KABUL, Afghanistan

At least 19 students and teachers were killed and 22 wounded when unknown assailants stormed Kabul University in the Afghan capital Monday following multiple blasts and a gunfight, officials confirmed.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that several armed assailants entered the university building in Kabul at around 11.00 a.m. (0630GMT) through the northern gate, causing chaos, with students running for their lives.

“They began shooting indiscriminately at everyone in sight,” an eyewitness said.

Interior Ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said in a statement the attack ended at around 17.00 p.m. (1230GMT) with all three attackers killed.

“The vicious terrorist attack on Kabul University ended with all three terrorists killed. In this incident, unfortunately, 19 people were martyred and 22 others injured,” he said in a statement.

Health Ministry spokesman Akmal Samsor told Anadolu Agency that most of the injured, many in critical condition, were rushed to the nearby Ali Abad Public Hospital.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility. However, the Taliban, through a statement, denied involvement.

Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, blaming the Taliban insurgents for the raging bloodshed in the country, called this attack an “intelligence failure.”

The attack took place as a book exhibition by Afghan and Iranian publishers was underway at Kabul University.

Last week, at least 24 teenage students were killed in a similar Daesh-claimed attack on an academic institute in the capital’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood, an area largely inhabited by the Shia Hazara minority.

Copyright 2021 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.