Latest Afghanistan News

  • U.N. refugee agency urges Hungary not to tighten asylum rules 11 hours ago

    The U.N. refugee agency urged Hungary on Thursday not to pass a bill aimed at tightening asylum rules, saying the move would make it impossible for Budapest to give sanctuary to anyone fleeing war-stricken countries. Hungary's right-wing government wants to shorten the time frame for screening asylum claims and to reject claims from those migrants who, on their journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, have already passed through so-called safe third countries and did not request asylum there. The location of Hungary, a landlocked central European country of 10 million people in the European Union's visa-free Schengen zone has made it an attractive transit route for tens of thousands of migrants entering Europe through the Balkans from the Middle East and Africa. More »

  • Sabotage suspected as Pakistan troop train plunges into canal, killing 12
    Sabotage suspected as Pakistan troop train plunges into canal, killing 12 11 hours ago

    By Mubasher Bukhari and Mehreen Zahra-Malik LAHORE, Pakistan/ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - A train carrying hundreds of Pakistan military personnel and their families plunged into a canal on Thursday, killing 12 soldiers, when a bridge collapsed in what the army suspects was sabotage, officials said. The crash in Pakistan's Gujranwala district, in the northeast, happened as an army unit was being transported from southern Sindh province to northern Pakistan. "There were around 300 passengers on board," Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq told Reuters. More »

  • Afghan court overturns death sentences in mob killing of woman
    Afghan court overturns death sentences in mob killing of woman 12 hours ago

    An Afghan appeal court has overturned death sentences given to four men for the brutal mob killing in March of a woman falsely accused of blasphemy in Kabul, a judge said Thursday. More »

  • Book Talk: Back to the future with 21st century soldiers of fortune 14 hours ago

    By Giles Elgood LONDON (Reuters) - It's now clear, Sean McFate says in his new book, "The Modern Mercenary", that when nation states spent nearly 400 years officially discouraging soldiers of fortune, it was the exception rather than the rule. There were mercenaries on the battlefields of Europe long before the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, when it was agreed that military force was the preserve of governments. Private military contractors, or PMCs, are flourishing again because they cost less than standing armies and their presence in a war zone is less politically sensitive than large numbers of regular soldiers. More »

  • Calais and Dover services resume
    Calais and Dover services resume Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    Ferry services have resumed between Calais and Dover after three days of cross-Channel chaos caused by protests. More »

  • Charles hails 'very best' Gurkhas
    Charles hails 'very best' Gurkhas Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    The Prince of Wales hailed Gurkhas as "the very best of soldiers" as he helped mark the 21st anniversary of one of their regiments during a visit to their barracks tonight. More »

  • 'Grexit' or not, Greece will find kicking euro habit hard
    'Grexit' or not, Greece will find kicking euro habit hard Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    A pro-European Union protester waves an EU flag during a demonstration in front of the parliament in Athens on June 30, 2015 More »

  • Pakistani raid killed senior al Qaeda figure, official says Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Mubasher Bukhari LAHORE, Pakistan (Reuters) - The head of al Qaeda in Pakistan was among four militants killed in a police raid near the eastern city of Lahore this week, a provincial official said on Wednesday. Shuja Khanzada, home minister for Punjab province, named the al Qaeda leader only as "Abdali" in a news conference and said he and three other operatives were planning an attack on government figures. "Their leader who was giving them the briefings, who was leading the entire team, was the head of al Qaeda in Pakistan. More »

  • How we impoverish children in the name of a tough immigration policy
    How we impoverish children in the name of a tough immigration policy Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    Earlier this year, the Home Office removed a mentally ill mother and five-year-old child to Nigeria, despite the risk that both she and her son would end up on the streets and at risk of prostitution, child labour or trafficking. Following a legal challenge,  the Upper Tribunal gave an order that the family be brought back to Britain as the Home Office had failed to have regard to the child’s best interests as a primary consideration. Indeed, a report launched today by a group of leading children’s charities, which Coram Children’s Legal Centre (CCLC) contributed to, found vulnerable children are being put at increasing risk. More »

  • Among meadows and cherry trees, the new migrant gateway to Europe
    Among meadows and cherry trees, the new migrant gateway to Europe Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Krisztina Than and Aleksandar Vasovic SERBIAN-HUNGARIAN BORDER (Reuters) - Covered in mosquito bites from nights spent out in the open, two girls from Syria, one six and one eight, lay on blankets in a grove of cherry and apricot trees in northern Serbia waiting for the next leg of their long journey to begin. In a few hours, the girls, in matching grey track suits with the word "Hollywood" in blue lettering across the chest, would set off with a group of other migrants to try to cross illegally into Hungary. If they make it, they would -- after what for many migrants is months of travelling --  be in the European Union, with a chance of being granted asylum or, failing that, of melting into the vast border-free space and building a new life. More »

  • Calais Strikes: Dover Officials Admit They Have 'No Idea' When Protests Will …
    Calais Strikes: Dover Officials Admit They Have 'No Idea' When Protests Will … Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    As food and water was being distributed to lorry drivers stranded on what could be the hottest day of the year, port officials said they didn't know when the French protests would end. More »

  • Record 137,000 refugees, migrants crossed Mediterranean in 2015
    Record 137,000 refugees, migrants crossed Mediterranean in 2015 Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    A record 137,000 people made the perilous journey across the Mediterranean to Europe in the first half of 2015, most of them fleeing war, conflict and persecution, the United Nations said Wednesday More »

  • Clinton struggled to fit in with Obama's White House, emails show
    Clinton struggled to fit in with Obama's White House, emails show Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Jonathan Allen and Alistair Bell NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton struggled to fit into the government of President Barack Obama after being appointed Secretary of State in 2009, according to emails released by the State Department on Tuesday. In an email to two aides on June 8, 2009, Clinton was unsure if the White House had held a Cabinet meeting and whether she should attend. If not, who are we sending?" Clinton wrote. More »

  • China's military on mission to bring 'modern civilization' to X … Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    China's military must bring "modern civilization" to the restive southern areas of the Xinjiang region, where Muslim ethnic Uighurs are in majority, and help develop its economy, two senior army officers wrote in an influential journal. Hundreds have died in violence in Xinjiang in the past few years. Writing in the latest edition of the bimonthly Communist Party magazine Qiushi, the commander of the southern Xinjiang military region Li Haiyang and its military commissar Miao Wenjiang said that soldiers must "ardently love" the area. More »

  • More than 135,000 refugees reached Europe by sea in 2015's first half - …
    More than 135,000 refugees reached Europe by sea in 2015's first half - … Wed, Jul 1, 2015

    By Idrees Ali WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More than 135,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe by sea in the first half of 2015, with most of the burden being borne by countries in southern Europe, according to a new report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Desperate people resort to desperate measures and unfortunately ... the numbers are expected to continue to soar," said Brian Hansford, a spokesperson for UNHCR. The number of refugees and migrants arriving in Europe in the first six months of 2015 increased more than 80 percent increase from the same time period in 2014, the UNHCR report said. More »

  • Suicide blasts hit Afghanistan as Taliban wage bloody offensive
    Suicide blasts hit Afghanistan as Taliban wage bloody offensive Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Suicide attackers Tuesday targeted NATO troops in Kabul and a police headquarters in restive southern Afghanistan, killing four people and wounding almost 60 as the Taliban's bloody summer offensive showed no signs of letting up. More »

  • EU to help 'frontline' Hungary cope with migrant wave: official
    EU to help 'frontline' Hungary cope with migrant wave: official Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    The European Commission has pledged to send financial aid and experts to Hungary to help it cope with a surge in illegal immigration this year, a senior Brussels official said in Budapest Tuesday. More »

  • Comedian Jason Manford Goes Toe-To-Toe With Britain First On Social Media
    Comedian Jason Manford Goes Toe-To-Toe With Britain First On Social Media Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Manford triggered the stand-off by tweeting about deleting Facebook friends who shared 'racist' Britain First videos. More »

  • At least 17 injured in attack on NATO troops in Kabul
    At least 17 injured in attack on NATO troops in Kabul Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    At least 17 people were wounded in a suicide bomb attack on NATO troops as their truck convoy passed down the main road running between Kabul's airport and the U.S. embassy, police and health ministry officials said. The road was closed off, and Reuters witnesses saw damaged NATO military vehicles and Western troops attending to a stricken comrade. Most NATO troops left Afghanistan last year when the combat mission ended and only a small contingent remains to train Afghan security forces. More »

  • Manford sparks row with far-right
    Manford sparks row with far-right Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    Comedian Jason Manford has come under attack on social media from far-right political group Britain First after claiming he had deleted some old school friends for sharing their videos. More »

  • Jason Manford targeted by right-wing extremists
    Jason Manford targeted by right-wing extremists Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    The 33-year-old comedian tweeted that he had blocked three friends from his personal Facebook account for sharing Britain First videos. More »

  • Suicide truck bomb kills two, wounds 40 in Afghanistan: officials
    Suicide truck bomb kills two, wounds 40 in Afghanistan: officials Tue, Jun 30, 2015

    A suicide truck bomb in southern Afghanistan killed two civilians on Tuesday and wounded more than 40, officials said, in the latest attack since the Taliban began their annual offensive. More »