American University of Afghanistan closed after U.S., Australian professors kidnapped

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 9 (UPI) — The American University of Afghanistan has been temporarily closed after an American and an Australian professor were kidnapped at gunpoint in Kabul.

The professors were driving through the western part of Kabul on the Darulaman Road when they were kidnapped by two armed gunmen, one of whom smashed his gun barrel through the passenger-side window and pulled the two men out of their vehicle. The body guard and the driver for the two abductees were left uninjured, police said.

“We are devastated by the news and will remain vigilant to ensure the safety and security of all university personnel and students” university president Dr. Mark English said in a statement.

The university said operations are expected to resume on Wednesday. The identities of those kidnapped are being withheld out of respect for the families and for reasons of privacy, pending notification of next of kin, the university said in a statement.

“The university is in close contact with the Afghan security agencies as well as the relevant embassies,” the university added. “Everything possible is being done to ensure their immediate and safe return.”

There has been no claim of responsibility for the kidnapping, which comes after a group of six tourists were injured in a rocket attack in western Afghanistan on Thursday. The Taliban claimed responsibility for that attack.

Shawn Price contributed to this report.

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