Car bomb hits Afghan bank in restive Helmand province, 29 dead says governor

Dozens of civilians and members of the security forces were waiting to collect their monthly salaries.

The car detonated in the parking lot of the New Kabul Bank in the provincial capital of Lashkar Gah, where dozens of people, both civilians and security personnel, had gathered.

The weekend marks the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan and ushers in several days of celebration.

Source: Car bomb hits Afghan bank in restive Helmand province, 29 dead says governor

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U.S. forces shoot down Iranian drone over Syria as fighting escalates – LA Times

The armed Shahed-129 drone was destroyed by a U.S. F-15 fighter jet around 12:30 a.m. local time. The drone was approaching a small military base at the Syrian town of Tanf that U.S., British and Norwegian special operations forces use as a staging ground to train and equip rebel groups fighting the Syrian government and Islamic State militants.

Source: U.S. forces shoot down Iranian drone over Syria as fighting escalates – LA Times

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Official: Afghan soldier kills 3 US service members – CNNPolitics.com

Three US soldiers were killed and another wounded during a joint US-Afghan military operation in Nangarhar Province on Saturday, US officials told CNN.

Story highlights

  • Taliban spokesman claims responsibility for the attack
  • Another American soldier was wounded during a joint US-Afghan military operation, US officials say

Source: Official: Afghan soldier kills 3 US service members – CNNPolitics.com

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Dozens Killed, Hundreds Injured In Kabul Bombing | Vanity Fair

A bomb detonated in a highly secure part of the Afghan capital was said to have been so strong that it blew out windows and doors hundreds of meters away.

Pakistani and German embassy officials were among those injured in the blast, according to the countries’ respective offices. BBC Afghan driver Mohammed Nazir was killed in the blast. “[Nazir] was driving journalist colleagues to the office,” the BBC said in a statement on Twitter. “He was in his late thirties and he leaves a young family.”

Source: Dozens Killed, Hundreds Injured In Kabul Bombing | Vanity Fair

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President Trump’s Trip Abroad

The President will make five stops in four countries during the eight-day trip. The President will seek to reaffirm America’s global leadership, continue building key relationships with world leaders, and deliver a message of unity to America’s friends and allies. He will be making stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Italy, and Belgium, and will be attending both the NATO and G7 summits. First Lady Melania Trump is traveling with the President on the trip abroad.

Source: President Trump’s Trip Abroad

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US service member killed in blast near Mosul, coalition says

Service member dies of wounds sustained in explosion, following the deaths of two soldiers in Afghanistan this week

News of the casualty came as Donald Trump marked his first 100 days in office. In last year’s presidential election campaign, Trump vowed to give priority to destroying Isis, which operates mostly in Syria and Iraq.

Source: US service member killed in blast near Mosul, coalition says

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Two U.S. troops die battling Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan – The Washington Post

An Army helicopter crew member mans a gun on the rear gate as it departs Resolute Support headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan on April 24. (Jonathan Ernst/Associated Press)

It was the third time this year that a member of the U.S. military has died in combat in Afghanistan. On April 8, Army Staff Sgt. Mark R. De Alencar, 37, of Edgewood, Md., was killed by small-arms fire, also in Nangahar.

Source: Two U.S. troops die battling Islamic State militants in eastern Afghanistan – The Washington Post

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Turkish strikes kill Kurdish fighters in Syria, Iraq

Turkish warplanes killed more than two dozen Kurdish fighters Tuesday in strikes in Syria and Iraq, where the Kurds are key players in the battle against the Islamic State group.

Turkey said it had carried out the strikes in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq against “terrorist havens” and vowed to continue action against groups it links to the outlawed Kurdistan’s Workers’ Party (PKK).

Source: Turkish strikes kill Kurdish fighters in Syria, Iraq

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At least 140 dead after Taliban attack on a key Afghan army base, officials say

On Friday, in a stunning blow to the Western-backed war effort, the base on a sun-baked plain near the city of Mazar-e Sharif became the target of the deadliest single attack by Taliban insurgents since their regime in Kabul was overthrown in 2001. A spokesman for the Islamist militia claimed responsibility for the attack.

Source: At least 140 dead after Taliban attack on a key Afghan army base, officials say

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Tillerson: Iran complying with nuclear deal, but still sponsoring terrorism – CNNPolitics.com

Secretary of State said the Trump administration was reviewing the lifting of sanctions against Iran, arguing that the country remains a sponsor of terrorism.

Story highlights

  • Secretary of State Tillerson: sanction policy under review
  • “Iran remains a leading state sponsor of terror,” Tillerson says

Source: Tillerson: Iran complying with nuclear deal, but still sponsoring terrorism – CNNPolitics.com

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Woman fatally stabbed in Jerusalem amid Good Friday gatherings

A British exchange student was fatally stabbed Friday by a Palestinian attacker just steps from Jerusalem’s Old City, where thousands of Jews and Christians gathered for religious holidays at one of the busiest times of the year, officials said.

Thousands of people filled parts of the ancient city: Jews to celebrate Passover, which ends Monday, and Christian pilgrims for Good Friday. The attack took place inside a car of the city’s light-rail train not far from the entrance to the Old City’s Christian Quarter.

The victim was identified by an Israeli news agency as a British tourist.

Source: Woman fatally stabbed in Jerusalem amid Good Friday gatherings

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U.S. Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS Caves in Afghanistan

A new version of the most powerful conventional bomb in the American arsenal, so big it had to be dropped from a cargo plane, was used for the first time in combat.

The strike was the first combat use of what is formally named the GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast. President Trump has bestowed additional authority on the Pentagon in his first months in office, which the military has argued will help it defeat the Islamic State more speedily. Mr. Trump did not say whether he had personally approved Thursday’s mission.

Source: U.S. Drops ‘Mother of All Bombs’ on ISIS Caves in Afghanistan

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Misdirected US strike killed 18 allied fighters in Syria – NY Daily News

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish forces say they have entered the fourth stage of their campaign to capture the Islamic State group’s de facto capital Raqqa with an advance on the militants in a valley north of the city.

U.S. Central Command said coalition aircraft were given the wrong coordinates by their partner forces, the predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, for a strike intended to target IS militants south of their Tabqa stronghold, near the extremists’ de facto capital, Raqqa.

The strike hit an SDF position instead, killing 18. Central Command said the strike was launched Tuesday.

Source: Misdirected US strike killed 18 allied fighters in Syria – NY Daily News

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Putin is floating a bizarre new conspiracy theory about the US’ intervention in Syria – Business Insider

Vladimir Putin slammed the US on Tuesday over Trump’s decision to target an airfield believed to have been used by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s military.

Putin was asked specifically about US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comments on Tuesday morning — that Russia is either “incompetent” or has “failed” to hold up its end of the deal to destroy Assad’s chemical weapons, and needed to choose whether to abandon or “maintain its alliance” with Assad.

Tillerson is due to meet today with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow.

Source: Putin is floating a bizarre new conspiracy theory about the US’ intervention in Syria – Business Insider

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