Gunmen storm Iraq university: Dozens of students taken hostage in Ramadi
Students at Anbar University are trapped in rooms after attackers killed three guards and stormed the building
Heather Saul is a digital reporter for The Independent, currently working on the People desk. She has written news and features across a number of topics, paying particular attention to the activities of Isis and events in Iraq, Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Saturday 07 June 2014
Gunman have stormed a university in Iraq and taken dozens of students hostage inside a dormitory, officials have said.
The attackers charged into Anbar University, near the provincial capital Ramadi, parts of which have been held by Islamic extremists and other anti-government militants for months.
Police and army officials said they broke in by killing three guards and blowing up a bridge that led towards the main gate. Security forces have since cordoned off the campus after the assault, which is the third major operation by militants within the last three days.
Ahmed al-Mehamdi, a student who was taken hostage, told the Associated Press he awoke to the crackle of gunfire, looked out the window and saw armed men dressed in black racing across the campus. Minutes later, the gunmen entered the dormitory and ordered everybody to stay in their rooms.
"The gunmen took some students to other university buildings. For the rest of us, we are still trapped in our rooms and everybody is in panic, especially the Shiite students," al-Mehamdi said in a phone interview from inside the dormitory.
An al-Qa'ida splinter group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other Sunni-led militants have controlled parts of Anbar province, including the city of Fallujah and parts of Ramadi, since late December.
Iraq is currently grappling with its worst surge in violence since the sectarian bloodletting of 2006 and 2007, when the country was pushed to the brink of civil war despite the presence of tens of thousands of US troops.
Additional reporting by agencies
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
Video of Irish 'professional boxer' fighting Istanbul neighbourhood goes viral in Turkey
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Moody neurotics are more likely to be creative geniuses, study says
- 1 Hair loss explained: How and why men go bald
- 2 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe the Stark may have a twin sister
- 3 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 4 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
- 5 Russia 'accidentally reveals' number of its soldiers killed in eastern Ukraine
£13000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to be part of a ...
£19000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT and Telecoms company ar...
£23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Visitor Fundraising Team is responsi...
£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...