Swaraj on Monday met the relatives of some of the victims of the Afghanistan terror attack. The Minister condemned the suicide attack in Afghanistan’s Jalalabad on Sunday that killed 13 members from the Afghan Sikh community, Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said.

“EAM @SushmaSwaraj expressed sincere condolences during her meeting with a delegation of representatives of SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee), Sikh community from Afghanistan and relatives of the victims,” Kumar tweeted after the meeting which took place on Sunday evening at JN Bhavan here.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and Shiromani Akali Dal chief and former deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal also condemned the terror attack.