At least 19 people were killed, and 22 wounded after an attack on Monday, in Afghanistan’s biggest university, Kabul.
Officials confirmed this when militants stormed the scene of the attack that ended only after hours of fight with security forces.
Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian told AFP that, “Three attackers were involved. One of them blew up his explosives at the beginning, two were brought down by the security forces”, Aljazeera reports.
Despite several education centres have been attacked over the years by extremist groups such as Islamic State (IS), the Taliban said they were not involved in Monday’s incident at Kabul University.
Most of those killed were students, Kabul police spokesman Ferdaws Faramerz confirmed.
Hamid Obaidi, a spokesman for the ministry of higher education, told AFP the attack started when government officials were arriving for the opening of an Iranian book fair organised at the campus.
Gunmen stormed the facility, sending hundreds fleeing and scrambling over walls of the campus as they tried to escape the firing, witnesses said.
Afghan security forces later surrounded the area, cordoning off all roads that led to the university, witnesses and an AFP correspondent reported.
“The attack is over, but sadly 19 people have been killed and 22 more wounded,” interior spokesman Arian said on Twitter.
Witnesses said the attack followed an explosion in the area. Students spoke of chaos and confusion.
“We were studying inside our classrooms when suddenly we heard a burst of gunfire inside the university,” said student Fraidoon Ahmadi, 23.
“Some university students have fled… it is chaotic and students are terrified,” he added.