According to a spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Afghanistan, the shooting took place well beyond the morning hours local time on Monday. The latest reports say that at least 19 people have been killed and 40 injured. The three attackers are also dead, after one of them blew himself up while the other two were killed by security forces.
Norwegian special forces participated in the operation. Jørn Hammarbeck, press officer at the Armed Forces’ operational headquarters, informs NRK. None of the Norwegian soldiers are said to have been injured in connection with the operation.
He will not go into detail about the Norwegian forces’ efforts, but writes in an email to NRK that they are now in the process of debriefing and preparing for new efforts.
According to the online newspaper TOLO, the three attackers entered a lecture hall and started firing around them.
“Afghanistan’s enemies, the enemies of education, have entered the university in Kabul,” said Tarig Arian, a spokesman for the country’s interior ministry.
Pictures that are now being spread by news agencies and on social media show horrific scenes from inside classrooms and lecture halls, where students are lying dead next to their textbooks.
It has been suggested that this was a terrorist attack in connection with a joint Afghan-Iranian book exhibition being held at the university.
The Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan, Bahador Aminian, was among those scheduled to be present at the university today, in connection with the exhibition, in which around 40 Iranian publishers are participating.
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Security forces block access to the university and prevent relatives of students who are in the area from getting in touch with their relatives.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack today, and the Taliban insurgency says they are not involved.
In 2019, a bomb exploded outside the entrance of the University campus, killing eight people, while an attack on the American University of Kabul killed 13 people in 2016.
On October 24, 24 people, mostly young students, were killed in an attack on a school in a Shia-dominated district of Kabul. It was probably a branch of the terrorist organization The Islamic State IS that was behind this attack.
IS has declared war on the Shia Muslim minority in Afghanistan, which amounts to approx. 4 million or about 15 percent of the country’s population. It is especially the Persian-speaking Hazaras who are Shia Muslims. These have traditionally had close ties to Iran, which has made them a target for the Islamic State.
Today’s attacks take place at a time when the Taliban and the Afghan government, with the support of the United States, are trying to find a peace solution, after more than 40 years of war in Afghanistan.
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