The nonprofit that supports the American University of Afghanistan in Kabul vowed Thursday that the institution would reopen following the hours-long attack that killed 14 people there a day earlier.
"AUAF is dedicated to its educational mission in service to Afghanistan and has no intention of giving into terror," the Friends of the American University in Afghanistan said in a statement, using an acronym for the learning institution.
Militants detonated a car bomb outside the university’s gate and entered the complex armed with guns in a 10-hour attack that began Wednesday evening and ended Thursday morning.
"As our faculty member Naqib Ahmad Khpulwak, who was killed in this attack, had said, those who care about the future of Afghanistan cannot back down to insurgents and criminals who threaten a future of possibility," the Friends of the American University in Afghanistan said. "Our firm resolve is to move forward."
Fourteen people — seven students, one professor, three police and two security officers — were killed. One attacker died in the car bomb blast and two militants were killed by police, authorities and a hospital official said. Forty-eight people were injured and taken to hospitals, said Dr. Salim Rasouli, head of Kabul's hospitals.
No group has claimed responsibility for the attack. The U.S. State Department said Thursday that no Americans were killed or injured in the siege.
The university is Afghanistan’s most prestigious learning institution, according to the country’s Interior Ministry.
Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States condemns the attack in the strongest possible terms, and called the college "an institution created with the sole purpose to help educate and enlighten the future leaders of Afghanistan."
"This was a cowardly assault on talented and motivated scholars — students and faculty alike — dedicated to a better and more prosperous future for Afghanistan, as well as the police and security staff who help make that future possible," Kerry said.
"Though it took and altered innocent lives, this attack will ultimately fail to change that path or deter the cause of peace in that country," he said.
American University of Afghanistan 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.
The friends of the university organization said new security was being instituted at the complex.
Security forces patrolled the 5-acre campus on Thursday and university staff visited the wounded in hospitals, Reuters. One student told the news agency that his parents are concerned for his safety.
"Now my parents say I should stop studying there if it reopens, but I want to continue, because is there another institution like it in the whole country?" Farooq, an international relations student, said.
For Wahida Faizi, there was no question about returning to the university. "When the university reopens, I will be the first to enter and continue my education. The terrorists can never stop us from learning," Faizi said.