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Avtar Singh Khalsa: Afghan Sikh Parliamentary Candidate Killed in Attack

July 2, 2018, 6:37 PM IST India India
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A suicide bomber attacked a group on their way to meet Afghanistan's president in Jalalabad on Sunday, killing at least 19 people
Avtar Singh Khalsa, longtime leader of the Sikh community, was killed in the attack.
Avtar was planning to run in the parliamentary elections in October, for a seat in the lower house
Sikhs and Hindus, having been driven out of many areas by heavy fighting, looked at Khalsa as a lone ray of hope
Khalsa was slated to join the parliament at a time when the Afghan government is struggling against a resurgent Taliban
17 out of 19 dead in the attack are from the minority Sikh and Hindu community, said hospital officials
The group was on its way to the governor's compound, to meet President Ashraf Ghani
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban and an Islamic State affiliate are active in the province