Gunmen stormed Kabul University on Monday because it hosted a book truthful attended by the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan, sparking an hours-long gun battle and leaving at least 25 dead and wounded at the war-torn nation’s largest college.
The ministry’s spokesman, Tariq Arian, wouldn’t break down the casualty numbers for the assault at the campus within the Afghan capital, although native media studies have been saying there could also be as many as 20 killed. Arian additionally mentioned there have been three attackers concerned within the assault, all of whom have been killed within the ensuing firefight.
As the solar slowly set over the Afghan capital, there have been few particulars although the Taliban issued a press release denying they took half within the assault.
The assault got here because the insurgents are persevering with peace talks with the U.S.-backed authorities. Those negotiations, going down within the Gulf Arab state of Qatar, purpose to assist the U.S. lastly withdraw from America’s longest warfare, although each day bloodshed continues and an Islamic State affiliate launches its personal assaults on Shiites within the nation.
Five hours into the preventing, sporadic grenade explosions and automated weapons fireplace echoed down the empty streets surrounding the college’s fenced compound. Afghan troops stood guard. Earlier, college students have been fleeing for his or her lives from the location.
“Unfortunately, there are casualties,” Arian mentioned because the assault unfolded, with out elaborating.
Ahmad Samim, a college scholar, instructed journalists he noticed militants armed with pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles firing at the college, the nation’s oldest with some 17,000 college students. He mentioned the assault occurred at the college’s japanese aspect the place its regulation and journalism school train.
Afghan media reported a book exhibition was being held at the college and attended by various dignitaries at the time of the capturing.
While Afghan officers declined to debate the bookfair, Iran’s semiofficial ISNA information company reported Sunday that Iranian Ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural attaché Mojtaba Noroozi have been scheduled to inaugurate the truthful, which might host some 40 Iranian publishers. Iranian state tv reported the assault occurred, however didn’t provide data on its officers.
Iranian diplomats have been focused beforehand by assaults within the nation and almost sparked a warfare between the 2 international locations. In 1998, Iran held the Taliban accountable for the deaths of 9 Iranian diplomats who have been working in its consulate in northern Afghanistan and despatched reinforcements to the 950-kilometer- (580-mile-) lengthy border that Iran and Afghanistan share.
No group instantly took duty for the continuing assault although the Taliban issued a press release saying they weren’t concerned. However, suspicion instantly fell on the Islamic State group.
Last month, the Islamic State group despatched a suicide bomber into an schooling middle within the capital’s Shiite dominated neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, killing 24 college students and injuring greater than 100. The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has declared warfare on Afghanistan’s minority Shiite Muslims and have staged dozens of assaults since rising in 2014.
Schools have been focused for assaults up to now as properly. Last yr, a bomb outdoors of the Kabul University campus’ gates killed eight individuals. In 2016, gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul, killing 13.
Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even because the Taliban and a government-appointed negotiation staff talk about a peace settlement to finish greater than 4 many years of warfare within the nation. The talks in Qatar have been painfully gradual and regardless of repeated calls for for a discount in violence, the chaos has continued unabated.
A U.S. cope with the Taliban in February set the stage for peace talks presently underway in Doha. The deal additionally permits for the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops from Afghanistan.
Meanwhile Monday, a car hit a roadside mine within the nation’s southern Helmand province, killing at least seven civilians, most of them ladies and kids, provincial governor spokesman Omer Zwak mentioned