Afghan security forces inspect near the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Wednesday. Mohammad Ismail/Reuters
Gunmen stormed a Sikh-Hindu temple in central Kabul on Wednesday and were locked in an ongoing battle with security forces, an official said, in the latest assault on the Afghan capital.
The attack comes as Afghanistan is facing myriad crises including a raging insurgency, political deadlock, a massive cut in US aid, a flailing peace process and rising coronavirus cases.
"At around 7:45am (0315 GMT), a number of attackers entered a Hindu-Sikh temple," interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told the media.
"People are stuck inside the building and (security forces) are trying to rescue them."
The Taliban denied any involvement in the attack. While no other group immediately claimed responsibility, Daesh militants frequently orchestrate assaults on the country's religious minorities.
"There are about 150 people inside the temple. Families are living there and they usually gather to offer prayers in the mornings," said Anarkali Kaur Honaryar, a Sikh member of the Afghan parliament.
"Some people inside the temple are hiding and their phones are off. I am very concerned."
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