At least 19 people were killed and 22 wounded as gunmen stormed the Kabul University in Afghanistan on Monday, the Interior Ministry said.
The attack led to a gunfight between the gunmen and the security forces that lasted several hours.
Reportedly, the armed attackers were seen targeting students as they attempted to flee the campus at the war-torn country's largest school.
Afghanistan's Interior Ministry spokesperson Tariq Arian said three attackers were involved in the assault, all of whom were killed in the ensuing firefight.
According to the Associated Press, five hours into the fighting, grenade explosions, and automatic weapons fire were heard.
A student, Ahmad Samim, said the attackers carried pistols and Kalashnikov assault rifles. The attack happened on the university's eastern side, he said.
Notably, the university was holding a book fair, attended by the Iranian Ambassador to Afghanistan.
Iran's semiofficial ISNA news agency had reported on Sunday that the Iranian Ambassador Bahador Aminian and cultural attaché Mojtaba Noroozi were scheduled to inaugurate the fair, hosting 40 Iranian publishers.
Ministry of Higher Education spokesperson Hamid Obaidi told Agence France-Presse that the attack started when government officials were arriving.
No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. However, the Taliban—which is continuing peace talks with the Afghanistan government—has issued a statement saying they were not involved. It is suspected that the Islamic State group was behind the attack.
Earlier last week, the Islamic State had claimed responsibility for sending a suicide bomber into an education center in Kabul's Shiite-dominated neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi.
At least 24 students were killed while over 100 were injured.
The Islamic State affiliate in Afghanistan has carried out dozens of attacks on the minority Shiite Muslims since emerging in 2014.
Further, Iranian diplomats have also been targeted in Afghanistan before, nearly sparking a war between the two nations. In 1998, Iran had held the Taliban responsible for the deaths of nine Iranian diplomats who were working in its consulate in northern Afghanistan.
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