Over a dozen people have been killed after Afghan forces put an end to an hours-long armed attack on the American University in the capital, Kabul, police sources say.
Afghan police officials said early Thursday that seven students, three police and two security guards were killed, while 44 others, mostly students, sustained injuries in the attack by militants.
Chief of Kabul police’s Criminal Investigation Department, Fraidoon Obaidi, said security forces had searched the university campus and killed the two gunmen who attacked the compound using guns and explosives.
“We have ended our clean-up operation,” Obaidi told media on Thursday.
The assault began at 18:30 local time (1400 GMT) on Wednesday with a large explosion followed by gunfire, and lasted 10 hours. About 750 students were at the university compound at the time.
Some students and faculty members began to run when they heard the sound of an explosion and gunfire on the campus, while others hid inside the buildings, according to witnesses.
The attackers had reportedly made their way past the university’s armed guards and watchtowers, tossing grenades and checking out their maps while battling further into the complex, where foreign staff and pupils were working.
Elite Afghan forces were then deployed to the scene and eventually took control of the university, according to a senior Interior Ministry official.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet. This is the second incident involving the university this month.
On August 7, two professors, an American and an Australian, were kidnapped at gunpoint from a nearby road. Their whereabouts is still unknown.
The Taliban militant group has claimed a string of recent bomb attacks in Afghanistan. The war-torn country has also witnessed an increasing presence of Daesh-affiliated terrorists in recent months.
Afghanistan is still suffering from insecurity and violence years after the United States and its allies invaded the country in 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror. The military invasion removed the Taliban from power, but their militancy continues in the country.
Currently, Afghan security forces are engaged in large military operations aimed at containing Taliban militants, especially in the provinces of Helmand to the south and Kunduz to the north.