Students killed by gunmen at Afghan University

Gunmen stormed Kabul University, killing students in their classrooms and firing on others as they fled on Monday, in the second attack on an educational institution in the city in just over a week, officials and witnesses said.

The three attackers killed at least 19 people including students before Afghan security forces shot the gunmen dead, authorities said.

Photos shared by a senior government official showed students lying dead in classrooms, some next to their books. One student appeared to have been shot as they were climbing out of a window.

"They were shooting at every student they saw ... they even shot at the students who were running away," witness Fathullah Moradi told Reuters.

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Kabul University attack
A man, wounded after gunmen stormed Kabul university, arrives in an ambulance to Isteqlal Hospital in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Policemen stand guard at an entrance gate of the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
School children walk along a road near Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A security personnel stands guard outside the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Security personnel stand guard outside of the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Policemen stand guard at an entrance gate of the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by - / AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)
Policemen stand guard outside the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A man, wounded after gunmen stormed Kabul university, arrives in an ambulance to Isteqlal Hospital in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
Security personnel gesture to onlookers while securing an area near the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A security personnel stands guard outside the Kabul University in Kabul on November 2, 2020. - Gunmen stormed Kabul university on November 2 ahead of the opening of an Iranian book fair, firing shots and sending students fleeing, Afghan officials and witnesses said. (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR / AFP) (Photo by WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP via Getty Images)
A doctor looks at an x-ray of a man being treated at a hospital after a deadly attack at Kabul University, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The brazen attack by gunmen who stormed the university has left many dead and wounded in the Afghan capital. The assault sparked a hours-long gunbattle. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security personnel patrol with a rocket propelled grenade launcher at the site of an attack at Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The brazen attack by gunmen who stormed the university has left many dead and wounded in the Afghan capital. The assault sparked a hours-long gunbattle. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan police patrol at the site of an attack at Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The brazen attack by gunmen who stormed the Kabul University has left many dead and wounded in the Afghan capital. The assault sparked a hours-long gunbattle. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A man is treated at a hospital after a deadly attack at Kabul University, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The brazen attack by gunmen who stormed the university has left many dead and wounded in the Afghan capital. The assault sparked a hours-long gunbattle. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan security personnel patrol at the site of an attack at Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. The brazen attack by gunmen who stormed the university has left many dead and wounded in the Afghan capital. The assault sparked a hours-long gunbattle. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
Afghan police arrive at the site of an attack at Kabul University in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Nov. 2, 2020. Gunfire erupted at the university in the Afghan capital early Monday and police have surrounded the sprawling campus, authorities said. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
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The Taliban said their fighters were not involved in the assault. No other group immediately claimed responsibility.

Nineteen people were killed and 22 wounded before the security services ended the assault, interior ministry spokesman Tariq Arian said.

"This is the second attack on educational institutions in Kabul ... Afghan children & youth need to feel safe going to school," NATO Senior Civilian Representative to Afghanistan Stefano Pontecorvo said in a statement.

A suicide bomber killed 24 people including teenage students at an education centre in Kabul on Oct. 24. Islamic State claimed responsibility for that attack, without providing evidence.

Violence has plagued Afghanistan while government and Taliban negotiators have been meeting in Qatar to try to broker a peace deal and as the United States brings home its troops.

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