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      Hundreds of students trapped in attack on American University in Kabul

      Hundreds of students trapped in attack on American University in Kabul Hundreds of students trapped in attack on American University in Kabul Hundreds of students trapped in attack on American University in Kabul
      Afghan security forces rush to respond to a complex Taliban attack on the campus of the American University in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. (Rahman Gul/AP)

      War & Conflict

      Hundreds of students trapped in attack on American University in Kabul

      By Tess Owen

      Explosions and then gunfire rocked the American University in Kabul on Wednesday evening after armed men stormed the campus.

      "They are inside the compound," an Afghan official said, "and there are foreign professors along with hundreds of students."

      Ahmad Shaheer, a student at the university, told Reuters that he was trapped on campus. "We are stuck inside our classroom and there are bursts of gunfire," he said.

      Kabul police told VICE News that seven were dead and more than 10 injured in the assault, which began at 5:30pm local time.

      A spokesperson for the Afghan Health Ministry said that, so far, 14 individuals have been transported to hospital.

      The Afghan military's Crisis Response Unit was reportedly deployed to the university and exchanged gunfire with the attackers. Local reports described the attackers throwing hand grenades — others said the gunmen were wearing suicide vests.

      Wednesday's attack was the second time this month that the American University and its professors have been targeted.

      The university is usually full of students on weeknights who attend classes after working day jobs.

      Afghanistan is home to the Taliban and an offshoot of the Islamic State, and both groups have claimed resposibiity for a number of attacks. No one has yet claimed Wednesday's university attack.

      Additional reporting by Abdul Aleem in Kabul.

      Topics: kabul, american university, afghanistan, attack, terrorism, middle east, war & conflict, central asia

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