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KABUL: At least 22 people, including students, were killed and several others injured as terrorists stormed the sprawling campus of Kabul University in Afghanistan’s capital on Monday.
As per details, the attackers were targeting students and fired on them as they fled while several students were taken hostage by the assailants during the attack.
A spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Interior, Tariq Arian said three terrorists entered Kabul University and opened fire on students and staff. As a result, 22 persons, mostly students sustained severe injuries and died, while several others injured in the attack.
Soon after, the attack police and other security agencies reached the scene and killed three attackers. A military official talking to media said that the NATO-led Resolute Support mission provided support to Afghan security forces as they responded to the incident. U.S. forces were among those to respond.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said their fighters were not involved in the assault. No other group immediately claimed responsibility.
Witnesses said the attack followed an explosion in the area. A student named Milad Kohistani posted a photo on Facebook earlier showing his face bloodied and asking for prayers and help. “My classmates were killed and wounded in front of my eyes, and we have been taken hostage,” he wrote.
Meanwhile, Vice President Amrullah Saleh, who has been tasked by President Ashraf Ghani with security for the capital city, called the attack an “intelligence failure” and blamed it on the Taliban, accusing neighboring Pakistan of supporting the insurgents.
The militants “next door won’t be able to wash their conscience of this stinking and non-justifiable attack on Kabul university,” Saleh tweeted.
The university was hosting a literary event, the “Afghanistan and Iran book exhibition,” at the time of the attack. A dozen high-ranking government officials, including ministers and the Iranian ambassador, were expected to attend.
According to its website, Kabul University is Afghanistan’s oldest public university, established in 1932. It has a student body of more than 17,000, but it was not clear how many students were on the campus, which is surrounded by a perimeter security wall, at the time of the attack.