By Mary Rose Corkery –
Casualties from a Monday shooting at Kabul University in Afghanistan have risen to 35, according to two government officials, Reuters reported.
The majority of the dead were students, and approximately 50 were wounded in the attack, the sources said, Reuters reported. The Taliban has denied responsibility for the attack, but approximately 100 students protested outside the school that Doha Taliban peace negotiations haven’t resulted in lowered violence.
“Although we see these kinds of attacks on a daily basis, there are still ongoing peace talks with them, which is really terrible,” Zaryab Paryani, a student at protest, said, according to Reuters.
Three gunmen opened fire at the Kabul University, Afghanistan’s largest university, on Monday, officials said, The New York Times reported Monday. The officials said at least 19 were killed with over a dozen wounded in the attack and hostages were taken.
The attack ended after six hours when U.S. soldiers and Afghan security forces killed them, the Afghan interior ministry said, the NYT reported. This is the second attack of a Kabul education center in a week, the officials also said, the NYT reported Monday.
Mohammad Raheb, a public policy student, was among dead victims of today’s attack at #Kabul University. He was a motivational speaker. In a short video circulating on social media he asks everyone not to “forget smiling” even if the life is “painful” and “sad.” pic.twitter.com/tcxH7BaADh
— Sharif Hassan (@MSharif1990) November 2, 2020
While the Taliban denied involvement and condemned the shooting, the area’s Islamic State group claimed in a statement that they were behind the attack, which happened before a government officials’ scheduled book fair visit, BBC reported.
First Vice President Amrullah Saleh and other Afghan officials blamed the Taliban for the shooting, but Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid tweeted an allegation that the Afghan government is “taking (the) public for fools,” Reuters reported.
“The attack today on Kabul University claimed by ISIS was horrendous. I condemn it and offer my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims,” U.S. Special Representative Zalmay Khalilzad tweeted. Khalilzhad condemned the attackers and said they “are not just against education but are pro-ignorance” and urged for peace and unity while also saying it’s not time “for the government and the Taliban” to get even.
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