Militants attack American University in Kabul, at least one dead

Militants attack American University in Kabul, at least one dead

Dozens of special forces surrounded the university compound, where shooting lasted for more than an hour after the attack started yesterday evening around 6.30 pm (1400 GMT). Photograph: (Getty)

WION Kabul, Afghanistan Aug 25, 2016, 04.09 AM (IST)
Suspected militants attacked the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul yesterday, trapping foreign staff and dozens of students inside the campus.

At least one student was killed and 14 wounded in the attack, Mohammad Saleem Rasouly, head of hospitals in the Afghan capital, told the media.

Dozens of special forces surrounded the university compound, where shooting lasted for more than an hour after the attack started yesterday evening around 6.30 pm (1400 GMT).

Witnesses at the scene said gunfire had since stopped, and special forces had made their way into the compound.

"I heard explosions and gunfire is going on close by our classroom is filled with smoke and dust," said an anxious student.

"We are stuck inside and very afraid," she said via telephone.

Students used classroom furniture to barricade the doors while many others tweeted desperate messages for help.
 



Associated Press photojournalist Massoud Hossaini, who was among the trapped, was said to be wounded and later managed to escape with some fellow students.

"Many students have been evacuated," said interior ministry spokesman Sediq Sediqqi, adding that there were no immediate reports of any hostages taken by the attackers. "We are not sure about the number of attackers but our special forces have started clearance operations."

US military advisers were assisting Afghan forces to respond to the attack, an American defense official said.

Kabul-based journalist Ahmad Mukhtar, a university student, tweeted that he managed to escape but "several of my friends and professors (are) trapped inside".

Ambulances rushed to the scene as erratic gunshots rang out from inside the campus.

The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Kabul tweeted that at least five wounded people had been brought to the facility for treatment.
   

So far no group has claimed responsibility for the assault, which comes just weeks after two university professors - an American and an Australian - were kidnapped at gunpoint near the school.

The attack, which underscores the worsening security situation in Afghanistan, comes as Taliban insurgents step up their summer fighting season against the Western-backed Kabul government.

The management of the American University of Afghanistan, which opened in 2006 and enrols more than 1,700 students, was not immediately reachable for comment.

(WION with inputs from agencies)

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

Students used classroom furniture to barricade the doors while many others tweeted desperate messages for help

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