Explosion Heard Near Kabul As Exiled VP Lands In Afghanistan

REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

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Vandana Rambaran Political Reporter
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A large explosion outside of an airport in Kabul occurred right as formerly-exiled Afghan Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum arrived on Sunday afternoon local time.

The blast took place after his convoy had left the airport, and, although Dostum was likely the target of the blast, he and members of his entourage were unharmed, Interior Ministry spokesman Najib Danish told the Associated Press Sunday.

The Islamic State assumed responsibility for the attack. (RELATED: Afghanistan Toys With The Idea Of A Second Cease-Fire After Success Of The First)

Afghan officials announced Dostum’s return to Afghanistan on Saturday after he was exiled to Turkey in 2016 for allegations by a political rival of assault and rape, according to The Washington Post.

Dostum has long been a violent Uzbek general in Afghanistan. He has ordered tank to drive over enemies’ legs and was accused of sealing hundreds of Taliban prisoners in truck containers and suffocating them, according to The Washington Post. President Ashraf Ghani was forced to take action on the latest accusations against Dostum as Western donors closed in demanding justice.

“Legal issues are related to justice and judicial institutions,” Haroon Chakansuri, Ghani’s top spokesman, said in a statement to the Washington Post. “They are independent in their work, and will deal with all issues in accordance to the law.”

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