Jalalabad blast: Afghan President visits gurudwara, promises action against culprits
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday said the deadly attack targeting Sikhs and Hindus in the eastern city of Jalalabad will be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators will face trial as he visited a gurudwara in Kabul and offered condolences to the minority community.
President Ghani visited the gurdwara in Kart-e-Parwan area of Kabul city and offered condolences to the Sikh community members, the office of the President, ARG Palace, said.
An Islamic State (IS) suicide bomber targeted a convoy of Sikhs and Hindus on their way to meet the Afghan president in Jalalabad on Sunday. At least 20 people, including 17 Sikhs, were killed in the attack. Avtar Singh Khalsa, a long-time leader of the Sikh community who had planned to run in the parliamentary elections set for October, was also killed in the blast.
“President Ghani called the attack a catastrophe and promised that the incident would be thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators would face trial for the crime,” the ARG said in a statement.
Calling the Sikh and Hindus communities the pride of the nation, Ghani said the government remains committed to support the Afghan Sikhs and Hindus.
At the Gurdwara, Surpal Singh thanked Ghani on behalf of the Afghan Sikh community for offering condolences.
On the occasion, Narendra Singh was appointed as new representative of the Hindus and Sikh minority in Afghanistan, Pajhwok reported.
Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai also visited the gurudwara to offer condolences for Sikhs who lost their lives in the terrorist attack.
“Visited our Sikh gurdwara to offer condolences for our Sikh brothers who lost their lives in a terrorist attack in Jalalabad. Remembered their lasting community services and love for our country. Prayed for their eternal rest,” Karzai tweeted along with the pictures of his visit.
Meanwhile, residents in Kabul staged a protest against the killing of Sikhs in Jalalabad.
The protesters carried banners and posters depicting the pictures of those killed in the attack. They slammed the Afghan government and demanded that the perpetrators must be brought to justice.
The average price of US retail gasoline fell below $4 per gallon on Thursday for the first time in months, giving some relief to drivers in the world's largest consumer of the fuel. The national average price for regular unleaded gas fell to $3.990 a gallon on Thursday, according to the American Automobile Association. The latest price drop may help President Joe Biden's administration and Democrats in Congress during November's midterm elections.
Russia and Ukraine accused each other of new shelling near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant on Thursday ahead of a UN Security Council meeting to address concerns over the facility's security. Kyiv nuclear agency Energoatom said later that there had been fresh Russian shelling near one of the plant's six reactors that had caused "extensive smoke" and "several radiation sensors are damaged". The Security Council is expected to meet at 1900 GMT.
Much like with Covid-19, the monkeypox health crisis in the US is hitting Black and Hispanic Americans hard. Yet those groups are so far lagging in vaccination rates, early data obtained by Bloomberg News show. In some major US cities with outbreaks, White people are getting the majority of vaccinations, data collected by Bloomberg show. In Chicago, 55% of vaccines have gone to White people. In Washington, D.C., 63.5% of vaccine recipients identify as White.
A prominent Taliban cleric, Sheikh Rahimullah Haqqani, was killed in an attack in a seminary in Kabul when the attacker detonated explosives hidden in a plastic artificial leg on Thursday, according to officials and Taliban sources. It was not immediately clear who was behind the blast. Four Taliban sources told Reuters the attacker was someone who had previously lost his leg and had hidden the explosives in a plastic artificial leg.
China on Thursday said it needs more time to “assess” the India-US proposal to list Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Abdul Rauf Azhar as a global terrorist at the UN Security Council, hours after blocking the joint effort. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council has clear provisions about designating terrorist organisations and officials. China had similarly sought time to assess the case.