Report: Explosion, Gunshots at American University in Kabul

The President of American University of Afghanistan, Dr. C. Michael Smith poses for a portrait at The American University of Afghanistan in Kabul on January 31, 2010. The former president of the American University of Nigeria (AUN), Smith also oversaw the accreditation of 30 universities in the United Arab Emirates …

Afghan officials have confirmed reports of an attack on the American University of Afghanistan Kabul campus, with various reports on social media suggesting a number of professors and students are still stuck inside.

Update 2:05PM EDT: Reuters is confirming at least one death in the raid and fourteen wounded, citing the head of Kabul’s hospital network.

Update 12:45PM EDT: Local Afghan media say hundreds have escaped the university but many trapped inside. While unofficial death and injured counts are circulating on social media, Afghan authorities have yet to release a number.

TOLO News reports still active gunfire on the scene an hour after the siege began:

Some are confirming earlier reports that attackers entered through a neighboring school for the blind:

Among those believed to be trapped in the complex is Pulitzer Prize-winning Associated Press photographer Massoud Hossaini, who tweeted that he heard both explosions and gunfire.

At least one source stuck inside the university building has confirmed some deaths. “Several students been killed and injured; many students and professors are stuck. Some managed to escape, but we are still here. Please help us,” an unidentified student told the Los Angeles Times.

According to CBS News, many of those trapped inside are American professors, and “hundreds” of students may still be stuck inside. Reuters confirmed the attack with a member of the Afghan Interior Ministry, and those in Kabul confirm seeing police action in the area. The attack began around 7 PM local time, while multiple classes were still underway.

New York Times writer says sources claim a bomb went off at a nearby school for the blind.

Afghanistan’s TOLO News has published an image of smoke emanating from the campus and confirmed gunmen made their way into the building.

#AUAF was targeted and firing continues. Pple are inside and say the attackers are on hospital side.

Posted by Ali Anis on Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Hossaini, meanwhile, has tweeted for help.

Hamid Haidari, a reporter for Afghanistan’s 1TV, confirms that gunfire is ongoing.

Fox News notes this is not the first time in recent memory that the university comes under fire. Earlier this month, two of the university’s employees were abducted “by men in military uniforms,” their fates unclear.


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