Nearly 10 hours long militant assault at the American University in Kabul killed at least 12 people including seven students. Hundreds of students and faculty members were trapped inside the university during the attack.
Officials said that the assault began on Wednesday evening with a car bomb explosion followed by gunfire. Afghan Special Forces with the help from NATO and US military advisers surrounded the university walled compound and finally made their way inside. After night of deadly assault the gunmen ended their gunfire at the early hours of Thursday.
According to Kabul police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi, three police officers and two security guards were also in the dead list. He said that almost 35 students and nine police officers were injured. They were taken to the hospitals. About 750 students and staffs were rescued from the university.
Many trapped students tweeted desperate messages for help and some using classroom furnitures to block the doors. Among them was Pulitzer winning Associate Press photographer Massoud Hossaini who was injured and managed to escape with some fellow students.
The university attack came two weeks after two professors of the university were abducted by unidentified gunmen. Their condition is still unknown. No militant groups claimed the attack so far. But it was suspected Taliban militants are involved as they ramp up their summer warfare with the Kabul government.
In Lashkar Gah, the capital of southern Helmand Province, Afghan forces backed by US troops engaged in a heavy battle to take off a potential Taliban takeover.
The US State Department condemned this attack, stated, it was “an attack on the future of Afghanistan”.
The American University of Kabul opened in 2006 and registers more than 1,700 students. It is a high-profile target for the insurgent groups as it attracts foreign faculty members.