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Islamic State claims assault on Sikh temple in Afghan capital

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Thomas Joscelyn

March 25, 2020

The Islamic State quickly claimed responsibility for an attack on a Sikh temple and civilian complex in Kabul. The assault occurred early on the morning of Mar. 25, local time, and reportedly led to a prolonged standoff.

The Afghan government’s General Command of Police Special Units (GCPSU) was dispatched to the scene and performed a “clearance operation,” as upwards of 80 people were initially stranded within the temple.

Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs reported that at least 25 civilians were killed in the assault, while another eight were wounded.

Amaq News Agency, the Islamic State’s daily reporting arm, claimed responsibility via various social media and online communication applications. Amaq’s short statement can be seen above.

The group’s media team then issued a longer statement, identifying the main terrorist responsible as a man known as Abu Khalid al-Hindi. That nom de guerre indicates that he is likely from India, or India-ruled Kashmir. Indeed, the statement claims the attack was “revenge for the Muslims in Kashmir.”

The Islamic State has a relatively small cadre of loyalists inside Kashmir and has attempted to exploit that conflict for several years.

(Snip)

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