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Dharmender Singh Phangurha was a prospective Labour MEP whose promising political career was cut tragically short in a Taliban suicide attack at a restaurant in Kabul. Del Singh, as he was better known, was one of two Britons killed along with 19 others, including senior UN officials, US workers, eight Afghan dignitaries and members of staff of the popular restaurant, La Taverna du Liban, in what was described as the "deadliest violence against foreign civilians" in Afghanistan since the start of the war nearly 13 years ago.

Afghan residents walk to receive winter blankets during a relief distribution programme in Herat. Decades of conflict have left Afghanistan with one of the highest internally displaced populations in the world

There is deep foreboding in Afghanistan over the West’s departure

The history of Afghanistan's last ten years is the history of the West walking away

British soldier killed by enemy fire serving in Afghanistan with the Royal Engineers

A British soldier has been killed in Afghanistan while serving with the Royal Engineers.

Russell Brand’s autobiography has been banned from Guantánamo Bay, a detained suspect has revealed.

Russell Brand’s autobiography Booky Wook 2 banned from Guantanamo Bay

'Booky Wook 2' was among literature deemed inappropriate for inmates

Afghan mine collapse kills at least 27 workers

The deaths follow a mine collapse in December in which 11 men were believed to have died

Female Afghan bank clerk flees with $1m

A young bank clerk has disappeared from her job in Kabul along with more than $1m.

Hamid Karzai and UN condemn killing of civilians by Taliban in Afghanistan

Insurgents shot and killed 12 civilians in two separate incidents over the weekend, including six aid workers employed on government projects, officials said Tuesday.

Nato helicopter kills police at Afghan checkpoint

A Nato helicopter called in to support Afghan police at a highway checkpoint opened fire and mistakenly killed five Afghan officers, officials have said.

Eight Afghan labourers killed on way to US base

Attacks come as Taliban steps up intimidation campaign in Ramadan

Afghanistan: Briton killed in Kabul suicide bombing

A British man killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan was named last night by the Foreign Office. Mark Duffus was one of at least eight people who died in the blast at a Nato supplier's compound in Kabul.

Afghanistan: Taliban launch suicide bomb attack on Kabul's presidential palace

A series of explosions rocked the gate leading into the presidential compound, believed to be one of the most secure places in the region

Taliban admits attack that kills four US troops in Afghanistan just hours after insurgent group announced it would hold peace talks

The Afghan Taliban have claimed responsibility for an attack that killed four US troops on the same day that peace talks between America and the group were announced.

Two killed in Afghanistan as hundreds protest over US ‘torture’

Hundreds of Afghans blocked a major motorway south of Kabul carrying freshly dug-up bodies they claimed were victims of torture by US special forces and demanding the Americans be arrested, officials said.

Theatre review: The Kite Runner, Theatre Royal, Brighton Festival

It was always going to be a tall order bringing Khaled Hosseini’s mega-selling 2003 novel about friendship, betrayal and exile to the stage.

Two American soldiers among 15 killed in Kabul suicide bomb attack on Afghan Nato convoy

Muslim militant group Hizb-e-Islami have claimed responsibility for the early morning attack

Afghan policeman kills five colleagues

A member of Afghanistan's government-backed militia programme has shot and killed five of his colleagues, an official said today.

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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there