Two US service members killed in Afghanistan

The Resolute Support Mission consists of 17,000 troops, about half of them from the US. (File/AFP)
Updated 22 March 2019

Two US service members killed in Afghanistan

  • The US military’s mission is focused on guiding and aiding Afghan forces battling the Taliban
  • Violence has been relentless in the country, despite ongoing talks between the Taliban and the US

KABUL: Two US service members were killed in Afghanistan on Friday while conducting an operation, the NATO-led Resolute Support mission said in a statement.
It gave no further details and withheld the names of the service members until next of kin were informed.
The US military’s mission is focused on guiding and aiding Afghan forces battling the Taliban, who were ousted from power in 2001.
Violence has been relentless in Afghanistan even though Taliban militants have held several rounds of talks with US officials about a peace settlement.
The latest talks wrapped up this month with both sides citing progress, but no agreement to end the 17-year war.
The Resolute Support Mission consists of 17,000 troops, about half of them from the United States.


Woman jailed for plotting to bomb St. Paul’s cathedral in London

Updated 2 min 32 sec ago

Woman jailed for plotting to bomb St. Paul’s cathedral in London

  • Safiyya Shaikh, 37, had planned to set off a bomb at the popular tourist attraction, to kill herself and visitors to the famous cathedral
  • She pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses in February and was jailed on Friday at the Old Bailey court

LONDON: A woman who had plotted a suicide bomb attack on London’s St. Paul’s Cathedral this Easter in support of Daesh was jailed for life on Friday and told she must serve at least 14 years behind bars.
Safiyya Shaikh, 37, had planned to set off a bomb at the popular tourist attraction, to kill herself and visitors to the famous cathedral and another bomb at the hotel where they would have stayed before the attack, prosecutors said.
However, the husband and wife extremists she had contacted online to obtain the bombs and whom she believed shared her view of violent jihad were actually undercover officers.
She pleaded guilty to terrorism offenses in February and was jailed on Friday at the Old Bailey court.
“Safiyya Shaikh chose to live her life as a violent extremist with a murderous hatred of those who did not share her twisted version of Islam,” said Jenny Hopkins from Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service.
“The damning evidence presented by the CPS of her planned suicide mission to St. Paul’s Cathedral left her with no room to talk her way out the charges.”
Shaikh, a Muslim convert from west London, had scoped out security at the church and was then secretly filmed handing two bags to the “wife” in a park which were to be returned to her at a later date with two working bombs.
She told the couple in a secure message: “I really would love to destroy that place and the kaffir there” and also praised Daesh and encouraged the killing of civilians across the world, prosecutors said.