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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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