The American University of Afghanistan in Kabul is reportedly under attack. Reuters quoted an Afghan interior ministry official who said that several gunmen attacked the university and that there are reports of gunfire and explosions.
“They are inside the compound and there are foreign professors along with hundreds of students,” the official said.
A student told Reuters by telephone that he was trapped inside the university.
ABC News reported on Twitter that at least two people were killed and five injured in the attack. Other unconfirmed reports on social media suggest higher numbers of casualties. The ABC report said that shooting had stopped.
A photographer for the Associated Press was in a classroom at the university when the attack took place.
Massoud Hossaini, the photographer, was quoted by AP as saying he was in a classroom with 15 students when he heard an explosion. “I went to the window to see what was going on, and I saw a person in normal clothes outside. He shot at me and shattered the glass,” Hossaini said, adding that he fell on the glass and cut his hands.
He said the students then barricaded themselves in the classroom before most of them later escaped.
Two foreign professors at the university were kidnapped earlier this month. The American University of Afghanistan is heavily funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, and offers English-language, Western-style education -- including coeducation -- to Afghan students.
Supporters of the university -- and some at the university -- took to social media to express their dismay about Wednesday’s attack.
After #AUAF all other universities in country will be surrounded with Walls, layers of security gates … Please don’t do that , let it be free— mzStanikzai (@mzStanikzai) August 24, 2016
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