Attack Targets American University Of Afghanistan In Kabul
August 24, 2016
by RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan
At least one gunman has attacked the American University of Afghanistan campus, with students and officials reporting explosions and gunfire inside the grounds and at least 14 people reported injured.
Security forces have surrounded the area, just outside Kabul, and an Interior Ministry spokesman said those troops "are trying to search for the terrorists."
The spokesman, Sediq Seddiqi, said it was not yet clear how many attackers were involved.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as fundamentalist Taliban militants step up their summer fighting season against the central government.
Roman Dehsabzwal, who was inside a second-floor classroom when the assault began, told RFE/RL's Radio Free Afghanistan that he believed an attacker blew himself up just outside a building and then others began entering.
"First there was a loud bang and windows shattered, then gunfire started," Dehsabzwal said. "One of my friends was wounded."
Dehsabzwal said he escaped by jumping from the second floor along with two others, then fleeing the scene.
The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Kabul initially said five wounded people had been brought to that facility for treatment.
Dehsabzwal estimated that 300 students might still be inside the compound.
The university, which opened in 2006, has more than 1,700 students, many of whom take classes part-time while working full-time jobs.
The campus attack comes two weeks after two teachers at the university -- an Australian and an American -- were abducted by unknown gunmen in Kabul. Their whereabouts are still unknown.
The violence comes as the Taliban are escalating nationwide attacks.
Afghan forces backed by U.S. troops have engaged in heavy fighting in Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand Province, seeking to head off a potential Taliban takeover.
With reporting by AFP
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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