News Afghan children play cricket on the outskirts of Jalalabad, Nangarhar province, near to Alinghar, Laghman where the cricket players were shot by a gunman.

Authorities say the gunman rode on a motorbike and shot the group of men

Kim Sengupta: A diplomat without diplomacy - but he made up for it in cunning

A senior Serbian official was left spluttering by what he considered Mr Holbrooke's high-handed behaviour

Cameron and Karzai shrug off talk of rift

David Cameron and Afghan president Hamid Karzai were quick to play down criticism of Britain's military performance, published by WikiLeaks, as the Prime Minister made an announced visit to Kabul.

Clinton apologises for embarrassment to UK

Hillary Clinton apologised yesterday for the derogatory comments made by American diplomats about British political leaders and military forces in the leaked cables published by the WikiLeaks website.

Key ally in Helmand privately criticised British policies

The Governor of Helmand, regularly put forward by London to publicly promote the UK's achievements in Afghanistan, privately complained to the Americans about shortcomings of British policy and the supposed failure to win over local people in a key battleground against the Taliban.

Patrick Cockburn: What Afghans will do to get friends out of jail

The main prison is Kabul is Pol-i-Charkhi, a forbidding-looking place off the Jalalabad road in the east of the capital, which was shrouded in smog yesterday. It has a grim reputation, built in the 1970s and used by the communist government as a place of torture and execution.

Christina Patterson: I always thought football was boring. Now I know it's rotten

Football, it turns out, is run by a group of ugly old men who look very like the villains in James Bond. They sit and think of ways to make world leaders look silly

Afghanistan's ancient jewels to sparkle in London

The shimmering brightness of a collection of priceless artifacts from Afghanistan contrasts with the darkness in which they languished for most of their existence.

John Kampfner: Wikileaks shows up our media for their docility at the feet of authority

Mr Assange is an unconventional figure, a man who lives in the shadows and enjoys doing so

Patrick Cockburn: He may be weak, but President Karzai knows the US has no alternative

The main American complaint against President Hamid Karzai over the past year has been that he and his government are so weak that the US has no effective local partner in Afghanistan.

Afghan diplomat released after two years

afghanistan's former ambassador-designate to Pakistan, seized by gunmen two years ago in the Pakistani city of Peshawar, has been released and is safely back home, President Hamid Karzai's office said yesterday.

Karzai hits out at Russians over drugs bust

Afghan president Hamid Karzai has lashed out at Russia's growing influence in his country, deriding a multi-million dollar drugs bust that involved four Russian agents as a "violation of Afghan sovereignty as well as international law". About 70 Afghan, Russian and Nato personnel, backed up by attack helicopters, seized drugs with a street value of $250m (£157m) in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend.

Katy Guest: Rant & Rave (31/10/10)

Rant

Hamid Karzai confirms talks with Taliban

President Hamid Karzai confirmed today that his government has been in informal talks with the Taliban on securing peace in Afghanistan "for quite some time" - the latest in a series of high-level acknowledgements of contacts with the insurgent group.

Kabul closes private security firms

The Afghan government said yesterday it has started dissolving private security firms in the country, taking steps to end the operations of eight companies, including the US firm formerly known as Blackwater and three other international contractors.

Patrick Cockburn: Pakistan won't act against the Taliban

Most Pakistani soldiers see the Afghan Taliban as Pashtun freedom fighters combating a foreign occupation
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