Security

Gunmen storm Kabul University, leaving a trail of blood and carnage

AFP

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A man, wounded after gunmen stormed Kabul University, arrives in an ambulance at Isteqlal Hospital in Kabul on November 2. [Wakil Kohsar/AFP]

KABUL -- At least 19 people were killed and 22 wounded Monday (November 2) when militants stormed Kabul University in an attack that ended only after hours of fighting with security forces, officials said.

"Three attackers were involved. One of them blew up his explosives at the beginning; two were brought down by the security forces," Interior Affairs Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP.

The Taliban said they were not involved.

Most of those killed were students, Kabul Police spokesman Ferdows Faramarz told AFP.

The attack started when government officials were arriving for the opening of an Iranian book fair organised at the campus, Hamid Obaidi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Higher Education, told AFP.

Gunmen stormed the facility, sending hundreds fleeing and scrambling over walls of the campus as they tried to escape the gunfire, witnesses said.

Afghan security forces later surrounded the area, cordoning off all roads that led to the university, witnesses and an AFP correspondent reported.

"The attack is over, but sadly 19 people have been killed and 22 more wounded," Arian said on Twitter.

Students spoke of chaos and confusion.

"We were studying inside our classrooms when suddenly we heard a burst of gunfire inside the university," said Fraidoon Ahmadi, 23, adding that he and several other students were besieged for more than two hours before being rescued.

"We were very scared, and we thought it could be the last day of our lives... boys and girls were shouting, praying and crying for help."

About 800 students were in the social sciences building where he was studying.

"I have no words to express how we survived today's attack by gunmen on our university," he added.

Last week, at least 24 people, mostly students, were killed in a suicide attack on an educational centre in western Kabul that was claimed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).

In 2018, a suicide bomber killed dozens of people, many of them teenagers, in front of Kabul University in an another attack claimed by ISIS.

Militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul in 2016, killing 16 people.

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Don’t say anymore that it was the work of terrorists, but say it openly that it is the work of Iran. Our enemy is Iran. ISIS is Iran. Taliban is Iran. Iran hates us clearly and has humiliated us for many years. Iran is jealous of us, and like a dog, it is afraid of us, our youths and our future. They want us to be the slaves of Iran for many years, and they want us to be illiterate. Therefore, try to study and not waste your time. If you are in Europe and foreign countries, try to reform yourself, instead of doing useless things. The worthiest thing is your mindset, which should not be like the one you had in the past and it should build Afghanistan so that we should not be slaves and needy to Iran. My language has changed and become Iranian. I worked hard in Iran for many years, but Iran is a terrorist. I am saying this because I lived in Iran and saw their behavior.

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Attacking educational and civilian facilities is an ignorant and barbaric action. Yesterday, terrorists have turned Kabul University into a cemetery. We ask Paradise from Almighty Allah for the martyrs and an urgent and perfect healing for the wounded.

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We have been tired of expressing too many condolences. Afghan government officials should resign. They were not able to take the security of people’s lives and property. Every day, civilians are martyred and injured in the armed robberies and terrorist attacks, but the government cannot do anything. Therefore, it would be better if they resign. Believe me that the Interior Ministry cannot take security of its own personnel; they hide themselves in the concrete buildings and cannot come out, because they are scared from terrorists. The people of Afghanistan should protest against these corrupt and incompetent people and expel them from the government. How long should the people be killed every day, and they should just watch? The children of government officials are not at Kabul University, and they are studying in the best universities of the world. Kabul University is the place of poor and destitute people who cannot study in private universities and they are obliged to study in this public university. If you show me the son of a low-ranking government official at Kabul University, I will cut off my hand. They are all studying in the United States, the United Kingdom, Dubai and other countries.

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