Sunday, 20 January 2019

Dostum survives suicide attack near Kabul Airport, 11 killed

KABUL: A suicide bomber killed at least 11 people and wounded 14 at the entrance to Kabul international airport today, officials said, as scores gathered to welcome home Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum from exile.

Senior government officials, political leaders and supporters were leaving the airport after greeting the powerful ethnic Uzbek leader and former warlord when the explosion happened.

Dostum, clad in a Western suit and sunglasses and travelling in an armoured vehicle, was unharmed, said his spokesman Bashir Ahmad Tayanj.

Kabul Police spokesman Hashmat Stanikzai said 11 people had been killed and 14 wounded. He did not give a breakdown.

The suicide bomber was on foot, interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish said, adding that civilians, including a child, and security force members were among the casualties.

Dostum, who is linked to a catalogue of human rights abuses in Afghanistan, was mobbed like a celebrity as he left the chartered plane from Turkey where he has lived since May 2017.

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