The Latest: 14 killed in blast near airport in Afghanistan

The Latest on developments in Afghanistan (all times local):

8:15 p.m.

An Afghan interior ministry spokesman says that 14 people, including both civilians and military forces, have been killed in the suicide attack near Kabul’s airport shortly after the country’s controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad.

Spokesman Najib Danish added that 50 other people were wounded in the attack.

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack through its Aamaq News Agency.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani strongly condemned the attack in a statement released by the presidential palace.

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7:15 p.m.

Hashmat Stanekzai, spokesman for the Kabul police chief, said that 11 people, including both civilians and military forces, have been killed in the suicide attack near Kabul’s airport shortly after the country’s controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad.

Mohib Zeer, an official form the public health ministry, also confirmed that 11 people were killed in the attack and 48 others wounded.

Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, the likely the target of the attack, escaped unharmed.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion, but both Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in the Afghan capital.

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5:20 p.m.

An Afghan spokesman says there has been a large explosion near the Kabul airport shortly after the country’s controversial first vice president landed on his return from abroad.

Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum and members of his entourage were unharmed in the explosion on Sunday, which took place as his convoy had already left the airport.

The Interior Ministry’s spokesman, Najib Danish, says the explosion took place outside of the airport. It was unclear what had caused it.

Danish says that Dostum was likely the target of the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the explosion, but both Taliban and the Islamic State group are active in the Afghan capital.

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11:40 a.m.

An Afghan spokesman says the country’s first vice president, a former Uzbek warlord, is returning home after more than a year of living in Turkey.

Presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri says Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum is expected to return to Kabul on Sunday afternoon.

He says Dostum had been undergoing medical treatment in Turkey, was now well and would resume work.

Dostum left the country under controversial circumstances in 2017, after the attorney-general’s office opened an investigation into allegations that his followers had tortured and sexually abused a former ally turned political rival.

Dostum had since reportedly been prevented by the government from returning to Afghanistan.

Dostum, accused of war crimes committed after the collapse of the Taliban in 2001, has been criticized by the United States for human rights abuses.

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