Afghan vice president survives three Taliban ambushes
March 31 2019 01:45 PM
Afghan Vice President General Abdul Rasheed Dostum
Afghan Vice President General Abdul Rasheed Dostum


Afghan Vice President General Abdul Rasheed Dostum escaped three ambushes by Taliban militants on his way to his home village late on Saturday, officials said.

The militants targeted Dostum's convoy with rockets and other heavy weapons in three separate areas along the Balkh-Jawzjan highway in the northern Jawzjan province, killing one of his special bodyguards and wounding another two, his aides said on Sunday.

Dostum had earlier confirmed reports of Taliban ambush plans but had nevertheless refused to go by air, according to his close aides Aziz Ahmad Begi and Bashir Ahmad Tayanj.

The vice president already survived an IS-claimed suicide bombing in 2018 in the capital Kabul, where 23 people were killed and 107 another wounded.

Before the Saturday incident, Dostum had requested government permission for an operation to drive back the Taliban in the northern provinces, during his first visit to the country's northern parts in more than two years.

Dostum said that if the government gives him six months, he would be able to secure at least 16 northern provinces. The visit comes as Taliban militants have intensified attacks in northern provinces despite ongoing talks with US envoys.

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