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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19 dead, 22 wounded in attack on university in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Gunmen stormed Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan, sparking an hours-long gun battle and leaving at least 19 dead and 22 wounded at the war-torn country’s largest school.

The ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, also said there were three attackers involved in the assault, all of whom were killed in the ensuing firefight. As the sun slowly set over the Afghan capital, there were few other details though the Taliban issued a statement denying they took part in the assault.

The attack came as the insurgents are continuing peace talks with the U.S.-backed government. Those negotiations, taking place in the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, aim to help the U.S. finally withdraw from America’s longest war, though daily bloodshed continues and an Islamic State affiliate launches its own attacks on Shiites in the country.

Five hours into the fighting, sporadic grenade explosions and automatic weapons fire echoed down the empty streets surrounding the university’s fenced compound. Afghan troops stood guard. Earlier, students were seen fleeing for their lives from the site.

“Unfortunately, there are casualties,” Arian said as the assault unfolded, without elaborating.

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.

Afghan media reported a book exhibition was being held at the university and attended by a number of dignitaries at the time of the shooting.

While Afghan officials declined to discuss the bookfair, Iran’s semiofficial ISNA news agency reported Sunday that Iranian Ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural attaché Mojtaba Noroozi were scheduled to inaugurate the fair, which would host some 40 Iranian publishers. Iranian state television reported the attack occurred, but did not offer information on its officials.

Iranian diplomats have been targeted previously by attacks in the country and nearly sparked a war between the two countries. In 1998, Iran held the Taliban responsible for the deaths of nine Iranian diplomats who were working in its consulate in northern Afghanistan and sent reinforcements to the 580-mile-long border that Iran and Afghanistan share.

No group immediately took responsibility for the ongoing attack though the Taliban issued a statement saying they were not involved. However, suspicion immediately fell on the Islamic State group.

Last month, the Islamic State group sent a suicide bomber into an education center in the capital’s Shiite dominated neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, killing 24 students and injuring more than 100. The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has declared war on Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims and have staged dozens of attacks since emerging in 2014.

Schools have been targeted for attacks in the past as well. Last year, a bomb outside of the Kabul University campus’ gates killed eight people. In 2016, gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul, killing 13.

Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even

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IS attack on Afghan university leaves 22 dead, 22 wounded


KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Islamic State militants in Afghanistan stormed the Kabul University on Monday as it hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gun battle 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.



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 IS 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, IS also claimed a brutal assault on a tutoring center in the Afghan capital’s mostly Shiite neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi that

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Attack on Afghan university leaves 19 dead, 22 wounded

Gunmen stormed Kabul University in Afghanistan on Monday as the campus hosted a book fair attended by the Iranian ambassador, sparking an hours-long gun battle that left at least 19 people dead and 22 wounded. Most of the casualties were students.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack at Afghanistan’s largest school, but the Taliban issued a statement denying participation in the assault, which came as the insurgents continue peace talks with representatives of Kabul’s U.S.-backed government.

As the attack unfolded, students and teachers were seen fleeing the campus while hand grenades exploded and automatic rifle fire sounded. Scores of Afghan special forces surrounded the campus, shepherding teachers and students to safety.

Hours later, the chaos subsided as the sun set over the Afghan capital. The Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, said three attackers were involved in the assault, all of whom were killed in the ensuing gun battle.

It was the second attack on an educational institution in Kabul in two weeks. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a brutal assault on a tutoring center in the city’s mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, which killed at least 24 students and wounded more than 100 others Oct. 24.

The peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Kabul government, known as intra-Afghan talks, were part of a deal Washington signed with the insurgents in February. The talks are taking place in Qatar and are seen as Afghanistan’s best chance at peace. But daily bloodshed has continued.

Five hours into the fighting 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 that 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 on the university’s eastern side, where its law and journalism faculty teach.

Afghan media reported that a book exhibition was being held at the university and attended by a number of dignitaries at the time of the shooting. None of the dignitaries was reported hurt.

While Afghan officials declined to discuss the book fair, Iran’s semiofficial ISNA news agency reported Sunday that Iranian Ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural attache Mojtaba Noroozi were to inaugurate the fair, which was hosting about 40 Iranian publishers.

Iranian diplomats have been targeted previously in Afghanistan, incidents that dangerously escalated tensions between the two countries. In 1998, Iran held the Taliban responsible for the deaths of nine Iranian diplomats working in its consulate in northern Afghanistan, and sent reinforcements to its 580-mile-long border with Afghanistan.

With no claim of responsibility for Monday’s attack, suspicion immediately fell on Islamic State, which has declared war on Afghanistan’s minority Shiites and staged dozens of attacks since emerging in the region in 2014. A horrific attack earlier this year on a Kabul maternity hospital — also in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood — was blamed on the group. In that

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At least 18 killed, dozens wounded in suicide bombing outside Kabul education center

At least 18 people were killed and 57 injured Saturday during a suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, the interior ministry said. The casualty toll may rise as family members continue searching hospitals where the wounded are being treated.

The explosion occurred outside an education center in Dasht-e-Barchi, a heavily Shiite neighborhood in the western section of the capital, per The Associated Press. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Taliban — which has begun peace talks with the Afghan government amid an ongoing, decades-long conflict that has seen a recent surge in violence — rejected any involvement. The Islamic State said it was behind a similar attack that killed 34 students at an education center in 2018, but there has been no word from the militant group regarding the most recent incident.

Also on Saturday, one roadside bomb killed nine people in eastern Afghanistan, and a second killed two policemen after it struck their vehicle en route to the site of the first explosion. Again, no one claimed responsibility, although a spokesman for the provincial police claimed the Taliban had placed the explosives, AP reports. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O’Donnell

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