A powerful and controversial Afghan warlord returned from exile in Turkey in an apparent attempt by President Hamid Karzai to attract ethnic Uzbek voters in this week's presidential poll.
The U.S. immediately condemned Abdul Rashid Dostum's return and raised concerns about his alleged involvement in human rights violations.
Dostum is alleged to have been responsible for the deaths of up to 2,000 Taliban prisoners early in the Afghan war. President Obama has ordered his national security team to investigate allegations published in the New York Times that the Bush administration failed to investigate the deaths.
Karzai has allied with several warlords with an eye toward Thursday's election.