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2020 Kabul University attack

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2020 Kabul University attack
Part of the November 2020 Afghanistan attacks
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LocationKabul, Kabul Province, Afghanistan
Coordinates34°31′03″N 69°07′56″E / 34.51750°N 69.13222°E / 34.51750; 69.13222Coordinates: 34°31′03″N 69°07′56″E / 34.51750°N 69.13222°E / 34.51750; 69.13222
Date2 November 2020
TargetAttendees at an Iranian book fair
Attack type
Mass shooting
Deaths35 (including three attackers)
Injured50[1]
PerpetratorsIslamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province

Template:Campaignbox War in Afghanistan (2001–present) On 2 November 2020, three gunmen stormed the campus of Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, killing 35 people and wounding 50 others.[1] The attack began around the time government officials were expected to arrive at the campus for the opening of an Iranian book fair. The three gunmen were later killed during a fight with security forces.[2] The attack occurred around 11:00 AM in the morning. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant – Khorasan Province (ISIL) claimed responsibility for the attack.[2][3]

The attack came after months of increased tensions between the Afghan government, the Taliban, and ISIL-affiliated fighters.[2]

Background[edit source | edit]

Located in Kabul's 3rd District, the University of Kabul is one of Afghanistan's largest institutions of higher education with a student body of 22,000.[4] The university had previously been attacked when in 2019 a bomb had killed nine outside of the university gates.[4] Just over a week before the November attack on the university, a suicide bomber had killed 30 at another educational institution in Kabul.[5]

On the day of the attack the university was hosting an international bookfair.[4][6] Several Afghan government officials and the Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan were expected to attend the event.[7][8]

Attack[edit source | edit]

The attack began in the morning of 2 November at around 11:00 am. A group of armed gunmen detonated an explosive (possibly a suicide bomber)[6] at the gate to the university's grounds, after which they entered the compound, killing bystanders and later taking around 35 hostages.[9] Many students were able to escape the attack by climbing over the university's perimeter walls, while those trapped in buildings were forced to shelter in place.[9][2] Some of the wounded from the attack were evacuated to nearby Ali Abad hospital.[9]

Kabul police and Afghan army special forces were dispatched to the university and set up a perimeter around the site, after which they engaged in a building-by-building sweep of the grounds over the next several hours.[2][6] American soldiers and Norwegian special forces also responded to the attack.[9][10]

Following the attack, SITE Intelligence Group reported that the regional branch of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS/ISIL) had claimed responsibility for the killings. The Afghan Taliban denied responsibility for the attack, though one Afghan government official attributed it to the group.[9]

Casualties[edit source | edit]

Thirty-five people were killed and more than 50 othere injured. The majority of the victims were students at the University, who were all part of the public administration facility.[11] One domestic press described the deaths as Afghanistan "losing its talented youth" as many of the victims were reportedly among the top performers in their classes.[12]

Reaction[edit source | edit]

The attack was widely condemned both nationally and internationally. The presidential spokesman said "terrorists" were "attacking academic centers after they were defeated in Helmand". The First Vice President Amrullah Saleh tweeted "One day we will correct our intelligence failures. But the Talibs, their likeminded satanic allies in the next door [referring to Pakistan] won’t be ever able to wash their conscience of this stinking and non-justifiable attack on Kabul University." Former President Hamid Karzai called it an "unforgivable crime".[13] Saad Mohseni of Tolo News described it as "These animals are killing our children."[14] The Afghan government declared the day after the attack to be a national day of mourning.[15]

Saleh admitted that the attack was an intelligence failure.[16] However he faced backlash after blaming the Taliban for the attack, who in response denied it.[17]

Both Pakistan and India condemned the attack,[18][19] as well as other countries and the United Nations.

Students from the University told local press the next day that the attack would not deter them from education.[20]

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Death toll from Kabul University attack rises to at least 35 as anger grows". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 "Gunmen storm Kabul University, killing 19 and wounding 22". The Washington Post. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. "Attack on Kabul University in Afghanistan's capital leaves at least 19 dead". CBS News. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Herat, Michael Safi Akhtar Mohammad Makoii in (2 November 2020). "Attack on Kabul University by Isis gunmen leaves 22 dead". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  5. "Latest: At Least 30 Killed in Saturday's Blast in Western Kabul". TOLOnews. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "At least 22 dead as gunmen target students at Afghanistan's Kabul University". France 24. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  7. "Iran-Afghanistan 3rd joint Book Fair kicks off". Mehr News Agency. 2 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  8. "IS claims responsibility for Afghan university attack that leaves 22 dead". Irvine Times. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 Gibbons-Neff, Thomas; Faizi, Fatima (2 November 2020). "Gunmen Storm Kabul University, Killing at Least 19". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2 November 2020.
  10. "Shooting at the University of Kabul – NRK Urix – Foreign..." AlKhaleej Today (in Arabic). 3 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020.
  11. Nabila Ashrafi (3 November 2020). "University Attack: Who Were The Victims?". TOLOnews. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. Khaled Nikzad (3 November 2020). "'Afghanistan Lost Its Talented Youth in University Attack'". TOLOnews. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. Khaled Nikzad (2 November 2020). "Kabul University Attack Called 'Unforgivable Crime'". TOLOnews. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  14. Saad Mohseni (3 November 2020). "These Animals Are Killing Our Children". TOLOnews. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. "'Act of terror': At least 22 killed in Kabul University attack". Al Jazeera English. 3 November 2020. Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. "Kabul University Attack an Intelligence Failure: Saleh". menafn.com.
  17. "VP Saleh Faces Backlash over Tweet Blaming Taliban for University Attack". 3 November 2020.
  18. Post, The Jakarta. "IS attack on Kabul University kills 22". The Jakarta Post.
  19. "India strongly condemns terror attack at Kabul University". The Week.
  20. Tamim Hamid (3 November 2020). "Students Ready to Continue Studies Despite Attack". Retrieved 3 November 2020. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

Template:War in Afghanistan Template:Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

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