The Cable

Reports: American University Of Afghanistan Under Attack

There are multiple reports of gunfire and explosions at the school.

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The number of people injured in an attack against the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul has risen to 24, with at least one person dead.

As the day progressed, more details about the assault were revealed. The attackers — it remains unclear how many — blew open an outer wall, giving them access to the heavily-guarded campus. This trapped students and staff in classrooms as explosions and gunfire rang out.

The person killed in the attack, which took place around 7:00 pm Kabul time, was a university guard. No one has yet to claim responsibility for the assault.

Updated at 4:16 EST. 

The number of people injured in the attack has risen from 14 to 18, according to the Associated Press.

Updated at 3:03 EST. 

At least one student was killed, on top of at least 14 others who were injured, during an attack at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul on Wednesday, Mohammad Saleem Rasouly, head of the city’s hospitals, told Reuters.

Updated at 2:47 EST. 

The Afghan Ministry of the Interior said two assailants are still believed to be inside the university compound, according to FP contributor Andrew Quilty, who is in Kabul.

Quilty said there are no hostages, and that Afghan special forces are taking out survivors as they find them. He said a clearance operation is underway, and that he heard no more than six to eight gunshots over the last two hours.

Complicating matters is that electricity to the compound is out. He described the scene as “pitch black.”

Updated at 2:10 EST. 

The attack wounded one woman and 13 men, a spokesman for the Afghan Ministry of Health told the Wall Street Journal.

No group has yet to claim responsibility for the attack.

Updated at 1:40 EST. 

Attackers at the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul have not penetrated the campus security perimeter, security officials told the New York Times.

Meanwhile, FP contributor Andrew Quilty, who is in Kabul, said that there are no signs of fighting, but lots of special forces activity. He also reports civilians are being evacuated from the school by Afghan security forces.

CNN is now reporting at least five were injured in the attack.

Updated at 1:05 EST.

The American University of Afghanistan in Kabul is reportedly under attack, according to journalists, Afghan officials, and students at the school.

“Several gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul and there are reports of gunfire and explosions,” an Afghan interior ministry official told France 24. “They are inside the compound and there are foreign professors along with hundreds of students.”

CBS News’ Ahmad Mukhtar, reporting from Afghanistan, said several American professors are inside the school, and that some had escaped through emergency doors. Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini had also tweeted that he is trapped inside with others, but the message has since been deleted.

Mustafa Kazemi, a journalist based in Kabul, tweeted the photo below reportedly showing an explosion at the university.

He’s also reported that students inside the school’s complex are posting on social media that they are under attack, and that there have been explosions and gunfire.  One student told AFP, “We are stuck inside my class with other students. I heard explosions and gunfire is going on close by.”

Other reporters in the area said police and special forces have responded to the attack, and that ambulances are carrying the wounded to a nearby hospital. “We have been notified of a complex attack on the American University on Darul-Aman Road,” the commander of Kabul police’s quick reaction force told NBC News, adding, “We still don’t know the exact nature of the attack.”

It’s not clear who is responsible for the attack. Two professors at the school — Kevin King, an American, and Timothy Weeks from Australia — were kidnapped by five men wearing Afghan military uniforms earlier this month; their whereabouts are unknown.

The university opened in 2006. It has approximately 1,700 students.

Photo credit: WAKIL KOHSAR/Getty Images

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