Government troops surrounded the fortified luxury home of First Vice President Abdurrashid Dostum in the Afghan capital Tuesday in an all-day standoff, raising fears of a violent confrontation with his armed guards. The former warlord, accused of brutalizing a political rival, has refused to cooperate with a government investigation for several months.

The action came after Dostum repeatedly ignored requests for cooperation from the attorney general’s office in investigating the case, including summonses for nine of Dostum’s guards and other employees wanted for questioning.

But on Tuesday evening, after hours of tension and confusion gripped the capital, Dostum spoke publicly with supporters inside his house, saying he had ordered his guards to avoid any armed clash. At the same time, he warned that any move to unseat him would weaken the government of President Ashraf Ghani.

Abdurrashid Dostum stands during prayers at the first day of a peace summit, Aug. 9, 2007, in Kabul. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)


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