Afghanistan blast: Sikhs among 19 dead in Jalalabad suicide attack

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A suicide bombing in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad has killed at least 19 people, most of them members of the country’s Sikh minority.

Police said they had been travelling in a vehicle to meet President Ashraf Ghani, who is visiting Nangarhar province, when the bomber struck.

Among those killed was the only Sikh candidate who had planned to contest October’s parliamentary elections.

The Islamic State (IS) group said it carried out the attack.

Hours earlier, Mr Ghani had opened a hospital in Jalalabad during his two-day visit to Nangarhar. Officials said he was not in the area when the suicide blast occurred.

The Indian embassy in Kabul condemned the “cowardly terrorist” attack.

It confirmed that Awtar Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate running in the 20 October elections, was among the dead.

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