Afghan officials: Taliban target convoy of first vice president but he escaped unharmed

Afghan officials say the Taliban ambushed the convoy of First Vice President Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum but that he escaped the attack unharmed.

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

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

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

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.