India has condemned as 'heinous and cowardly' the terrorist attack on a convoy of Sikhs in Afghanistan that left 20 people dead and said the incident underlined the need for united global fight against international terrorism.
A suicide bomber targeted the convoy on their way to meet Afghanistan's President in the eastern city of Jalalabad on Sunday.
The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing.
Police chief Ghulam Sanaei Stanikzai told Pajhwok Afghan News that the suicide bomber detonated his explosives when the minority community members wanted to enter the governor's house to meet President Ashraf Ghani, who was visiting the region.
'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.
Some reports said 19 people were killed in the attack and 17 of them were from the minority Sikh and Hindu community.
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.
In a statement released on Monday, the IS said it had targeted a group of ‘polytheists’.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday termed the terror strike as an attack on the nation's multicultural fabric.
'We strongly condemn the terror attacks in Afghanistan yesterday. They are an attack on Afghanistan's multicultural fabric,' he wrote on Twitter.
He said India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan government 'in this sad hour'.
'My thoughts are with the bereaved families. I pray that the injured recover soon. India stands ready to assist the Afghanistan government in this sad hour,' Modi said.
External Affairs Minster Sushma Swaraj said she would be meeting the relatives of the victims in New Delhi.
In her tweet, Swaraj said, ‘My heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the terror attack in Jalalabad city of Afghanistan. We are with them in this hour of tragedy.’
She said she would be meeting their relatives on Monday at 6 pm in JN Bhavan.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh also strongly condemned the terror attack.
‘Strongly condemn deadly attack on delegation of Sikhs & others on way to meet Afghan president,’ Amarinder said in a tweet.