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Inside Higher Ed reports.

American U of Afghanistan Attacked

The American University of Afghanistan was attacked by gunmen on Wednesday. Major media outlets described an explosion and gunfire on the walled campus in Kabul.

Reuters reported that 12 people — 7 of them students — were killed. More were injured. Seven hundred people were rescued.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack on the campus. The university did not immediately issue a statement.

As the attack unfolded on Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, news media described a scene in which some students and staff remained trapped for hours.

Reuters quoted one student who said he escaped, injuring his ankle in the process. “Many students jumped from the second floor, some broke their legs and some hurt their head trying to escape,” the student, Abdullah Fahimi, told Reuters. “We were in the class when we heard a loud explosion followed by gunfire. It was very close. Some students were crying, others were screaming.”

On Thursday morning (U.S. time), the university announced on Facebook that “[n]eedless to say, because of the recent terrorist attack on the university, the university’s Kabul campuses will be closed until further notice. The provincial centers are open and will operate normally.”

Also on Thursday morning, the university sent a statement to reporters: “The American University of Afghanistan suffered a serious attack by armed militant on the evening of Wednesday, August 24, 2016. The university administration is working closely with relevant authorities to assess the damage and to ensure that everyone is accounted for. ‘My number one priority at this point is the safety and security of all faculty staff, and students,’ said Dr. Mark A. English, president of the American University of Afghanistan. The university extends its sympathy to all affected by this despicable attack. We also want to thank the Afghan government and Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) for their response to the attack and their ongoing assistance to AUAF. We look forward to being able to continue our important work in service to Afghanistan.”