A large explosion and gunfire have been reported at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul. The New York Times reported a large car bomb detonated outside of a school for the blind which is next to the university. A senior interior ministry official said “Several gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul and there are reports of gunfire and explosions. They are inside the compound and there are foreign professors along with hundreds of students.”- Reuters
After the explosion an unknown number of gunmen reportedly began to fire on the university campus. Around 7 pm local time, Afghan security forces arrived at the scene and are still trying to get a hold of the situation. The US military is assisting the Afghan security forces in an advisory role.
University President Mark English told the Associated Press that security forces had arrived on the scene soon after the attack began around 7 p.m., adding, “We are trying to assess the situation.”- LA Times
So far, 40 people have reportedly escaped the school. The number of the students and professors remaining inside is still unknown but dozens are believed to have barricaded themselves inside the classrooms. Approximately 1,700 full and part-time students are enrolled in the university. There are reports of fatalities and several wounded but an accurate number is unclear at this time. Fox has reported at least one dead and 14 wounded.
An AP photographer inside the campus at the time of the attack, described a male dressed in “normal clothes” firing on the students. Hosseini and several other students managed to escape through an emergency exit.
Associated Press photographer Massed Hossaini said he was in a classroom with 15 students when he heard an explosion on 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, adding that he fell on the glass and cut his hands.
More to follow as this situation is still ongoing.
Reports of attack on American University in #Kabul. Exercise caution, avoid unnecessary movement in the area & monitor news for updates.
— Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov) August 24, 2016
Image courtesy of AP