KABUL | An attack of the group jihadist islamic State (EI) against a hindu temple-sikh of Kabul has killed at least 25 civilians in Afghanistan, where the government and the taliban have at the same time, announced for the first time some progress on the crucial issue of prisoner releases.
“Unfortunately, 25 civilians were killed and eight wounded in the attack,” said the spokesman of the Interior ministry Tariq Arian, who was also a state of “80 civilians rescued” and one assailant killed.
A security source in high position, meanwhile, were 24 dead, thirteen wounded and three fighters of the AR is neutralized.
Photos seen by AFP, show children in tears evacuated by armed men. The body without life, of the wounded, and a pool of blood are also visible.
The prayers had begun when ” a man in a police uniform and carrying a (kalashnikov) has entered the room. He first pulled on the guard, and then on a young child “, told the AFP Raju Singh Sonny, one of the faithful.
“Other attackers have also penetrated into the building and they went from room to room shooting people,” said this man who managed to escape, but many of whose relatives are stuck in the temple.
“The attack has nothing to do with us “, quickly tweeted the taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
The ARS, which multiplies the attacks in Kabul, often against religious minorities, was claimed on Qama, its organ of propaganda.
About a thousand sikhs and hindus live in Afghanistan, a country almost entirely muslim. The ARS had already referred in the course of a suicide bombing in July 2018 in Jalalabad, in the east of the country, killing then 19 people.
This attack comes at a critical time for Afghanistan, which faces an internal political crisis, an offensive of the taliban, as well as the new coronavirus.
The United States signed the 29 February in Doha a landmark agreement with the taliban, which foresees a withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan in the fourteen months in exchange for guarantees of the insurgents.
The agreement also referred to the opening of peace negotiations direct and unpublished between the taliban and Kabul on 10 march.
But these discussions have been delayed by a dispute about the release of a maximum of 5,000 taliban prisoners in exchange for one of a thousand members of the afghan security forces held by the rebels, a measure contained in the Doha agreement, not ratified by Kabul.
This point could evolve rapidly, has tweeted the national security Council of afghanistan (NSC), a government body which has announced the release of 100 insurgents by march 31, once we have the guarantee that ” they will not resume the fight.”
“To lead these new discussions, a team representing the taliban meet face-to-face the government in the next few days in Afghanistan,” said the NSC.
This is the first time that the insurgents and the government of president Ashraf Ghani, will meet officially. The two sides spoke by video conference last week and Wednesday.
“It was decided during this meeting that the process of release of prisoners would begin on 31 march,” and that the taliban “would send a team to the prison of Bagram” to verify the identity of the released prisoners, has tweeted one of their spokespersons, Suhail Shaheen.
The emissary u.s. Zalmay Khalilzad has confirmed that “the two parties “agreed” to start the release of prisoners on 31 march, “welcoming” a positive development “.
Afghanistan is facing considerable political instability, the victory of Ashraf Ghani in the presidential election of September being contested by his ex-chief executive, Abdullah Abdullah, came second, but which is also declared the winner.
The us secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is not able to resolve this crisis during a visit to Kabul on Monday, announced a reduction of a billion dollars of aid from Washington this year.
“The afghan people deserve a future without the EI “, he said on Wednesday in front of journalists, calling the attack in Kabul of ” horrible “.
To these difficulties must be added the threat of the novel coronavirus, which has officially claimed two lives in Afghanistan, and 75 other cases of contamination among the Afghans and four among the foreign military.