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Afghan vice president 'escapes Taliban ambush'

The Taliban ambushed the convoy of Afghanistan first vice president General Abdul Rashid Dostum but he escaped the attack unharmed, officials said.

The ambush happened on Friday afternoon in northern Faryab province as the convoy was driving through Qaysar district, said Gen Dostum's spokesman Sultan Faizy.

Gen Dostum's men returned fire, killing eight of the attackers, Mr Faizy said. Another 13 were arrested.

Provincial police chief Massoud Yaqubi said that one of the killed insurgents was of Uzbek nationality.

Gen Dostum is a former warlord with a strong following among Afghanistan's Uzbek ethnic minority. He has been fighting the Taliban in his northern stronghold in recent weeks.

Afghan authorities say Taliban insurgents have linked up with the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan to strengthen their campaign across the previously peaceful province.

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