Shia mosque suicide bombing kills at least 47 in Afghanistan

More than 80 injured in explosions at building in southern city of Kandahar after Friday prayers A suicide bombing at a mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar has killed at least 47 people and injured more than 80, in the second major attack on Shia worshippers in Afghanistan in a week. The Imam […]

G20 leaders agree to involve Taliban in distributing Afghanistan aid

Leaders agree in principle that funds can be channelled through UN agencies to avert ‘humanitarian meltdown’ G20 leaders and ministers have agreed they will have no option but to involve the Taliban in sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan, but say that this stops short of political recognition of the Taliban as a government. The consensus […]

Britons stranded in Afghanistan call for urgent evacuation help

Group record message for UK officials as visa rules for dependants add to practical difficulties More than 60 British nationals who remain stranded in Afghanistan have criticised the government for abandoning them and their families in an increasingly dangerous situation. About 20 of the group met outside Kabul this week to record a message for […]

Boris Johnson expected to announce new armed forces chief this week

Navy chief Tony Radakin and SAS general Sir Patrick Sanders are frontrunners for the position Boris Johnson has interviewed five candidates to head Britain’s armed forces, with navy chief Adm Tony Radakin and the general responsible for the SAS, Sir Patrick Sanders, frontrunners for the job. Defence sources said the prime minister had been advised […]

US Afghanistan withdrawal a ‘logistical success but strategic failure’, Milley says

General and other military leaders in heated cross-examination Milley defends loyalty to country and rejects suggestion to quit The withdrawal from Afghanistan and the evacuation of Kabul was “a logistical success but a strategic failure,” the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff has told the Senate. Gen Mark Milley gave the stark assessment at […]

Taliban threatening Chevening scholars’ families, says MP

Caroline Lucas warns five of those studying in Brighton feel desperate about relatives’ safety in Afghanistan Chevening scholars from Afghanistan are receiving threatening messages from the Taliban about what they intend to do to harm their relatives back in their place of birth, according to their local MP, Caroline Lucas. Nine of the 35 scholars […]

ICC asked to relaunch inquiry into Taliban and IS ‘war crimes’

Move shows court’s determination to investigate contemporary as well as past crimes against humanity The international criminal court’s new prosecutor has asked the court to relaunch an inquiry into alleged crimes against humanity committed by the Taliban and supporters of Islamic State in Afghanistan since 2003. The move by Karim Khan shows a determination to […]

Taliban publicly display bodies of alleged kidnappers in Herat

Four corpses taken to main square and hung from cranes by Afghanistan’s Islamist regime Taliban authorities in the western Afghan city of Herat killed four alleged kidnappers and hung their bodies up in public to deter others, a local government official has said, in a sign of Afghanistan’s new rulers’ return to their harsh version […]

Revealed: UK forces linked to deaths of nearly 300 Afghan civilians

MoD compensation logs show just £2,380 paid on average, with more than 80 children among victims British forces are linked to the deaths of 86 children and more than 200 adult civilians during the Afghanistan conflict, with compensation of just £2,380 paid on average for each life lost, new figures reveal. They are recorded in […]

US-UK ‘special relationship’ faces new challenges despite signs of healing

Relationship between Biden’s US and Johnson’s post-Brexit UK remains complicated and inevitably transactional What a difference a month makes. In August Joe Biden was being denounced in the British parliament for a “shameful” retreat from Afghanistan that blindsided the UK and other allies. The US president reportedly took a day and a half to return […]

Zahra Joya: the Afghan reporter who fled the Taliban – and kept telling the truth about women

As a child in Afghanistan, she pretended to be a boy in order to get an education, before starting her own women’s news agency. Now living in Britain, her fight continues Just over a month ago, Zahra Joya left her house in Kabul to walk to her office, as she had been doing every day. […]

Joe Biden promises UN an end to ‘relentless war’ and the start of ‘relentless diplomacy’

President tellls UN that US will give $11bn a year to developing nations to respond to climate emergency Joe Biden has promised to the United Nations that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is a turning point in history, in which “relentless war” would be supplanted by “relentless diplomacy”, pledging a renewed commitment to the UN and […]

Examining Aukus alliance through the lens of history | Letters

Readers respond to the new pact between the UK, Australia and the US, and its implications The Aukus pact is not a “new global order” (17 September) but very much an old order; it is colonial gunboats. I do not expect politicians to have read history such as the first Anglo-Afghan war of 1839, but I do […]

Veterans at UK’s largest barracks at risk of losing mental health support

Charity that has helped 340 homeless veterans at Catterick garrison says it will soon run out of money for service Vulnerable veterans of wars in Afghanistan and Iraq living in supported housing at the UK’s largest barracks are set to lose help with mental health problems, triggering fears of a return to homelessness and lost […]

‘The Taliban will have no mercy’: LGBTQ+ Afghans go into hiding

Gay and trans people in Afghanistan already faced stigma, but now even a call from an unknown number sparks fear Laila, a transgender woman in Afghanistan, rubs her eyes to wipe tears away. “I am terrified. It’s like a nightmare. I don’t feel safe even in my room. I’m scared of the Taliban. When I […]

Kabul government’s female workers told to stay at home by Taliban

Only those who cannot be replaced by men may remain, in further sign of Taliban’s hardline rule over Afghans Female employees in the Kabul city government have been told to stay home, with work only allowed for those who cannot be replaced by men, the interim mayor of Afghanistan’s capital said on Sunday, detailing the […]

‘We don’t want people to be in a panic,’ says chief of Taliban morality police

Exclusive: In his first interview with western media, Kandahar’s enforcer promises things will be different from the brutal 1990s Mawlawi Mohammad Shebani is officially in charge of policing morals throughout Kandahar, the Taliban heartland of southern Afghanistan. He is newly appointed head of the provincial office for the promotion of virtue and prevention of vice, […]

Pakistan PM says he has started dialogue with Taliban over inclusivity

Imran Khan says his initiative follows talks with leaders of Afghanistan’s neighbours Pakistan’s prime minister says he has initiated a dialogue with the Taliban to encourage them to form an inclusive government that would ensure peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Imran Khan tweeted on Saturday that he took the initiative after his […]

Taliban ban girls from secondary education in Afghanistan

Government announces re-opening of high schools for boys but makes no mention of girls The Taliban have effectively banned girls from secondary education in Afghanistan, by ordering high schools to re-open only for boys. Girls were not mentioned in Friday’s announcement, which means boys will be back at their desks next week after a one-month […]

US admits Kabul strike killed 10 civilians and not Islamic State militants

Gen Kenneth McKenzie says ‘it was a mistake’ and that it was unlikely those who died posed a direct threat to US forces A US drone strike in Afghanistan last month killed 10 civilians – including seven children – and not an Islamic State extremist as first claimed, the Pentagon has admitted. In a briefing […]

Johnson’s reshuffle puts power over principle | Letters

The latest cabinet sackings and appointments reveal the prime minister’s lack of courage and leadership, writes John Robinson, while John Cookson says they are merely part of a plan for an early election. Plus letters from Dave Pollard, Mick Beeby and David Redshaw Boris Johnson has long yearned to be the modern-day Winston Churchill, famed […]

Second Dutch minister resigns over Afghan evacuation crisis

Ank Bijleveld joins Sigrid Kaag in resigning, after both were formally censured as interpreters stranded The Dutch defence minister has became the second cabinet member to resign over the Afghan evacuation debacle. Ank Bijleveld resigned on Friday, following the foreign minister, Sigrid Kaag, out of the door after parliament formally censured them over a crisis […]

Dutch foreign minister resigns over Afghanistan debacle

Sigrid Kaag makes decision to go after lower house passes motion of censure against government The foreign minister of the Netherlands, Sigrid Kaag, has resigned after the lower house of parliament passed a motion of censure against the government over its handling of evacuations from Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover. In a parliamentary debate on […]

‘This is the worst kind of politics’: Biden criticizes Republicans resisting vaccine mandates – live

GOP governors threaten to sue over labor department vaccine policy White House insists Covid booster plan to go ahead despite hurdles ‘Fascist and tyrannical’: US vaccine mandates induce rightwing hysteria The Louisiana nurses refusing to get the Covid vaccine Sign up to receive First Thing – our daily briefing by email 10.51pm BST Biden’s approval […]

‘He saw the panic’: the Afghan men who fell from the US jet

One was a young footballer, another a dentist. Their shocking deaths haunt the families who could not stop their desperate bids to escape When Zaki Anwari scaled the fence of Kabul airport, he was determined to escape. The 17-year-old footballer with the Afghan national youth team had taken a break from studying maths for his […]

Dozens more female footballers and family members escape Afghanistan

Pakistan football federation helps them to flee across border National team players and youth players among those to get out More than 96 female footballers and their family members have fled across the border of Afghanistan to Pakistan with the help of the Pakistan football federation. The evacuation comes just over two weeks after the […]

Von der Leyen: EU must acquire ‘political will’ to build own military

European Commission president’s state of union speech urges bloc to learn lessons from US withdrawal from Afghanistan The EU must learn the lessons of the abrupt end of the US-led mission in Afghanistan and acquire the “political will” to build up its own military force to deploy to future crises, the European Commission’s president, Ursula […]

Taliban governor of Helmand’s message to west: ‘Come back with money, not guns’

Talib Mawlawi, who spent years fighting the British, urges western nations to recognise Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate leaders Helmand’s new Taliban governor, who spent years as a commander fighting the British in Sangin, welcomes visitors with an assault rifle lying on his desk. Yet he insists the time for fighting is over. He has a […]

Photographic print sale to raise funds for Afghan’s female journalists

The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan has severely affected women’s rights, and especially the lives of female journalists. The NWMI (Network of Women in Media, India) has launched a print sale, with all images donated by the Associated Press, to raise funds to help those journalists with evacuations and resettlement, to rebuild their lives, and to […]

Taliban takeover of Afghanistan will reshape Middle East, official warns

Gulf states are having to reconsider their alliances and especially whether they can still trust the US, says senior source The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is a shattering earthquake that will shape the Middle East for many years, a senior Gulf official has said, warning that – despite the group’s promises of moderation – the […]