Eight British soldiers die in 24 hours
Richard Norton-Taylor& Ian Cobain; 12/7/09; (3 Items)
British Government ministers are bracing for an increasingly bloody conflict in Afghanistan as it became clear that a further eight British soldiers had been killed in 24 hours, the worst combat death toll since the war began. Five troops were killed in a single incident after they were caught in a bomb blast while on foot patrol. Officials confirmed that 15 British troops have been killed in the past 10 days. With the Government’s handling of the conflict under increasing scrutiny, Prime Minister Gordon Brown was forced to defend the Afghan mission as he left the G8 summit in Italy.
Police investigate MI5 over torture allegations
12/7/09; See: http://www.theage.com.au/world/police-investigate-mi5-over-torture-allegations-20090711-dgpi.html
Police are investigating allegations that MI5 colluded in the torture of Binyam Mohamed, a former Guantanamo detainee. The Metropolitan Police announced that it had reviewed papers in the case and agreed to investigate after a request by Baroness Scotland, Britain’s Attorney-General. It will be the first time that officers from the domestic security service have been interviewed by police, and could result in a number of them facing charges. Mr Mohamed, 30, an Ethiopian refugee who had worked as a caretaker at a mosque in West London, claims that MI5 knew he was being tortured and fed questions to his interrogators through the CIA.
US drones kill militants in Pakistan
A pilotless US drone has fired two missiles into a Taliban communication centre in a volatile tribal region on the Afghan border, killing five militants, intelligence officials said. The attack on the centre run by Baitullah Mehsud, Pakistani Taliban chief and an Al Qaeda ally, took place late on Friday (local time) in the South Waziristan region. “The communication centre is totally destroyed and we have reports of the death of five militants,” an intelligence agency official said by telephone from the region. The United States, grappling with an intensifying Afghan insurgency, began stepping up attacks by drones on north-western Pakistani militant enclaves a year ago.Most of the recent attacks have hit Mehsud’s targets in Waziristan in north-western Pakistan.