Afghan vice chairman narrowly escapes loss of life for a second time

Afghanistan’s vice chairman, Abdul Rashid Dostum, escaped unharmed from an assault that killed one in every of his bodyguards on Saturday, dodging loss of life for the second time since coming back from exile final yr.

Attackers ambushed Dostum’s convoy on the way in which from Mazar-i-Sharif, a metropolis in Balkh province, to Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, mentioned Bashir Ahmad Tayenj, spokesman for Dostum’s Junbish Get together. Two different bodyguards had been wounded.

Dostum was conscious of a deliberate assault however determined to journey anyway, the spokesman added.

The Taliban claimed accountability for the assassination try, which comes eight months after Dostum prevented damage in a suicide bombing at Kabul airport. In a tweet, the militant group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, mentioned 4 guards had been killed and 6 wounded within the assault.

Final summer season’s bombing, which was claimed by Islamic State, befell as Dostum returned house from greater than a yr in exile in Turkey over allegations of torturing and abusing a political rival.

Dostum had left Afghanistan after heavy stress from Western donors together with the US.

Lower than a yr since his return, the final stays a big, if polarizing, political determine. His Junbish Get together is supported primarily by his fellow ethnic Uzbeks.

Dostum has joined the election group of Afghan Chief Government Abdullah Abdullah, one in every of a number of contenders in a presidential election scheduled for Sept. 28.