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Seattle, Oct 21, 2001

Two Sikhs were attacked in the suburbs around Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, apparently in the mistaken belief that they are Muslims, authorities said. Sikh men who grow beards and wear turbans are sometimes mistaken for Muslims. The Sikh religion is from India and has no link to those suspected to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11.

Since the terrorist attacks, a number of Sikhs have been assaulted, and a Sikh gasoline station owner in Arizona was killed. Karnail Kail Singh, who does not wear a beard or turban, said he was on the telephone about 8 a.m. Sunday when an assailant entered the lobby, shouted ``You still here? Go to Allah!'' and knocked him unconscious with two blows from a wood and metal cane. He required nine stitches in his head. ``I'm scared. There's no security,'' said Kail Singh, 47, a U.S. citizen from India who owns the SeaTac Crest Motor Inn.

A man was arrested nearby and jailed for investigation of second-degree assault and may be charged with malicious harassment, a felony carrying tougher penalties, sheriff's deputies said. The other victim, 23-year-old Rubinder Singh, was crossing the street about 8 p.m. Saturday when he was hit in the face from behind and knocked to the ground. He refused medical attention. ``It's just because of my skin color that they hit me,'' he said. Police said a witness reported hearing a boy of about 14 say, ``I'm going to bomb on him,'' shortly before the attack and were looking for him.


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