KABUL, Afghanistan — An overnight assault on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul ended with at the very least thirteen individuals killed and dozens wounded, after a ten-hour siege during which trapped college students hid in terror as gunmen stalked the halls.
Abdul Basir Mujahid, a spokesman for the Kabul police, stated two gunmen had made it previous the college’s safety after one other attacker, a suicide bomber, detonated explosives in a car to clear an entrance.
Seven college students, three cops, two college guards and one guard who labored for a faculty for the blind, simply subsequent door to the college, have been among the many lifeless, Mr. Mujahid stated. Thirty others have been wounded, he stated. The bomber and each gunmen have been additionally killed.
Khawaja Qamaruddin Sediqi, an adviser on the Afghan Ministry of Well being, offered barely totally different figures, saying that 14 individuals had been killed and almost 50 others wounded.
President Ashraf Ghani condemned the assault as “barbaric” and described it as an act of enmity towards progress and improvement.
“Terrorists and their sponsors ought to know that the individuals and authorities of Afghanistan will proceed on the trail that they’ve chosen regardless of the hardships,” Mr. Ghani stated in a press release. “Attacking instructional establishments and public locations and concentrating on civilians won’t solely fail to shake our willpower, however will additional strengthen it to battle and eradicate terror.”
By Thursday afternoon, no group had claimed duty, although a press release from Mr. Ghani’s workplace steered that suspicion had fallen on the Haqqani wing of the Taliban, or another Pakistan-based mostly faction. The assertion stated that preliminary intelligence steered the assault had been orchestrated from Pakistan, and Mr. Ghani referred to as the Pakistani military chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, and “requested for critical and sensible measures towards the terrorists organizing the assault.”
For a lot of the night time, relations of the individuals trapped contained in the college gathered outdoors a safety cordon, hoping for information of their family members. Some college students inside took to social media to ask for assist, however they later fell silent — probably for security causes, to keep away from alerting the gunmen to their places.
Afghan particular forces reduce off the world’s electrical energy and commenced evacuating lots of of scholars, shifting slowly in an try and keep away from civilian casualties, stated Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for the Inside Ministry. The siege was declared over shortly earlier than 5 a.m. on Thursday.
Established in 2006, the American College shortly turned a prestigious selection for a few of Afghanistan’s brightest college students, providing undergraduate and graduate levels to women and men alike, with programs taught in English. As insurgents have ramped up their assaults just lately towards websites related to foreigners, forcing expatriates in Kabul to restrict their movements, the college has remained an apparent potential goal, a logo of Western ambitions for a progressive Afghanistan.
Among the many lifeless was Naqib Ahmad Khpulwak, a younger lecturer within the college’s regulation division, who had lately accomplished a grasp’s diploma in the USA by way of the Fulbright program and had returned house to show.
“Your grasp’s diploma continues to be mendacity in my pile of papers — you informed me to get it stamped and authorised,” one his pals in the USA, Ayub Khawreen, wrote in a Facebook post. “My mouth be damaged that I inspired you to return residence. However you wouldn’t take heed to me anyway — you have been boiling in your love for the nation, and on the finish you burned in that.”
A few of the individuals who had been trapped contained in the college described a ten-hour ordeal, a lot of it spent ready for demise in full darkness.
Abdullah Frotan, a scholar who was trapped till the very finish of the siege, stated he had been in a 3rd-flooring classroom when the preliminary explosion occurred. About 10 college students in his class tried to make it to the primary flooring to flee, however the gunmen have been already contained in the constructing, in order that they rushed again to the third flooring and tried to cover in a classroom.
“We have been mendacity like lifeless our bodies on the bottom within the rear of the category, and we put all of the chairs in entrance of us, and we hid behind the chairs,” Mr. Frotan stated. “They fired at us from the hall, they usually searched the category with a flashlight from the hall, nevertheless it was too darkish, and I feel they didn’t see us or they thought we have been lifeless.”
Two of his classmates have been wounded, one within the again and one within the leg, Mr. Frotan stated. They held their arms over their mouths to stifle cries of ache that would alert the attackers.
“Certainly one of our classmates didn’t come again with us to the third flooring. He was killed; we discovered this later,” Mr. Frotan stated.
In a separate assault Thursday morning within the northern province of Balkh, within the Kholm district, an explosion concentrating on an Afghan lawmaker killed 5 individuals and wounded 9 others, officers stated.
The goal of the explosion was the lawmaker Asadullah Sharifi, who escaped unhurt, however all of the victims have been civilians, stated Munir Ahmad Farhad, a spokesman for the governor of Balkh Province.
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