Attack on American University in Afghanistan leaves 13 dead
At least 13 people were killed and dozens were wounded in the assault on the sprawling campus on Kabul’s outskirts, a government spokesman said.
The attack underscored how despite efforts by the Afghan authorities to improve security, militants in this country are still able to stage large-scale and complex attacks, including in the country’s capital, Kabul. The dead included seven students and one teacher, according to Afghan authorities. Three police officers and two security guards were also killed, the Interior Ministry said.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the assault but suspicions are pointing to the Taliban. The group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, would only tell the media that the Taliban are investigating.”
President Ashraf Ghani laid the blame on neighboring Pakistan, accusing it of supporting the Taliban in sanctuaries across the border, and saying the attack had been “organised” in Pakistan. Ghani spoke by telephone with Pakistan’s army chief, Raheel Sharif, and demanded “serious action,” his office said. Pakistan’s foreign ministry has “strongly condemned” the attack.
Sediq Sediqqi, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said the toll had shot up to 13. He said that a teacher, identified on social media by the as Naqib Khpolwak, a graduate of Stanford Law School and a doctoral candidate at Oxford University, was also among those killed.
“Most of the dead were killed by gunshots near the windows of their classrooms,” said Sediqqi. The ministry said 36 people were wounded, including nine police officers.
The assault began just before 7 pm on Wednesday, a time when hundreds of students typically attend evening classes at the prestigious university, with a suicide car bombing at the university’s entrance.
The blast breached the security walls and allowed two other “terrorists,” beside the driver of the vehicle, to enter the campus, Sediqqi said. They were armed with grenades and automatic weapons. The siege of the university lasted almost nine hours, before police killed the two assailants around 3.30 am, he added. More than 200 people, mostly students who had been trapped in university buildings were rescued by special police units.
Pakistan slams Kabul varsity attack
Pakistan on Thursday condemned a terror attack on the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul that left at least 13 people dead and several others injured. “Pakistan strongly condemns the terrorist attack at the American University in Kabul this morning in which many precious human lives were lost while a number of people were injured,” the Foreign Office said in a statement here. “We extend our profound condolences with the Government and the people of Afghanistan and the families of those who lost their loved ones in this brutal terrorist attack. We also pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded,” it said.
US flays varsity attack, reaffirms support to Afghan government
Condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on the American University in Kabul, the US has reaffirmed its support to the Afghanistan and people and saluted the quick response of Afghan forces.
“The US condemns in the strongest terms the terrorist attack today on the American University of Afghanistan. We salute the quick work of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces who responded to the attack and secured the university,” Spokesman of the National Security Council, the White House, Ned Price said.
“We send our thoughts and prayers to the families and loved ones of those killed and our heartfelt wishes for a speedy recovery to those wounded. We further reaffirm the support of the US for the Afghan government and people as they continue to build a more stable, secure, and prosperous Afghanistan,” he said.
State Department spokesperson Elizabeth Trudeau said an attack on a university is an attack on the future of Afghanistan. There were a small number of Resolute Support advisers who assisted their Afghan counterparts as Afghan forces responded to the attack.