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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.

Patrick Cockburn: History is repeating itself in Afghanistan

One hears again and again Afghans say that the Taliban may not be liked but that the US is distrusted, even hated

Afghan leader Karzai hails British 'sacrifices'

David Cameron and Hamid Karzai today played down the significance of the WikiLeaks revelations of criticisms of British military operations in Afghanistan, as the Afghan President voiced his "gratitude for the sacrifices and the resources that Britain has brought" to his country.

Nato representative clarifies 'safe Kabul' comments

Nato's top civilian representative in Afghanistan today moved to clarify comments he made suggesting Kabul was safer than parts of London or Glasgow.

Exclusive: Afghanistan - behind enemy lines

James Fergusson returns after three years to Chak, just 40 miles from Kabul, to find the Taliban's grip is far stronger than the West will admit

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.

Afghan government takes over Kabul Bank

Afghanistan's central bank has stepped in to take control of the troubled Kabul Bank, its governor said, after suspected irregularities raised concerns over the country's top private financial institution.

Colonel Lawrence Sellin: Man fired for his sniping will not go quietly

A senior officer in General David Petraeus's support staff, who was fired for publicly criticising the US military's "PowerPoint culture", has issued a fresh broadside against what he says is a bloated, ineffective bureaucracy at America's headquarters in Afghanistan.

Twenty years after Soviet humiliation, Russia seeks a return to Afghanistan

Foreign Minister offers help with reconstruction in bid to quell unrest on doorstep. By Mary Dejevsky in Moscow

Murdered doctor's family rejects claims that she was spy and missionary

The family of the British doctor shot dead in northern Afghanistan has dismissed claims by the Taliban that she had been preaching Christianity and spying for the Americans.

The death of my friend Karen

Karen Woo and her nine colleagues were bringing medical care to the poorest communities of a ravaged nation they had grown to love when they were ambushed and shot dead, one by one

Boyd Tonkin: Kabul stories of fame and blame

The week in books

Jonathan Heawood: Libel law's victims are stacking up

In The Bookseller of Kabul, the Norwegian journalist Åsne Seierstad charted the choppy life of an Afghan family during the spring of 2002, as foreign powers and internal armies fought over the future of their country. The book was based on the time she spent living with a bookseller and his two wives, a privileged witness to their domestic quarrels and desires as well as their more public existence. She focused on the subjugated place of the women of the family, and wrote about her own experiments inside a burka and how "in time I started to hate it". The book was an international bestseller, lauded for its "unique insight into another world" (Daily Mirror), for Seierstad's "curiosity and perceptive eye" ( Independent), for testifying to "the power of literature to withstand even the most repressive regime" (Daily Mail).

Karzai sticks to his guns on 2014 military takeover

As Kabul is locked down for summit, world leaders struggle to find a united voice

Kabul blast kills three ahead of Afghan state-building conference

As international delegates start to arrive, militants declare their intent

Dylan Jones: 'Kabul’s tourist attractions include the swimming pool where the Taliban used to execute infidels'

Dog fighting is big in Kabul, so big it's even advertised in the in-flight magazine to be found on Safi Airways, one of only three commercial airlines that fly to Afghanistan (there is a loo in club class, and a sink, but no taps). Other tourist attractions include the tank graveyard (courtesy of the Soviets), the Darulaman Palace (once lived in by King Amanullah and then destroyed by the Taliban) and the Bibi Mahru swimming pool, built by the Russians, where the Taliban used to execute infidels on a daily basis.

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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain