Suspected militants stormed the Kabul campus of the American University of Afghanistan on Wednesday with some students jumping from second floor windows to escape the gunfire and explosions, witnesses and officials said.
News of casualties was sketchy, but the head of hospitals in the Afghan capital said at least one person had been killed and 14 students wounded in the assault.
Here are the updates of the attack:
- 11:55pm: The United States is closely monitoring the situation in Kabul, the White House said on Wednesday, adding that it was deeply concerned about the attack.
- 11:20pm: “A small number of advisers from the Resolute Support mission is currently assisting Afghan forces as they respond,” a US defence official said on condition of anonymity. “These advisers are not in a combat role; they are advising their Afghan counterparts.”
- 11:04pm: US ‘advisers’ helping Afghan forces at American University in Kabul, says official: AFP
- 10:39pm: One student dead, 14 wounded so far in university attack in Kabul, reports Reuters quoting head of city’s hospitals
- 10:32pm: The Italian-run Emergency Hospital in Kabul tweeted that at least five wounded people had been brought to the facility for treatment.
- 10:20pm: Unconfirmed reports indicate about 100 students and staff escaped but many trapped inside. Gunfire currently being heard as university attack continues, TOLONews tweets.
- 9.43pm: Police spokesman Sediq Sediqqi says police and intelligence agency personnel are at the campus, on the western outskirts of Kabul. He says police believe there is just one assailant.
- 9.33pm: “They (militants) are inside the compound and there are foreign professors along with hundreds of students,” an official tells Reuters about the attack. Ahmad Shaheer, a student at the university, says: “We are stuck inside our classroom and there are bursts of gunfire.”
- 9.25pm: Many other trapped students are tweeting desperate messages for help. Among them is Associated Press photojournalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Massoud Hossaini. “Help we are stuck inside AUAF and shooting followed by Explo this maybe my last tweets,” he tweeted.
- 9.24pm: No militant group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, which comes as the Taliban step up their summer fighting season against the Western-backed Kabul government.
- 9.23pm: Security forces have cordoned off the area. Officials confirm dozens of students and staff trapped inside, TOLONews tweets.
“We are stuck inside my class with other students. I heard explosions and gunfire is going on close by,” a student told AFP by telephone.
TOLONews said it appeared the gunmen had managed to enter the university, adding that casualties were feared.
Two professors -- an American and an Australian -- were recently abducted from the university by five gunmen dressed in Afghan military uniforms.