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Afghanistan: 19 killed as Daesh armed assailants attack Kabul University

3rd Nov 2020
Afghanistan: 19 killed as Daesh armed assailants attack Kabul University

By Shadi Khan Saif

 

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): At least 19 students and teachers were killed and 22 wounded when unknown assailants stormed Kabul University in the Afghan capital Monday following multiple blasts and a gunfight, officials confirmed.

While the Taliban, who are negotiating a political settlement with Kabul to end 19 years of fighting, rejected their involvement in the attack, the Daesh/ISIS terror group took credit for the bloodshed.

A statement along with a photo of two assailants carrying assault rifles was posted on the group’s propaganda website Amaq.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that several armed assailants entered the university building in Kabul at around 11.00 a.m. (0630GMT) through the northern gate, causing chaos, with students running for their lives.

“They began shooting indiscriminately at everyone in sight,” an eyewitness said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a statement the attack ended at around 5.00 p.m. (1230GMT) with all three attackers killed.

“The vicious terrorist attack on Kabul University ended with all three terrorists killed. In this incident, unfortunately, 19 people were martyred and 22 others injured,” he said in a statement.

Afghanistan marked a national day of mourning on Tuesday in connection with a brazen Kabul University attack.

Hundreds of Kabul residents gathered in front of the university to denounce the attack, and expressed solidarity with the victims.

Health Ministry spokesman Akmal Samsor told Anadolu Agency that most of the injured, many in critical condition, were rushed to the nearby Ali Abad Public Hospital.

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, blaming the Taliban insurgents for the raging bloodshed in the country, called this attack an “intelligence failure.”

The attack took place as a book exhibition by Afghan and Iranian publishers was underway at Kabul University.

Government, UN, Turkey condemn attack

The attack has been condemned by the Afghan government, its international partners, and human rights groups.

A spokesman for President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani said the “enemy” (the Taliban) carried out the attack after facing defeat in the Helmand province, adding that it is “showing instability by attacking such an academic place.”

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan tweeted: “There can be no justification to unleash such terrible violence at a school or college. Our heartfelt sympathies are with the victim’s families and friends.”

Turkey also condemned the attack, with its embassy in Kabul saying: “Terrorism has no religion, ethnicity or nationality. Fighting and talking should not be an option.”

Pakistan also condemned the attack. “We extend our deepest sympathies & heartfelt condolences to families of victims & wish speedy recovery to wounded,” its Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Last week, at least 24 teenage students were killed in a similar Daesh-claimed attack on an academic institute in the capital’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, an area with a large population of the Shia Muslim Hazara minority.

[Photo: An interior view of the Kabul University on November 03, 2020 after Daesh terrorists stormed Kabul University in the Afghan capital, Kabul. Photographer:  Sayed Khodaiberdi Sadat/AA]

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