POLICE SURROUND AFGHANISTAN’S VP’S HOUSE

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[Afghanistan]–On Tuesday, February 21, soldiers and policemen surrounded the parameter of the house of Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum.

This was in an attempt to arrest nine of his advisers charged with the abduction and sexual abuse of a political opponent, while apparently following his orders.

Initially, the police had hesitated to carry out this operation, claiming that they were fearful of the effects of an armed confrontation on the civilian population in the neighbourhood.

According to copies of official documents obtained by The New York Times, this was the cause for delay but pressures from the attorney general spurred the police to take actions and move against the Vice President.

According to Hindu Times, “Mr. Dostum is believed to have hundreds of armed irregulars under his command, and on Tuesday, his home in the Sherpur quarter was guarded with trucks mounted with artillery and heavy machine guns, but it was unclear how many militiamen were inside the cordon.

“On Monday, Mr. Dostum defiantly went under heavy guard to his office in the presidential compound, after having claimed the role of acting president in the absence of President Ashraf Ghani, who was at an international security conference in Munich. Mr. Ghani returned in time to make the announced assumption of powers moot.”

Dostum has a track record of criminal involvements and he has been accused of mass murders, especially during Afghanistan’s civil war. In a memorable event right before the election, the President had described his first vice president as a “known killer,” leading to further public distrust in Dostum’s legitimacy as a true leader. Dostum’s notoriety extends to public outbursts, threats of assissantion towards political opponents and even drunkenness at national occasions.

As at the time of this report, there have been no casualties as no gunfire was heard by the neighbouring witnesses.




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