11 February 2009

AUAF suspends classes after deadly attacks

KABUL, Afghanistan—Classes at the American University of Afghanistan were canceled today at approximately 2 p.m. after Taliban suicide bombers and gunmen attacked two government buildings in the heart of the capital earlier today, leaving at least 17 persons dead and 46 injured, according to published reports.

“Due to the uncertain outcome of terrorist actions in the city this morning, traffic in and out of the city remains very problematic,” said Johan Brongers, AUAF vice president, in explaining the closure.

The Taliban, which claimed responsibility for attacks, said they were in retaliation for the treatment experienced by their members detained in Afghan jails. One of the stormed buildings housed offices of the justice ministry, which is responsible for the prisons.

Eight assailants also died in the attacks, bringing the total death toll to 25. All the attackers had suicide vests, but only three assailants set them off, reported the Associated Press. The brazen and sophisticated assaults in heavily barricaded Kabul highlighted the ability of the Taliban to operate outside their strongholds in the south and east.

Outside my office, male students are playing football (soccer) on the greenspace in the center of the small campus.