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ISIS Claims Responsibility for Deadly Temple Attack in Kabul

Islamic State says it was behind a Wednesday siege at a Sikh temple in Kabul, Afghanistan, that left at least 25 people dead, according to police. Gunmen and suicide bombers were reportedly involved, although other reports say the sounds of explosions were caused by hand grenades. Two weeks ago, a group affiliated with Sunni ISIS attacked Shi’ites in Kabul, leading to over 30 deaths. Afghanistan has also seen a spate of attacks by the Taliban despite an agreement last month with the US to reduce violence in an effort to bring about intra-Afghan peace talks. During the Wednesday siege, the Taliban denied they were behind it. On Tuesday, the US threatened to withhold aid to Afghanistan due to friction between President Ashraf Ghani and a rival politician who claims to have won last year’s presidential election. The rivalry is seen as being behind delays in starting the peace talks, which appear to be dependent on prisoner swaps, something Ghani has been refusing to participate in.