Deadly siege at Kabul’s Amer­i­can var­sity ends

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

AN at­tack at the cam­pus of the Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Afghanistan in Kabul ended in the early hours yes­ter­day morn­ing with 12 peo­ple, in­clud­ing seven stu­dents, dead, a po­lice spokesman has said.

Fraidoon Obaidi, the chief of the Kabul po­lice Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion De­part­ment, said that se­cu­rity forces shot dead two men sus­pected of car­ry­ing out the at­tack, which be­gan late on Wed­nes­day with a large ex­plo­sion fol­lowed by gun­fire.

Obaidi said that an­other 44 peo­ple, in­clud­ing 35 stu­dents, were wounded, while about 700 to 750 stu­dents were evac­u­ated from the univer­sity.

Spo­radic gun­fire could be heard through the night and, be­fore dawn, po­lice said the op­er­a­tion had con­cluded.

“The fight is over and at least two at­tack­ers have been killed,” a po­lice of­fi­cial at the scene said. “Right now a clear­ance op­er­a­tion is on­go­ing by a crim­i­nal tech­nique team.”

No 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.

The at­tack came af­ter two pro­fes­sors at the univer­sity — an Amer­i­can and Aus­tralian — were kid­napped in the heart of the cap­i­tal ear­lier this month, the lat­est in a se­ries of ab­duc­tions of for­eign­ers in the con­flict-torn coun­try.

The man­age­ment of the elite Amer­i­can Univer­sity of Afghanistan, which opened in 2006 and caters to more than 1 700 stu­dents, was not im­me­di­ately reach­able for com­ment.

Nato ended its com­bat mis­sion in Afghanistan in De­cem­ber 2014 but thou­sands of troops re­main to train and as­sist Afghan forces, while sev­eral thou­sand more US sol­diers are en­gaged in a sep­a­rate mis­sion fo­cus­ing on al-Qaeda and the Is­lamic State of Iraq and the Le­vant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

The US said it was closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Kabul af­ter the univer­sity at­tack and that forces from the US-led coali­tion were in­volved in the re­sponse in an ad­vise-and-as­sist role. — Al Jazeera

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