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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 hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee