General Abdul Rashid Dostum, First Vice President, who this weekend returned home from a trip to Russia, India, Chechnya, UAE and Turkey, said that government had been aware of the heightened threats against Kunduz ahead of the Taliban’s attack.
He said government also knows of plans against other provinces.
Dostum said the government did however work to prevent insurgent attacks on Kunduz and are working at preventing the same in other provinces.
“We knew that they had plans for Kunduz, Faryab, Helmand and Kunar province… we have done a lot to prevent the attacks and Kunduz residents should know that we are not careless,” he said.
He also says that during his visit to Moscow the Russian government promised to provide military assistance to Afghanistan if needed and said Russian officials have expressed their concerns about the presence of insurgents in northern parts of the country.
Dostum emphasized that the Russian Defence Minister General Sergey Shoigu was asked to provide necessary equipment for the Afghan security forces, especially for army troops, in order to fight Daesh and Taliban insurgents.
“Russia has announced its concern over the situation in Afghanistan and they told us that they will help Afghanistan’s army. At the moment they will provide us with attack helicopters…. And they should help the gunners with weapons and long-range mortars. The Russian senior officials said that they would not be careless over the security of this country,” he said.
Before the fall of Kunduz, Dostum said that if the president orders him to launch a clearing operation in northern Kunduz province he will do so gladly.