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Kabul suicide attack: 14 dead, 60 wounded at airport entrance; civilians, including child and security officials among casualties

Kabul suicide attack: 14 dead, 60 wounded at airport entrance; civilians, including child and security officials among casualties: on Sunday, A suicide bomber killed at least 14 people and wounded 60 at the entrance to Kabul international airport, officials said, as scores gathered to welcome home, Abdul Rashid Dostum, the Afghan Vice-President, from the exile.

after greeting the powerful ethnic Uzbek leader and former warlord, Senior government officials, political leaders, and supporters were leaving the airport, and in that period, an explosion occurred.

“This is the first time I have seen a suicide attack,” one witness told AFP.

“People were collecting human flesh with their hands,” he said, shaking as he spoke. “What is going on in Afghanistan?” Dostum, clad in a Western suit and sunglasses and traveling in an armored vehicle, was unharmed, stated to his spokesman Bashir Ahmad Tayanj.

Hashmat Stanikzai, the Kabul Police spokesman, said 14 people had been killed and 60 wounded, he also added that nine members of the security forces and traffic police were among the dead.

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

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

His return, which has been the subject of much speculation, comes, in the middle of violent protests, in a number of provinces across northern Afghanistan, his traditional power base.

in recent weeks, the Thousands of Dostum’s supporters have taken to the streets, shuttering election and government offices and blocking sections of highways, which also demand the release of a pro-government militia leader and call for Dostum’s return.

Expectations of the return did little to quell the unrest, with protesters took oath on Sunday to continue demonstrating until the burly leader of the Uzbek ethnic minority tells them otherwise.

“We don’t trust the government. We will continue our protests unless General Dostum tells us to stop,” a protest leader in Faryab province, Ehsanullah Qowanch, told AFP.

Qowanch also emphasized on the release of Nezamuddin Qaisari — a district police chief and Dostum’s provincial representative in Faryab — whose arrest happened in some former times of this month, as per reports, which ignited the protests.

Another protester, Massoud Khan, said: “We have been on the streets for 20 days now. We are not going to stop our protests unless our demands are met.”

‘Known killer’

Observers say an ethnic Pashtun, President Ashraf Ghani, gave the green light for Dostum to come home to stabilize the north and secure Uzbek support ahead of next year’s presidential election, which he is extensively expected to contest.

in May 2017, Dostum left Afghanistan, the post which he was accused of organizing the rape and torture of a political rival.

He had denied the allegations and said his departure was for medical check-ups and family reasons.

in 2009 Ghani described Dostum as a “known killer”. Yet he chose him as his running mate in the 2014 presidential election, underlining the sometimes presented as the scratchy ethnic realities of Afghan politics.

on Saturday, the Presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri said that Dostum had been “treated” and is all set to resume his duties upon his return. in 2016, Seven of Dostum’s bodyguards have been convicted of the sexual assault and illegal imprisonment of Ahmad Ishchi, a former governor of the northern province of Jowzjan.

Dostum allegedly had Ishchi abducted in Jowzjan and then kept him hostage in his private compound for a number of days reportedly, where the imprisoned was said to have been tortured and sodomized.

Chakhansuri deflected questions about whether Dostum can face charges over the incident, saying with a proverb “the judiciary is an independent body, the government does not interfere in their decisions”.

In 2001, the Dostum is one of the numerous controversial figures whom Kabul has sought to reintegrate into mainstream politics since the US-led invasion.

His heroic status in the north regarded as the barbarities for which he is known.

in 2001, Dostum was the who helped the United States oust the Taliban regime, allegedly allowed hundreds of Taliban prisoners to be suffocated in shipping containers.