Reports are coming in regarding another suicide bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan, this time killing 14 military and civilian bystanders, and wounding approximately another 50 more. This occurred just as Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, Afghanistan’s First Vice President, was returning from Turkey. He was unharmed.
Reports on the attack are still coming in — as details make themselves clear, exact numbers of killed and wounded will be available. Even the method of attack is not entirely certain — interior ministry spokesman, Najib Danish, said that, “The blast was probably caused by a suicide bomber.”
The attack was claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS-K).
The “First Vice President” is an Afghan political position, of which they are two (he is not the first one ever). Sarwar Danish is the Second Vice President of Afghanistan, and both have served in the position since Sept. 2014.
Gen. Dostum is somewhat of a controversial figure in Afghanistan, and he has lived in Turkey since May 2017, due to a sexual assault scandal that led to his exile. He is a former Uzbek warlord, communist general, and throughout Afghanistan’s war-torn history, he has been known to side with who he thought would be the winners at the time. This is not the first time he has worked in a political capacity from Turkey either — under the tenure of Hamid Karzai, he played a somewhat ceremonial role in Afghan politics, from the safety of Turkey as well.
He is a long-time enemy of the Taliban and has been accused many times of massacres involving both Taliban militants and civilians sympathetic to their cause. Gen. Dostum is reportedly barred from entering the United States due to his long and brutal history.
Some call Gen. Dostum’s political alignment with President Ashraf Ghani an alliance of convenience, not because they see eye to eye. Many see him as a through-and-through warlord who has learned to navigate political waters, though these opinions are highly controversial as is Gen. Dostum’s return to Afghanistan.
Featured image: Afghan security personnel stand guard next to wounded comrades at the site of an attack near the Kabul International Airport, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, July 22, 2018. An Afghan spokesman said there has been a large explosion near the Kabul airport shortly after the country’s controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad. 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 | AP Photo/Rahmat Gul