American University of Afghanistan Attack: 13 Killed in Kabul

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State Department Responds to Attack on American University in Kabul

KABUL, Afghanistan — Militants armed with a car bomb, grenades and automatic weapons killed at least 13 people during the 10-hour attack on the American University of Afghanistan, police said Thursday.

Most of staff and students fled but around 160 were forced to hole up in classrooms during Wednesday's brazen assault on Afghanistan's most prestigious college, according to the country's Interior Ministry. They were later rescued by special police units.

Six students, one professor, three police and two security officers were killed in at the university, according to the Interior Ministry. A caretaker at a nearby school for the blind also died in the attack. Around 35 students and police were wounded.

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One attacker died in the initial car bomb blast and two gunmen were killed by police early on Thursday, according to Kabul Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

Located on the edge of Kabul, the university was established in 2006 to offer liberal arts courses modeled on the U.S. system. Around 1,000 students are enrolled there.

Massoud Hossaini, a photographer for The Associated Press, was in a classroom with 15 students when he heard an explosion.

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Attack on American University in Kabul, Afghanistan
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Attack on American University in Kabul, Afghanistan
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. âWe are trying to assess the situation,â President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan policemen wounded in a complex Taliban attack on the campus of the American University in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. University President Mark English told The Associated Press that security forces had arrived on the scene soon after the attack began around 7 p.m. (1430 GMT) (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A wounded person is treated in an ambulance after a complex Taliban attack on the campus of the American University in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. âWe are trying to assess the situation,â President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A wounded person is treated in an ambulance after a complex Taliban attack on the campus of the American University in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016. âWe are trying to assess the situation,â President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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. âWe are trying to assess the situation,â President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
An Afghan policeman keeps watch at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces keep watch at the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A wounded man lies inside an ambulance following an attack at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
Afghan policemen stand guard at the site of an attack at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail
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. University President Mark English told The Associated Press that security forces had arrived on the scene soon after the attack began around 7 p.m. (1430 GMT) (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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. âWe are trying to assess the situation,â President Mark English told The Associated Press. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A wounded man is helped by a medic inside an ambulance following an attack at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
Afghan security forces arrive at the site of an attack at American University of Afghanistan in Kabul, Afghanistan August 24, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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"I went to the window to see what was going on, and I saw a person in normal clothes outside. He shot at me and shattered the glass," he said. Hossaini later fell on the glass and cut his hands.

The students then barricaded themselves inside the classroom, pushing chairs and desks against the door, and stayed on the floor. Hossaini said several people were wounded when at least two grenades were thrown into the classroom.

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

"As we were running, I saw someone lying on the ground face down, they looked like they had been shot in the back," he said.

The attack comes two weeks after two university staff, an American and an Australian, were kidnapped from their car by unknown gunmen. Their whereabouts are still unknown.

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