March 25 (UPI) -- Afghan officials said at least 25 people were killed and nearly a dozen were injured in an attack Wednesday at a Sikh temple in Kabul's Shorbazar community.
Officials said gunmen burst into the temple and a community center and took hostages. Afghan lawmaker Nardendar Singh Khalisa said about 150 people were praying when the attack began.
"The clearing operation is underway in the temple," interior ministry spokesman Ahmad Tariq Arian said. "According to our initial information, four attackers are involved in the attack."
Sikhs and Hindus have become persecuted religious minorities in Afghanistan, as their numbers have dwindled after years of war.
Monday, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States will cut $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan's government and threatened another $1 billion cut next year unless political infighting, which could threaten peace efforts, ceases.
U.S. and Taliban negotiators reached a peace agreement earlier this month that signaled the beginning of a full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan, where they have held a constant presence since 2001.
Seventeen Sikhs were killed in a 2018 attack in Nangarhar Province, which was the largest attack against worshipers until Wednesday.