Incident Summary:

08/24/2016: A suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden vehicle targeting the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. Assailants equipped with firearms and grenades stormed the university following the blast, taking more than 200 people hostage. At least 19 people, including three assailants, were killed and 53 people were injured during the attack before security forces gained control of the university the following morning. No group claimed responsibility for the incident; however, sources attributed the attack to the Taliban. Sources also suspected the involvement of the Khorasan Chapter of the Islamic State.




South Asia

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Armed Assault
Type of Attack (more) Bombing/Explosion
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Barricade Incident)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Educational Institution
Name of Entity American University of Afghanistan (AUAF)
Specific Description University
Nationality of Target Afghanistan
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 201
US Hostages 0
Outcome Successful Rescue
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Unknown
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Explosives Vehicle
Explosives Grenade
Firearms Automatic Weapon
Weapon Details
An explosives-laden vehicle, grenades, and automatic weapons were used in the attack.
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?Yes
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Casualty numbers for this incident conflict across sources. Following GTD protocol, the most recent reliable estimates are reported here.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Khorasan Chapter of the Islamic State (suspected) No
Taliban No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 3
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 19 Fatalities / 53 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 19
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 3
Total Number of Injured 53
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"AUAF Victim's Family Asks Govt To Probe Attack," TOLONews, August 27, 2016.
"Taliban suspected as 13 die in militant attack on Kabul's American university," The Herald (Glasgow), August 26, 2016.
"'I wasn't sure if I was alive': Horror at American University of Afghanistan ends with 13 dead," Los Angeles Times, August 25, 2016.