American University Attacked In Kabul, Afghanistan: At Least 13 Killed, 36 Wounded [Update]

At least 13 people were killed and 36 others were wounded when gunmen attacked the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghan, officials said Thursday morning.

According to Kabul police chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi, approximately 12 hours after the attack began, 700 students had already been rescued from the university campus.

Although the victims’ details were not immediately disclosed to the public, Hedayatullah Stanikzai, an official with the Ministry of Public Health, said that a university guard was among the dead.

Witnesses said the gunmen entered the university with ease, despite the tight security measures, including watchtowers and armed guards.

[Photo by Rahmat Gul/AP Images]

“I finished my class and was about to leave when I heard a few gunshots and a huge explosion, followed by more gunfire,” student Ahmad Mukhtar told Reuters. “I ran toward the emergency exit with other students, climbed the wall and jumped outside.”

Another student described what it was like to escape from the second-floor window.

“Many students jumped from the second floor, some broke their legs and some hurt their head trying to escape,” Abdullah Fahimi, a student who escaped, told Reuters.

Fahimi reportedly injured his ankle making the leap.

“We were in the class when we heard a loud explosion followed by gunfire. It was very close. Some students were crying, others were screaming,” he continued.

Other students and foreign staffers who were unable to escape barricaded themselves inside classrooms and safe rooms.

According to Fox News, Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini was in a classroom huddled with 15 students when he heard an explosion near the southern flank of the campus.

“I went to the window to see what was going on, and I saw a person in normal clothes outside. He shot at me and shattered the glass,” Hossaini said.

Following the shooting, students barricaded themselves inside the classroom, pushing desks and chairs against the door, and crouching on the floor. According to Hossaini, at least two grenades were thrown into the classroom, wounding several students.

Fortunately, Hossaini and a few others managed to escape from the campus through an emergency gate.

“As we were running I saw someone lying on the ground face down, they looked like they had been shot in the back,” he said.

Hossaini and his small group of students took refuge in a residential house near the campus and were later safely evacuated by Afghan security forces.

terrorist attack
[Photo by Rahmat Gul/AP Images]

According to the program director at Kabul’s Emergency Hospital, Dejan Panic, 18 people wounded in the attack, including five women, had been admitted. Three of whom were seriously wounded.

Ahmad Jawad, a police officer who was at the site of the attack, told the New York Times that a car bomb had exploded in front of a school for the blind. Jawad said that the attackers had entered through there to fire at the university.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters that the U.S. Embassy was working to account for all of its personnel.

The U.S. military was assisting Afghan forces who responded to the attack, U.S. Army Colonel Michael T. Lawhorn told Fox News, adding, “These advisors are not taking a combat role, but advising their Afghan counterparts.”

This attack marks the second time in less than three weeks that the American University has been targeted by militants, reports Fox News.

On August 7, two of the university’s professors were kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul. The professors were later identified as Kevin King and Timothy Weeks from Australia. Men dressed in military uniforms reportedly abducted them as they were traveling between the campus and their home in Kabul.

The professors’ whereabouts are still unclear.

[Photo by Rahmat Gul/AP Images]

Share this article: American University Attacked In Kabul, Afghanistan: At Least 13 Killed, 36 Wounded [Update]
More from Inquisitr