Islamic State claims assault on Sikh temple in Afghan capital
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, and reportedly led to a prolonged standoff.
Afghanistan’s Ministry of Interior Affairs reported that at least 25 civilians were killed in the assault, while another eight were wounded.
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.
Both the Afghan government, backed by the U.S. and NATO, as well as the Taliban claim to have dealt severe blows to the Islamic State in eastern Afghanistan. While that is true, there is uncertainty concerning the size of the group’s network in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Despite suffering setbacks, the Islamic State’s Khorasan arm had carried out several attacks in the Afghan capital this year. Until today, those operations caused far fewer casualties than past attacks.
Are you a dedicated reader of FDD’s Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.