Gunfire erupts at Kabul University as police surround campus

Afghan police at the site of an attack at Kabul University
Afghan police at the site of an attack at Kabul University (AP)
9:05am, Mon 02 Nov 2020
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Police have surrounded the campus after gunfire erupted at Kabul University in Afghanistan

At least six people have been wounded, Public Health Ministry spokesman Akmal Samsor said. Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said the gunfire is ongoing.

Afghan media reported a book exhibition was being held at the university and attended by a number of dignitaries at the time of the shooting.

Gunfire erupted at the university in the Afghan capital (AP)

While Afghan officials declined to discuss the book fair, Iran’s semi-official ISNA news agency reported that Iranian ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural attache Mojtaba Noroozi were scheduled to inaugurate the fair, which would host some 40 Iranian publishers.

University professor Zabiullah Haidari told a local TV station Ariana that classes were under way when the shooting began. University officials and security personnel were escorting students off campus, Mr Haidari said.

Security forces blocked off roads leading to the campus as frantic families tried to reach their children at the university.

No group immediately took responsibility for the ongoing attack though the Taliban issued a statement saying they were not involved.

Police have surrounded the sprawling campus (AP)

Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even as the Taliban and a government-appointed negotiation team discuss a peace agreement to end more than four decades of war in the country.

The talks in Qatar have been painfully slow and despite repeated demands for a reduction in violence, the chaos has continued unabated.

Last year, a bomb outside of the campus’s gates killed eight people. In 2016, gunmen attacked the American University in Kabul, killing 13.

Last month, the so-called Islamic State group sent a suicide bomber into an education centre in the capital’s Shiite dominated neighbourhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, killing 24 students and injuring more than 100.

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