American University Attacked in Kabul, Three Dead

Despite Heavy Gunfire and Explosions, Comparatively Few Casualties

A pair of attackers launched a raid against the American University campus in the Afghan capital city of Kabul today, setting the stage for a day-long siege, which ultimately ended with US and Afghan special forces raiding the campus and killing the attackers.

Despite multiple explosions and hours of gunfire, the casualties were surprisingly low, with one security guard confirmed killed, and the only other people slain the two attackers. 21 students were reported wounded, many from shards of glass as windows broke from the explosive blasts.

The university has 1,700 students, and is run as a private non-profit, the only such university in Afghanistan. The attack began at 7:50 pm, a time when many students were gathering for dinner. There has been no claim of responsibility for the incident.

The same university was forced to close briefly earlier this month when a pair of their professors were kidnapped at gunpoint. The two, an American and an Australian, are still missing. There is considerable speculation that American University is a target both for its obvious American ties and because it is one of few universities in Afghanistan which admits women.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.