On June 7, 2018, a suicide bomber targeted a group of Sikhs and Hindus while they were on their way to meet the president of Afghanistan in Jalalabad city. 19 of them were killed including the community’s leader, Avtar Singh Khalsa, who had planned to run in the parliament elections for the month of October.
Inamullah Miakhail, spokesman for the provincial hospital in Nangarhar, said at least 10 of the other 20 who were wounded are from the minority community of Sikhs and HIndus.
A spokesman for the provincial governor said the nearby shops and vehicles also caught fire due to the attack.
Isis has claimed the suicide bombing attack on Sikhs and Hindus. Isis says that they were attacked because they worship other gods and not Allah.
Sikhs and Hindus have long suffered discrimination in Afghanistan and have been targeted by Islamic extremists. The community numbered more than 80,000 in the 1970s, but today only around 1,000 remain in the country. Under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, they were told to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands, but the dictate was not wholly enforced.
The Sikh community now numbers fewer than 300 families in Afghanistan, which has only two gurdwaras, or places of worship, one each in Jalalabad and Kabul, the capital.