Gunmen, bombers attack Sikh religious complex in Afghan capital

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(Reuters) – Unidentified gunmen and suicide bombers attacked a Sikh religious complex in the Afghan capital of Kabul on Wednesday, and up to 200 people were believed to be trapped inside, a member of parliament said.

Sikhs have been the target of attack by Islamist militants before in South Asia. A Taliban spokesman, in a message on Twitter, denied responsibility for the attack. 

The attack comes a day after the United States said it would cut its aid to the government by $1 billion over frustrations that feuding political leaders could not reach an agreement and form a team to negotiate with the Taliban. 

A NATO Resolute Support defence official said the response to the attack had been led and executed by Afghan forces, but received some advice and assistance from NATO. 

Sikhs are a small religious minority in Afghanistan numbering fewer than 300 families. They are among the persecuted minorities eligible for citizenship in India under a citizenship law Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, which has drawn backlash because it does not include Muslims.

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