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19 dead in Afghan suicide attack, Sikhs and Hindus targeted

Among the 19 dead were 12 Sikhs and Hindus, while 20 people suffered injuries in the latest violence to rock the country.

Edited by: India TV News Desk, Kabul [ Updated: July 01, 2018 23:23 IST ]

Jalalabad bombing

At least 19 people were killed, many of them Sikhs, in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan's Jalalabad on Sunday. The suicide bomber blew himself up in a market located hundreds of metres from the provincial governor's compound where President Ashraf Ghani was holding meetings.

Among the 19 dead were 12 Sikhs and Hindus, while 20 people suffered injuries in the latest violence to rock the country.

Ghani's spokesman said the president was still in Nangarhar but was "away from danger". 

Ghani arrived in Jalalabad earlier today to open a hospital, part of a two-day visit to the province bordering Pakistan. 

The attack comes a day after Ghani ordered Afghan security forces to resume offensive operations against the Taliban following the expiration of the government's 18-day ceasefire. 

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate are active in the province. 

Sikhs and Hindus have long suffered widespread discrimination in the conservative Muslim country and been targeted by Islamic extremists. 

The community numbered more than 80,000 in the 1970s, but today only around 1,000 remain in the country. Under Taliban rule in the late 1990s, they were told to identify themselves by wearing yellow armbands, but the dictate was not wholly enforced. 

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