Afghanistan's First Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum on Saturday escaped unhurt from a Taliban ambush in Balkh province.

Iran Press/Asia: First vice president, Abdul Rashid Dostum's motorcade was travelling from Balkh to Jowzjan province when the ambush took place. However, one of Dostum's bodyguards was killed in the attack.

Speaking to Afghan media, a police spokesman for Balkh province, Adel Shah, said the ambush occurred in Charbolak district, Afghanistan reported.

Attackers ambushed Dostum's convoy on the way from Mazar-i-Sharif, a city in Balkh province, to Jawzjan province in northern Afghanistan, Bashir Ahmad Tayenj, a spokesman for Dostum's Junbish Party told media.

After Dostum escaped unscathed, an exchange of fire took place between Taliban and government forces.

According to some sources, a security personnel was killed and two others were injured.

The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack. According to the Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid, four government security guards were killed and six others were wounded in the skirmish.

This is the second attack on Dostum in a year. Dostum had a close shave in Kabul airport's suicide bombing attack last July in which 23 people were killed.

Balkh provincial spokesman Monir Ahmad Farhad confirmed to media that Abdul Rashid Dostum has arrived safely in Jowzjan Province.

Dostum who had earlier travelled to Turkey, arrived in Balkh province through Uzbekistan and after a short stay in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif headed for Jowzjan Province.

While in Mazar-i-Sharif, Dostum claimed if he had been permitted he would cleanse northern Afghanistan of terrorists in six months.

Earlier, a top police commander in Kandahar province, Tadin Khan, confirmed that a member of Afghanistan's House of the People Obeidollah Barkzai was assassinated by unknown assailants. 105/211/205



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