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AFP
November 5, 2020

Kabul varsity attack: Militants shot students one by one, says survivor

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AFP
November 5, 2020

KABUL: Students were gunned down "one by one" as they leapt from the windows of Kabul University classrooms when militants stormed the campus earlier this week, a survivor said Wednesday.

At least 22 people, mostly students, were killed and another 27 wounded when three gunmen stormed the university on Monday, spraying classrooms with bullets in an assault claimed by the Islamic State group.

Mohammad Qasim Kohistani, 22, a student of public policy at Kabul University, described how the seven-hour attack unfolded. "We were waiting for our teacher to come... suddenly, we heard loud sounds coming from the first floor," Kohistani, who was in a classroom on the second floor, told the agency. "We knew something was wrong, we started jumping from the windows."

Kohistani took refuge under a window ledge with his friends, a bloody scene unravelling above him as the attackers went room to room searching out victims. "After a gunman took over our class he started shooting fleeing students from the window," he said. "The (other two) gunmen were shooting students one by one from a close range," he added.

Hundreds of students fled, some by scrambling over perimeter walls and onto the streets, others by barricading themselves inside rooms until they were rescued by Afghan special forces.

Among those killed was Kohistani's best friend, Ahmad Ali, who stopped to help another friend, Roqia. "He didn't jump from the window because Roqia had fainted," he explained. "He wanted to save her but the gunman shot both of them in the head and killed them."

Kohistani, who sprained a leg when he jumped, stayed hidden for hours on campus. "It was the most horrible moment of my life," he said. "All through the day we were hearing their wails and cries for help but we were helpless."

After the attack ended, Kohistani came to learn that the attackers had killed everyone inside one of the classrooms below his. "I am still in trauma. Yesterday, I was not even able to talk," he said.