Blast heard near US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

The US Embassy in Kabul is the diplomatic US mission of Afghanistan. (Wikipedia)
Updated 11 September 2019

Blast heard near US Embassy in Kabul on 9/11 anniversary

KABUL: A large explosion rocked Afghanistan’s capital near the US Embassy just minutes into Wednesday, the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the United States.
A plume of smoke rose over Kabul just after midnight and sirens could be heard. Inside the embassy, employees heard this message over the loudspeaker: “An explosion caused by a rocket has occurred on compound.”
There was no immediate comment from Afghan officials or those with the NATO mission, which is also nearby.
It would be the first major attack in the Afghan capital since President Donald Trump abruptly called off US-Taliban talks over the weekend, on the brink of an apparent deal to end America’s longest war.
Two Taliban car bombs shook Kabul last week, killing several civilians and two members of the NATO mission. Trump has cited the death of a US service member in one of those blasts as the reason why he now calls the US-Taliban talks “dead.”
The 9/11 anniversary is a sensitive day in Afghanistan’s capital and one on which attacks have occurred. A US-led invasion of Afghanistan shortly after the 2001 attack toppled the Taliban, who had harbored Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader and attacks mastermind.
In the nearly 18 years of fighting since then, the number of US troops in Afghanistan soared to 100,000 and dropped dramatically after bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan in 2011.
Now about 14,000 US troops remain and Trump has called it “ridiculous” that they are still in Afghanistan after so long and so many billions of dollars spent.
It is not clear whether the US-Taliban talks will resume.


London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

Updated 22 February 2020

London police charge homeless man with mosque stabbing

  • Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday
  • Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday

LONDON: London police on Saturday charged a 29-year-old homeless man with causing grievous bodily harm and possessing an illegal knife he used to stab a mosque leader during prayers.
Suspect Daniel Horton stabbed London Central Mosque’s muazzin Raafat Maglad during daily prayers on Thursday.
London police quickly ruled out a terror motive.
Maglad was treated at a London hospital and returned to the mosque for Friday’s evening service with his arm wrapped in a sling,
“I forgive him. I feel very sorry for him,” Maglad told reporters on Friday.
“To me, as a Muslim, I don’t need to put any hatred in my heart.”
Several regulars at the Regent’s Park area mosque in northwest London said they had seen Horton attend a few services in the past year.
Horton will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court for a preliminary hearing later Saturday.