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Afghan VP Dostum to return after more than a year in exile

23 July 2018

No individual or group has so far claimed responsibility behind the attack.

Kabul police spokesman Hashmat Stanekzai also confirmed that at least 14 people were killed in the attack.

The death toll from a suicide attack near Kabul global airport has risen to 23, the health ministry said on Monday, July 23, with an Agence France-Presse driver among the dead.

"At 4:00 p.m. (1130 GMT) today General Dostum's flight will land at Kabul global airport", Jamal Nasir Farahmand, a spokesman for Dostum, told AFP.

The Kabul Security Commandment officials are saying at least 11 people have been killed and at least 14 others have sustained injuries in the suicide attack in Kabul city later this afternoon.

Afghanistan's first vice-president, a former Uzbek warlord, escaped unharmed from an explosion near the airport as he returned home on Sunday after living in Turkey for over a year, according to security officials.

Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and members of his entourage were unharmed in the explosion on Sunday, which took place as his convoy had already left the airport.

The day after his arrest, protestors took to the streets across the region calling for Qaisari's release and Dostum's return. He has since reportedly been barred by the government from returning to Afghanistan. "We will continue our protests unless General Dostum tells us to stop", Ehsanullah Qowanch, a protest leader in Faryab province, told AFP.

Observers say President Ashraf Ghani gave the green light for Dostum to come back to Afghanistan to quell the unrest.

Dostum left Afghanistan in May 2017 after he was accused of organising the rape and torture of a political rival.

Dostum had been undergoing medical treatment in Turkey, and is now well and ready to resume work, said presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri.

Seven of Dostum's bodyguards have been convicted of the sexual assault and illegal imprisonment of Ahmad Ishchi, a former governor of the northern province of Jowzjan, in 2016.

Dostum, who helped the United States oust the Taliban regime in 2001, allegedly allowed hundreds of Taliban prisoners to be suffocated in shipping containers.

Afghan VP Dostum to return after more than a year in exile