Women, children among 10 dead in airstrikes in Afghanistan

Three children, two women and five men were among those killed in the attacks. (File/AFP)
Updated 21 July 2019

Women, children among 10 dead in airstrikes in Afghanistan

  • Two other people were wounded in Friday night’s attacks in Bala Murghab district
  • Choppers have been trying to reach the base, but insurgents are shooting from nearby villages and any return fire would endanger villagers

KABUL, Afghanistan: Afghan officials say at least 10 civilians have been killed in separate airstrikes by Afghan security forces in western Badghis province.
Ziauddin Akazai, a lawmaker from Badghis, says two other people were wounded in Friday night’s attacks in Bala Murghab district.
Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council, says insurgents have surrounded an army base in the district. He says choppers have been trying to reach the base, but insurgents are shooting from nearby villages and any return fire would endanger villagers.

Three children, two women and five men were among those killed in the attacks, said Beg.
The Taliban, who control roughly half of Afghanistan, posted photos of dead children on their Twitter account saying that civilians killed by the air strikes in Badghis province.


EU warns of ‘challenging’ timeframe for UK trade deal

Updated 13 December 2019

EU warns of ‘challenging’ timeframe for UK trade deal

  • EU is concerned about the rapid speed with which Johnson would like to strike a trade deal with Europe
  • Johnson has until July 1 to request for a trade talks extension

BRUSSELS: European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Friday warned of the tight timing for securing a trade deal with Britain, hours after Boris Johnson’s Conservatives won a crushing election victory.
“The time frame ahead of us is very challenging,” von der Leyen said, following a discussion by EU leaders on the way forward after Brexit, now expected on January 31.
On the “first of February, we go to work,” she said.
EU Council President Charles Michel warned that the 27 member states would not accept a deal blindly, stressing that the bloc would insist that Britain respect European norms to win the deal.
“There is no question of concluding a deal at any price, said Michel, who coordinates EU summits, after the talks.
“Negotiations are over when the results are balanced and guarantee respect for the different concerns,” the former Belgian premier said.
“We have a way of doing things based on experience, transparency and maintaining unity” in the EU, he added.
EU is worried about the breakneck speed with which Johnson would like to strike a trade deal with Europe and any British effort to undermine the unity among the remaining 27 members.
In a text released after the talks, the 27 EU leaders called for “as close as possible a future relationship with the UK” while warning that it “will have to be based on a balance of rights and obligations and ensure a level playing field.”
EU chief negotiator Michel Barnier will direct trade negotiations, which the leaders will follow closely “and provide further guidance as necessary, fully consistent with the EU’s best interest,” conclusions added.
Johnson has until July 1 to ask for a trade talks extension.
If he refuses to extend the negotiation period, a no-deal Brexit will loom at the end of 2020, with Britain in danger of an abrupt cut in trade ties with Europe, endangering its economy.