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Islamic State claims attack on Sikhs and Hindus in Afghanistan

At least 19 people were killed when a suicide bomber targeted a delegation from the minority communities in Islamabad.

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 longtime leader of the Sikh community, was among those killed. Another 20 people were wounded.

Emergency workers at the scene of the suicide attack in Jalalabad (AP)

In a statement released on Monday, IS said 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 today only around 1,000 remain.

Sikh residents carry the coffin of a relative killed in Jalalabad (AP)

The UN mission to Afghanistan condemned the attack in a statement, saying: “The architects of this appalling crime must be brought to justice.”

The UN also condemned an attack late on Saturday in which militants killed three nightwatchmen outside a school and beheaded two of them before torching the building.

That attack was also claimed by Islamic State.

Press Association

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