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Police Respond to Reports of Gunfire, Blast at American University of Afghanistan

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Fazul Rahmi, NBC News – KABUL, AFGHANISTAN (NBC News) - Police were responding to reports Wednesday night of an attack at the American University of Afghanistan, possibly involving gunfire and an explosion.

"We have been notified of a complex attack on the American University on Darul-Aman Road," the commander of Kabul police's quick reaction force told NBC News, adding, "We still don't know the exact nature of the attack."

A student told NBC News that he had just walked out of a class with friends when he heard gunfire and they started running toward the cafeteria. A "massive explosion" threw them to the ground.

"We got up, and in the midst of dust ... kept running to the back of the building and climbed the walls and jumped down on the street," he said, adding that he hurt his back and may have fractured his foot.

"I am in a taxi and on my way to hospital," he added.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Massoud Hossaini tweeted that he was at the university and heard shooting and an explosion:

The White House said it was aware of the incident and was monitoring the situation.

Earlier this month, five gunmen wearing Afghan military uniforms abducted two professors — an American and an Australian — from the school. No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnappings.

The five-acre campus opened in 2006 and is Afghanistan's only private, not-for-profit and co-educational university. About 1,700 full- and part-time students are enrolled with undergraduate classes in business, science, political science and law.

In 2008, then-first lady Laura Bush helped to raise $42 million in funding for the school from USAID.