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American University of Afghanistan in Kabul attacked by gunmen, official says

30 August 2016

At least 12 people were killed after militants stormed the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, officials said on Thursday, in a almost 10-hour raid that prompted anguished pleas for help from trapped students.

The attack underscored how despite efforts by the Afghan authorities to improve security, militants in this country are still able to stage large-scale attacks, including in the country's capital, Kabul.

After the attack ended a few women students, some of them terrified and weeping, were escorted out of the campus at dawn by policemen. The siege of the university lasted nearly nine hours, before police killed the two assailants around 3.30 am, he said.

Muslim militant groups, mainly the Afghan Taliban and a local offshoot of the Islamic State group, have claimed a string of bomb attacks aimed at destabilizing Afghanistan and toppling the Western-backed government of Ghani. The group's spokesman is saying only that the Taliban are "investigating".

169-c-09-(Lynne O'Donnell, AP correspondent)-"University in Britain"-AP correspondent Lynne O'Donnell reports the death toll in the attack on American University in Kabul has risen to 13".

The attack started yesterday evening local time, according to Reuters, with a auto bomb followed by gunfire in the campus.

Fraidoon Obaidi, chief of the Kabul police Criminal Investigation Department, told Reuters that police had evacuated between 700 and 750 students from the university, which is popular with Afghanistan's elite.

Hossaini and about nine students later managed to escape from the campus through an emergency gate.

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Massoud Hossaini, a photographer for The Associated Press, tweeted that he was trapped inside during the attack.

In another Gun and Bomb attack in American University in Kabul, twelve people including seven students were killed.

The uptick in violence comes as the Taliban escalate nationwide attacks, underscoring the worsening security situation in Afghanistan since North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces ended their combat mission at the end of 2014.

The Taliban have also closed in on Kunduz - the northern city they briefly seized a year ago in their biggest military victory so far - leaving Afghan forces stretched on multiple fronts.

Students jumped from the second floor, some injuring themselves, or barricaded themselves into classrooms when the attack happened, reports said.

The attack comes two weeks after two university staff - one American, one Australian - were kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

"This university is a lasting legacy of the United States in Afghanistan". Their whereabouts still remain unknown.

American University of Afghanistan in Kabul attacked by gunmen, official says