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The Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) has taken responsibility in an email to Radio Akash in London for last Sunday’s massacre at a Sikh temple in Vienna (pictured: severely-injured guru Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, is recovering in hospital).

KZF takes responsibility for Vienna temple massacre

The Khalistan Zindabad Force (KZF) has taken responsibility in an email to Radio Akash in London for last Sunday’s massacre at a Sikh temple in Vienna, it emerged today (Fri).

The email from KZF, in which it took responsibility in the name of its leader Ranjit Singh, arrived on Monday this week. A second email from the same address cited the reason for the massacre.

The Indian English-language newspaper The Hindu has reported the second email received by Radio Akash, which is operated by an Indian from the Punjab, said: "We were forced to act because the two gurus do not observe Sikh rules of belief and had ignored earlier warnings."

A third email from a different address, however, claimed KZF was not responsible, expressed sorrow over what had happened and blamed the Indian secret service and the government of Punjab for the attack. It appeared to have a scanned copy of KDF’s letterhead and a date change in longhand that cast doubt on its authenticity.

The European Union has called KZF, which wants Indian Punjab to become a Sikh state, a terrorist organisation.

Meanwhile, the number of men who attacked two gurus and others at the Sikh temple in Vienna-Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus has not yet been officially established.

Vienna public-prosecution office spokesman Gerhard Jarosch said on Wednesday this week some witnesses had claimed there had been only six attackers whereas others had said there had been more.

Severely-injured guru Sant Niranjan Dass, 68, is recovering in hospital while being guarded by members of the elite Cobra unit. Dass received his first visitors on Tuesday.

The other guru attacked on Sunday, Sant Rama Anand, died a few hours after the attack from gun shots in his chest and back.

The two gurus, who flew to Austria from India for Sunday’s temple service, had been receiving warnings from other believers for some time, according to members of Vienna’s Sikh community.

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