14 killed, 50 hurt in blast at Kabul airport targeting vice president Dostum

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Najib Danish, spokesman for the Afghan interior ministry, said that 14 people, including both civilians and military forces, have been killed in the suicide attack near Kabul International Airport shortly after the country's controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad.

Danish added that 50 other people were wounded in the attack.

The ISIS group claimed responsibility for the attack on its Aamaq News Agency.

Afghan president Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack in a statement released by the presidential place.

Dostum escaped unharmed from the explosion near the airport as he returned home on Sunday after living in Turkey for over a year, according to security officials.

Danish, the interior ministry spokesman said a suicide bomber carried out the attack shortly after the convoy of the country’s first vice president had left the airport.

Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and his entourage were unharmed, said Danish.

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

Dostum left Afghanistan in 2017 after the attorney-general’s office launched an investigation into allegations that his followers had tortured and sexually abused a former ally turned political rival. He has since reportedly been barred by the government from returning to Afghanistan.

It was not immediately clear whether Dostum will now face any charges.

“The judiciary in Afghanistan is an independent body and will carry out its duties and responsibilities as it deems appropriate,” said an official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the issue.

Dostum, accused of war crimes committed after the fall of the Taliban government in 2001, has also been criticized by the United States for human rights abuses.