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Sikhs and Hindus under threat from Afgan Forced to leave their birthplaces

The Show Time/ source HINDUSTAN TIMES

Afghanistan's dwindling community of Sikhs and Hindus is shrinking to its lowest levels. With growing threat from the local Islamic State affiliate, many are choosing to leave the country of their birth to escape the insecurity and a once-thriving community of as many as 250,000 members now counts fewer than 700. The community's numbers have been declining for years because of deep-rooted discrimination in the majority Muslim country. But, without what they say is adequate protection from the government, the attacks by the Islamic State group may complete the exodus. "We are no longer able to stay here," said a member of the tiny community, who asked to be identified only by his last name, Hamdard, out of fear he may be targeted for speaking out. Hamdard said seven relatives of his, including his sister, nephews, and son-in-law were killed by Islamic State gunmen in an attack on the community's temple in March, which killed 25 Sikhs.

Hindu temples in Kabul's old city were destroyed during brutal fighting between rival warlords from 1992-96. The fighting drove out scores of Hindu and Sikhs

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