Briton among three killed in Kabul attack

Updated 17 May 2015
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Briton among three killed in Kabul attack

KABUL: Three people including a British national working with the European Union police were killed Sunday when a Taleban militant rammed his explosives-laden car into a foreign convoy in Kabul, the latest attack of Afghanistan’s fighting season.

At least 18 people were wounded in the assault, which comes three days after 14 people -- mostly foreigners -- were killed in a Taleban attack on a Kabul guest house that trapped dozens attending a concert.
The suicide bomber targeted the foreign convoy, which included two vehicles of the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan (EUPOL), during the Sunday morning rush hour near Kabul airport.
“A suicide bomber detonated his Toyota sedan targeting a foreign forces convoy near Kabul airport today at 9:00 am,” Kabul police spokesman Ebadullah Karimi told AFP.
“The target of the attacker was the foreign forces convoy. So far we have two women dead, 18 others wounded, all of them civilians,” he said, adding that three children were among those wounded.
EUPOL in a statement confirmed that one of the mission’s vehicles was hit by the explosion near Kabul airport resulting in the death of one security personnel.
Two mission members who were also in the vehicle suffered injuries which are not believed to be life-threatening, EUPOL said in the statement.
In London, UK foreign secretary Philip Hammond confirmed that the victim was a British national and “strongly condemned (the Taleban’s) cowardly actions”.
“I can confirm that a British security contractor is among those killed in the attack,” Hammond said in a statement. “His family has been informed and my thoughts are with them at this incredibly difficult time.”
An AFP photographer at the scene saw troops hauling away the body of a person in military-style uniform, pulled out from the twisted wreck of a badly damaged sedan.
Taleban insurgents, who have stepped up attacks on foreign targets after launching their spring offensive late last month, claimed responsibility for the car bombing.


At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

Updated 27 min 43 sec ago
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At least 161 dead in northeast Congo in apparent ethnic clashes

  • A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation
  • Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo

GOMA, Democratic Republic of Congo: At least 161 people have been killed in a northeastern province of Democratic Republic of Congo in the past week, local officials said on Monday, in an apparent resurgence of ethnic clashes between farming and herding communities.
A series of attacks in Ituri province has mostly targeted Hema herders, who have long been in conflict with Lendu farmers over grazing rights and political representation, although the exact identity of the assailants remains murky.
Open conflict between Hema and Lendu from 1999-2007 resulted in an estimated 50,000 deaths in one of the bloodiest chapters of a civil war in eastern Congo that left millions dead from conflict, hunger and disease.
Tit-for-tat attacks between the two groups in late 2017 and early 2018 killed hundreds of people and forced tens of thousands more to flee their homes, but a tenuous calm had taken hold until this month.
Pascal Kakoraki Baguma, a national lawmaker from Ituri, said the latest violence was sparked by the killing last Monday of four Lendu businesspeople.
“Members of the Lendu community believed that these assassinations were the work of the Hema,” Kakoraki said. “This is why they launched several attacks on Hema villages.”
“Sources affirm that 161 bodies have been found so far. But the death toll goes beyond the bodies recovered, as there were other massacres of civilians and police officers,” he said.
Jean Bosco Lalo, president of civil society organizations in Ituri, said 200 bodies had been found since last week in predominantly Hema villages, including the 161 mentioned by Kakoraki. Lalo said the toll would rise once his teams gained access to other villages where killings had been reported.
Ituri Governor Jean Bamanisa said provincial authorities were still working to establish the exact death toll and declined to say who was responsible.
He said the assailants’ tactics were to “empty out the villages, burn them and pursue those who had fled to the surrounding areas with bladed weapons.”
Congo President Felix Tshisekedi, who took office in January, is trying to restore stability to the country’s eastern borderlands, a tinderbox of conflict among armed groups over ethnicity, natural resources and political power.
Several rebel leaders have surrendered or been captured during his first months in office, but armed violence has persisted, particularly in North Kivu province, south of Ituri, which is the epicenter of a 10-month Ebola outbreak.