Latest Afghanistan News

  • Afghan blast kills 33; president blames Islamic State
    Afghan blast kills 33; president blames Islamic State 7 hours ago

    By Rafiq Sherzad JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - A suicide bomber in Afghanistan's eastern city of Jalalabad killed 33 people and injured more than 100 on Saturday, setting off a blast outside a bank where government workers collect salaries, the city's police chief said. President Ashraf Ghani blamed Islamic State militants, without giving further detail. If true, it would be the first such major attack carried out by the group in Afghanistan, marking a significant step in its expansion into South Asia. Up until now militants claiming allegiance to Islamic State in Afghanistan have been widely identified as former Taliban fighters disillusioned with their leadership. More »

  • Prince Harry gets airborne and into Australia's Outback
    Prince Harry gets airborne and into Australia's Outback 7 hours ago

    Prince Harry completes the first two weeks of a stint with the Australian Army on Sunday, training in bush survival skills, spending time on helicopter duties and playing wheelchair Aussie Rules football. More »

  • Pope urges global response to Italy boat people crisis
    Pope urges global response to Italy boat people crisis 13 hours ago

    Pope Francis on Saturday urged the international community to act over a deadly surge in the numbers of migrants attempting to reach Italy via perilous sea crossings from north Africa. More »

  • Suicide bomber kills 33 in bloody attack outside Afghan bank
    Suicide bomber kills 33 in bloody attack outside Afghan bank 15 hours ago

    A suicide bomber killed at least 33 people and wounded 100 others in an attack Saturday outside a bank in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, according to officials. More »

  • Merkel to tackle refugee surge as tensions in Germany grow
    Merkel to tackle refugee surge as tensions in Germany grow Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    By Erik Kirschbaum BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government will hold a crisis meeting to address a surge of refugees amid an upturn in attacks against shelters and complaints from local authorities about a lack of funding to house them, Chancellor Angela Merkel's spokesman said on Friday. The announcement by Steffen Seibert of a top-level meeting in her office on May 8 with state and government leaders came on the heels of an opinion poll showing 58 percent believe there is a climate of hostility towards foreigners in Germany. The number of asylum seekers to Germany more than doubled in the first quarter to 85,394 and states estimate the total for 2015 could be four times as many as the 100,000 refugees who arrived in 2013. The federal government has generally welcomed refugees, in part to atone for the past and because some post-war leaders survived the Nazi era thanks to asylum elsewhere. More »

  • In Focus: Balochistan activists urge Pakistan to 'treat us as human beings …
    In Focus: Balochistan activists urge Pakistan to 'treat us as human beings … Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    The Baloch Republican Party (BRP) has been organising protests in several European capitals to shed light on alleged human rights abuses in the Balochistan province, in western Pakistan. IBTimes UK spoke with the president of the party's UK chapter, Mansoor Baluch, who alleged that dozens of Baloch people are abducted and executed by Pakistani security agencies and the Pakistani Army. Human Rights Watch released several reports on abducted people in Balochistan. In 2011, the rights group documented rights abuses allegedly committed by the Pakistani government against people in Balochistan. More »

  • An heir and a spare: life as a royal number two
    An heir and a spare: life as a royal number two Fri, Apr 17, 2015

    Prince William's new baby, due later this month, will join the long line of second children born one step from the throne -- the so-called spare to the heir. More »

  • Rivals row over top Afghan defence posts as Taliban goes on attack
    Rivals row over top Afghan defence posts as Taliban goes on attack Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Hamid Shalizi and Kay Johnson KABUL (Reuters) - Seven months after rival leaders finally agreed to share power, Afghanistan has no permanent defence minister and cannot decide who should run the army, threatening to weaken the war against Taliban militants on the offensive after foreign troops left. Deadlock over choosing the minister and army chief of staff is the latest sign of tension in the government of President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, who fought a bitterly contested presidential election last year. More »

  • Assange agrees to be questioned in London: lawyer
    Assange agrees to be questioned in London: lawyer Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has agreed to be questioned by Swedish prosecutors in London over rape allegations, his Swedish lawyer Thomas Olsson said on Thursday. More »

  • Resurgent Russia worries Finns, but NATO not an option
    Resurgent Russia worries Finns, but NATO not an option Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    After 25 years of tranquil post Cold War relations, Finns are once again worried about the threat posed by their resurgent eastern neighbour Russia, though they remain firmly opposed to joining NATO. More »

  • Chinese president to visit Pakistan, hammer out $46-billion deal
    Chinese president to visit Pakistan, hammer out $46-billion deal Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    By Katharine Houreld and Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Chinese President Xi Jinping will launch energy and infrastructure projects worth $46 billion (30.80 billion pounds) on a visit to Pakistan next week as China cements links with its old ally and generates opportunities for firms hit by slack growth at home. Also being finalised is a long-discussed plan to sell Pakistan eight Chinese submarines. Xi will visit next Monday and Tuesday, Pakistan's foreign ministry said. "China treats us as a friend, an ally, a partner and above all an equal - not how the Americans and others do," said Mushahid Hussain Sayed, chairman of the Pakistan parliament's defence committee. More »

  • Anti-graft academic leads Afghan push against 'economic mafia'
    Anti-graft academic leads Afghan push against 'economic mafia' Thu, Apr 16, 2015

    Ringed with snipers and sandbag bunkers, the makeshift office of a Kabul academic spearheading President Ashraf Ghani's unprecedented anti-corruption drive could be mistaken for a military garrison. More »

  • EU faces fury after new migrant shipwreck tragedy
    EU faces fury after new migrant shipwreck tragedy Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    Rights groups lashed out at the EU on Wednesday for scrapping rescue operations in the Mediterranean, saying it had endangered the lives of thousands of desperate migrants making perilous journeys across the sea. More »

  • Calgary imams fight back against Islamic State recruitment
    Calgary imams fight back against Islamic State recruitment Wed, Apr 15, 2015

    A group of Calgary imams is marking the first line of defense at the foot of the Rocky Mountains against the Islamic State group's recruitment of Canadians as fighters. More »

  • The Irish are among the most free people in the world
    The Irish are among the most free people in the world Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    When it comes to travel visas anyway. Not all nations have it so easy though… More »

  • Qaeda in Yemen says ideological leader killed by drone
    Qaeda in Yemen says ideological leader killed by drone Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The ideological leader of Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula was killed in a drone strike this week, allegedly by the United States, AQAP said in a statement published Tuesday. More »

  • Table of IMF forecasts for global growth
    Table of IMF forecasts for global growth Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The IMF sees global growth at a tepid 3.5% this year, unchanged from its January forecast, but expects a greater contribution from Europe and Japan More »

  • Paratrooper awarded Victoria Cross
    Paratrooper awarded Victoria Cross Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    A paratrooper who risked death on three separate occasions during a battle with the Taliban and rallied his comrades in the process, has been awarded the Victoria Cross (VC) by the Queen. More »

  • A breakdown of the 2018 World Cup qualifying groups in Asia Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The combined second round qualifying draw for 2018 World Cup and 2019 Asian Cup took place in Malaysia on Tuesday. Here is a breakdown of Groups E-H. Group E Four-times Asian champions Japan will be delighted with their Group E draw, with the scrap for second an open contest amongst the much weaker four. Singapore have stuttered badly under Bernd Stange, but did beat the Syrians 2-1 at home in Asian Cup qualifying last year and will be confident of beating Cambodia, the joint worst ranked side at 179 in the Asian draw. Afghanistan were 2013 South Asian champions and should battle Singapore for third spot in the group. More »

  • Asia throws up intriguing World Cup qualifiers
    Asia throws up intriguing World Cup qualifiers Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    The sheer enormity and rich diversity of Asia offers a bitter-sweet opportunity to the region's World Cup hopefuls. After a revamp of the qualifying procedure, Asia's heavyweight teams now get the benefit of playing against some of the world's weakest national sides, but the road to qualifying can be a tricky and sometimes hazardous adventure. So when the World Cup draw is made, players and officials from all teams all collectively hold their breath, hoping for the easiest path possible to football's greatest extravaganza. On Tuesday, at a plush hotel in the Malaysian capital, the draw was made for the second round of Asian Cup qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup in Russia throwing up a fascinating mixture of match-ups. More »

  • Pakistan's cartoon 'Burka Avenger' swoops into India to empower … Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    By Nita Bhalla NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A female cartoon superhero who dons a burka to tackle crimes against girls and other social ills is bringing her message of women's empowerment to India, the creator of the Pakistani children's series said. The Emmy-nominated "Burka Avenger" series started in Pakistan in August 2013 and has since launched in Afghanistan, winning global accolades including the Peabody Award, International Gender Equity Prize and Asian Media Award. Its main protagonist, a teacher called Jiya - who tackles everything from the ban on girls going to school, to child labour to environmental degradation - was named as one of the most influential fictional characters of 2013 by Time magazine. The series' creator and director Haroon Rashid said "Burka Avenger" would launch in India in April with the Zee Network and will be broadcast in four languages - Hindi, English, Tamil and Telegu. More »

  • Future hosts Qatar get tough World Cup draw
    Future hosts Qatar get tough World Cup draw Tue, Apr 14, 2015

    Qatar received a difficult draw for the 2018 World Cup on Tuesday as they embark on their final attempt to qualify for the tournament before hosting it in 2022. More »