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As a photojournalist, Kate Brooks was used to documenting war zones. Then she discovered a new kind of genocide – the killing of Africa’s elephants

Kim Sengupta: This is a done deal, but the Lib Dems are unlikely to support it

There will be criticism of the passing of command after all the sacrifices that have been made

Death tolls set to spiral as allied forces face 40 attacks every day

Karzai meets Cameron as new report says a resurgent Taliban financed by the opium trade are behind an increase in assaults on British troops

'Nobody is winning,' admits McChrystal

The weakness of the Kabul government is hindering attempts by US and Nato forces to gain much ground from the insurgents

Afghan leader's brother plans FA Cup banquet if Chelsea win

Kandahar, where men are men and sheep are scared – especially if Chelsea win the FA Cup today.

Troops face 'most important' battle yet in Afghanistan

Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, is to be the target of what Nato commanders are calling the "most difficult and the most important" operation to be carried out by Western forces in Afghanistan since the start of the war there nine years ago.

US turns on the charm to secure Karzai's support for new offensive

Afghan president Hamid Karzai was fêted in Washington yesterday as part of frantic diplomatic efforts to secure his blessing for a massive US-led offensive in Kandahar due this summer.

Robert Fisk: Afghanistan's ancient treasures must be saved

Over the door of the Kabul museum today is a Persian quotation: 'A nation stays alive when its culture and history are kept alive'

UN scales back after three bomb blasts rock Kandahar City ahead of key Nato campaign

in the latest sign that Kandahar City is sliding deeper into violence ahead of a massive Nato campaign there, the UN yesterday announced it was scaling back its operations hours after three bomb blasts rocked the city.

British military split over plan to move troops to Kandahar

Sceptics oppose Washington strategy to replace Canadian and Dutch forces

Attacks against contractors surging in Afghanistan

Attacks on US contractors, construction companies and aid organizations have been rising just as the United States pushes faster development of Afghanistan, one of the world's poorest countries, as a priority in its strategy to counter the insurgency.

Mosque murder leaves Kandahar on the edge

Deputy Mayor's assassination is latest in series of bloody attacks in city by Taliban as Nato prepares offensive

Julius Cavendish: Taliban and the mafia: a terrifying combination

The faded prettiness of its old town used to belie the fact that Kandahar was a city gripped by fear. Unlike Kabul, the rising tide of violence was less frequently used as an excuse to smother the colonnades and tree-lined boulevards in reinforced concrete. That has changed now. Suicide bombers targeted the jail and police headquarters in February, leaving 35 dead and over 50 wounded. A Canadian photographer in the city on the night of that attack said that people were "genuinely scared. These men hear explosions every third or fourth day and they were shaken. The fear was really palpable that all hell was breaking loose and nothing was going to stop it."

Kim Sengupta: Nine years after 'liberation', Afghans continue to despair

The country is deep in crisis and the West's relations with President Karzai are at an all-time low

Britons feared killed in Afghanistan suicide blast

The Foreign Office is investigating reports that a number of British nationals were killed in a suicide bombing in Afghanistan.

Johann Hari: The shameful, bloody silence at the heart of the election

Hamid Karzai is threatening to defect to the Taliban and still we won't discuss it
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