At least 20 people were killed in Afghanistan's Jalalabad as a suicide bomber blew himself up. Most of those died in the blast were Hindus and Sikhs, including the only Sikh candidate in upcoming legislative elections.
The attack, responsibility of which was claimed by terror group ISIS, happened at a market located near the provincial governor's compound where President Ashraf Ghani was holding meetings.
Indian condemned the attacks as "heinous and cowardly". "We strongly condemn the heinous and cowardly terrorist attack in Jalalabad today evening which resulted in the death of 20 innocent Afghans, including 10 members of the Afghan Sikh Community, and injured more than 20 persons," the Indian Embassy in Kabul tweeted.
"We convey heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims and pray for early recovery of the injured...The attack again underlines the need for united global fight against international terrorism without discrimination and accountability of those who support terrorists in any manner," it said.
Avtar Singh Khalsa, a longtime leader of the Sikh community who had planned to run in the parliamentary elections set for October, was killed in the attack.
News agency PTI reported that the suicide bomber targeted a convoy, which was on its way, to meet President Ghani.
Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh also condemned the attack.
Strongly condemn deadly attack by ISI on delegation of Sikhs & others on way to meet Afghan president. Let global community rise in one voice against barbaric forces of terror & vow to wipe out the menace from the world. My govt extends all help to the victims & their families.— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) July 1, 2018
President Ghani arrived in Jalalabad earlier on Sunday to open a hospital, part of a two-day visit to the province bordering Pakistan, news agency AFP reported.
(with inputs from agencies)
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