News Wrap: ISIS attackers kill at least 22 at Kabul University

Judy Woodruff:

The ambassador to Afghanistan from Iran was supposed to be at the book fair. It is unclear if the attackers knew that.

Thousands of Muslims demonstrated in Indonesia today over cartoons in France that mock the Prophet Mohammed. Crowds massed in Jakarta, capital of the world’s largest Muslim-majority country. They condemned French President Macron’s refusal to ban the cartoons. There have been similar protests across the Muslim world.

Emergency workers in Turkey have rescued two children three days after an earthquake that killed 94 people. Applause broke out today as crews in Izmir carried a 3-year-old girl wrapped in a foil blanket to an ambulance. Efforts to find other survivors continued.

A potentially catastrophic hurricane is bearing down on Central America tonight. Eta is already a Category 4 and could get even stronger. It’s on track to strike Nicaragua overnight with winds of at least 130 miles an hour and up to three feet of rain across the region.

And on Wall Street, rallied from last week’s losses after reports on corporate profits and manufacturing came in better than expected. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 423 points to close at 26925. The Nasdaq rose 46 points, and the S&P 500 added 40.

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At least 22 dead, 22 wounded in ISIS attack on Afghan university

KABUL, Afghanistan — Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gunbattle and leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

Most of the casualties were students and there were fears the death toll could climb further with some of the wounded said to be in critical condition.

It was the second attack on an educational institution in Kabul in as many weeks.

The Taliban promptly issued a statement denying they took part in the assault, which came as the insurgents continue peace talks with representatives of Kabul’s U.S.-backed government, with the aim to help the United States finally withdraw from Afghanistan. Later in the day, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Gen. Scott Miller, who commands U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told the BBC that Afghan forces must be ready to defend their country. (Operation Resolute Support)

As the attack unfolded, students and teachers were seen fleeing the part of the campus where law and journalism schools are located, while hand grenades exploded and automatic rifle fire could be heard. Scores of Afghan special forces surrounded the campus, shepherding teachers and students to safety.

The chaos subsided as the sun set over the Afghan capital and the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, said all three attackers involved in the assault were killed.

The Islamic State group said it targeted newly graduated “judges and investigators belonging to the apostate Afghan government” gathered at the campus, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terror online messaging.

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ISIS attack on Afghan university leaves 22 dead, 22 wounded

KABUL, Afghanistan — Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gunbattle and leaving at least 22 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

Most of the casualties were students and there were fears the death toll could climb further with some of the wounded said to be in critical condition.

It was the second attack on an educational institution in Kabul in as many weeks.

The Taliban promptly issued a statement denying it took part in the assault, which came as the insurgents continue peace talks with representatives of Kabul’s U.S.-backed government, with the aim to help the United States finally withdraw from Afghanistan. Later in the day, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack.

As the attack unfolded, students and teachers were seen fleeing the part of the campus where law and journalism schools are located, while hand grenades exploded and automatic rifle fire could be heard. Scores of Afghan special forces surrounded the campus, shepherding teachers and students to safety.

The chaos subsided as the sun set over the Afghan capital and the Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, said all three attackers involved in the assault were killed.

The Islamic State group said it targeted newly graduated “judges and investigators belonging to the apostate Afghan government” gathered at the campus, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors terror online messaging.

The ISIS statement claimed only two of its fighters were involved, and posted their photographs, which conflicted with the Afghan authorities’ report of three attackers. The claim did not indicate the IS intended to target the Iranian envoy or the book fair.

Last week, ISIS also claimed a brutal assault on a tutoring center in the Afghan capital’s mostly Shiite neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi that killed at least 24 students and wounded more than 100 others on Oct. 24.

Five hours into the fighting on Monday, sporadic grenade explosions and automatic weapons fire still echoed down the empty streets surrounding the university’s fenced compound. Afghan troops stood guard.

Ahmad Samim, a university student, told journalists he saw militants armed with pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles firing at the school, the country’s oldest with some 17,000 students. He said the attack happened at the university’s eastern side, where its law and journalism faculty teach.

 

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