The complex attack by three gunmen on Kabul University on Monday morning was widely condemned by Afghan leaders and foreign diplomats who called it horrific, inhuman and a “terror act.”
Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said they condemn “terrorist attack” on Kabul University and that “terrorists” are attacking academic centers after they were “defeated in Helmand.”
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh called the attack an intelligence failure and a human tragedy.
“One day we will correct our intelligence failures. But the Talibs, their likeminded satanic allies in the next door won’t be ever able to wash their conscience of this stinking and non-justifiable attack on Kabul University,” he said in a tweet.
Abdullah Abdullah, head of the reconciliation council, condemned the attack called it “a heinous crime” and said, “students have the right to study in peace and security.”
Former president Hamid Karzai in a statement condemned the attack and called it an unforgivable crime by the enemies of peace in Afghanistan.
He called on Afghan sides to make efforts for peace to end the bloodshed in the country.
NATO Senior Civilian Representative Stefano Pontecorvo said this is the second attack on educational institutions in Kabul in 10 days and that “Afghan children and youth need to feel safe going to school.”
EU mission in Afghanistan said the attack “is an atrocious act and breach of humanitarian law.
Iranian embassy in Kabul condemns Kabul University Attack and says the repeat of such "inhuman acts by terrorist groups" against education institutions in Afghanistan is concerning and requires condemnation by the international community.
“Pakistan strongly condemns the mindless attack at Kabul University today, resulting in loss of so many precious lives and injuries to many more. This act of terrorism is particularly despicable as it targeted an institution of learning,” Pakistan’s special envoy Mohammad Sadiq said.
"Educational institutions should never be targeted for attack; civilians should never be targeted," says Patricia Gossman, Associate Asia director for Human Rights Watch.
Kabul University is the country’s biggest education institution that has more than 22,000 students.
Attack Ends After Six Hours
The attack on Kabul University, one of the biggest higher education institutions in the country, ended after six hours when all three attackers were killed, the Interior Affairs Ministry said.
The attack started at around 11:00 am on Monday morning when three attackers entered the university compound and moved towards a training center at Law Faculty that was apparently their main target as security sources put it. The Law Faculty is near the eastern gate of the university from where the attackers entered the compound.
The Interior Affairs Ministry’s spokesman Tariq Arian said the attack left 19 dead and 22 others wounded.
This was the second attack on education institutions in the last 10 days. A week ago, a suicide bombing near a tutoring center killed over 30 people, most of them students.
Some eyewitnesses said the attackers entered classrooms and opened fire at students and professors at the training center of the Law Faculty.
Sources also said that five attackers were involved in the attack.
Hundreds of students as well as professors were at the university when the attack happened. Many students escaped the university through its surrounding walls.
“What we saw there was horrific. They were shooting at everyone they faced,” an eyewitness said.
“All my classmates were stained in blood. They were wounded. I was hidden somewhere in the classroom. I survived but 14 of our classmates might be either killed or wounded,” an eyewitness said.
Videos on social media and those captured by TOLOnews journalists showed students screaming and fleeing the compound for the search of safety. Photos on social media showed students killed and wounded in their classes.
The attack was widely condemned by the Afghan leaders and foreign diplomats as horrific and inhuman.
Many parents were waiting outside the university shortly after the attack to know about the fate of their loved ones.
“I am trying to contact him, but I couldn’t reach him. He has sent me a message and has said that he has hidden somewhere,” said Mohibullah, relative of a student.