A Sikh temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, was attacked, leaving a Sikh devotee and a Taliban security officer dead and seven injured. The attack was proclaimed to be retaliation for the comments made by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.
In May, Nupur Sharma, a senior BJP figure, criticized the Prophet Muhammad and his marriage to a six-year-old child during a televised debate. Sharma's comments sparked violent protests in many states across India, leaving two teenagers dead.
Despite the BJP denouncing Sharma's statement as a "fringe view," international relations had already been affected, with Gulf countries condemning India.
In a statement in the messaging app, Telegram, ISIS-Khorasan claimed responsibility for the attack as "an act of revenge" for insulting the Prophet Mohammed, calling the attack "an act of support for the Messenger of Allah." According to the message, ISIS-K's suicide bomber Abu Muhammad al-Tajik threw a hand grenade at a security guard.
#WATCH | Afghanistan | Entire premises of Gurdwara Dashmesh Pita Sahib Ji, Karte Parwan, Kabul is set on fire. Sri Guru Granth Sahib ji and main darbar hall of the gurdwara is feared to be part of explosion: Sources
(Video Sources: Locals) pic.twitter.com/F6eTET2Eyl
— ANI (@ANI) June 18, 2022
"Armed with a rifle, pistol, and hand grenades, he proceeded to shoot the worshippers inside the temple," ISIS-K posted on Telegram.
On the morning of June 18, members of the ISIS-Khorasan, an affiliate of IS, attempted to drive a car full of explosives inside the Sikh temple in Bagh-e-Bal, Kabul. The car exploded before it reached its target.
Abdul Nafi Takor, a spokesperson for the Taliban, said the explosion did not cause any death. Takor said the attackers threw grenades, causing a fire near the temple's gates.
— Mohammad Natiq (@natiqmalikzada) June 18, 2022
Khalid Zadran, a spokesperson for Kabul's police chief, said, "the security forces were able to act quickly to control the attack." Zadran also claimed Taliban forces were able to neutralize the attackers "in a short period."
ISIS-K confirmed the encounter with the Taliban forces and al-Tajik's death.
Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, condemned the attack on the Sikh temple and called the attackers "the enemies of the Afghan people." “The IEA expresses its condolences to the families of the victims and assures that serious measures will be taken to identify and punish the perpetrators of this crime,” Mujahid said.