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Tributes have been paid to a British contractor who died when a suicide bomber rammed a military convoy in Afghanistan.

Electrician and father-of-one David Quinn, from Airdrie in North Lanarkshire, was one of two Britons killed in the attack which claimed the lives of 17 people.

The Taliban suicide bomber hit an armoured NATO vehicle as the convoy was passing the American University in Kabul, killing five coalition troops and eight civilian contractors.

Three Afghan civilians and one police officer also died in the attack. Eight other Afghans, including two children, were wounded, officials said.

Mr Quinn's family said they were "heartbroken" by his death and were too upset to speak further.

Mr Quinn, 34, was a keen flautist and his friends paid tribute to him on a music website.

Whistling Willie, a contributor to Chiff & Fipple, an internet forum dedicated to flute and whistle playing, said: "David was a friend of mine, who was a true gentleman and a friend to all who knew him. So sad that he leaves behind a young family. RIP Davy."

Another post left by Fourstep said: "David was one of the contractors killed in Afghanistan. A sad, sad loss not only to the flute band scene in the UK but a true gent who would help anyone out when they came asking."

Other users told how they contacted their local folk music radio stations to ask for a piece of flute music to be played in Mr Quinn's honour.

Mr Quinn and Stephen Brown, who also died, were employed by US engineering and construction company Fluor Corp.

/ Jim Guthrie

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The Department of Defense announced today the deaths of four soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

            They died Oct. 29, in Kabul province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked their vehicle with a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device. 

            Killed were:

             Lt. Col. David E. Cabrera, 41, of Abilene, Texas, assigned to Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, Bethesda, Md.;

             Staff Sgt. Christopher R. Newman, 26, of Shelby, N.C., assigned to Medical Company A, Tripler Army Medical Center, Hawaii;

             Sgt. James M. Darrough, 38, of Austin, Texas, assigned to 101st Finance Company, 101st Special Troops Battalion, 101st Sustainment Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; and

             Sgt. Carlo F. Eugenio, 29, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., assigned to 756th Transportation Company, 224th Sustainment Brigade, California Army National Guard, Van Nuys, Calif

 / Jim Guthrie

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KABUL, Afghanistan — A combined Afghan and coalition security force killed two insurgents and detained one suspected insurgent during an operation in search of a Haqqani network leader in Yahya Khel district, Paktika province, yesterday.

 The leader oversees multiple insurgent fighting cells and is responsible for numerous attacks against Afghan forces.

 The security force observed two armed insurgents during the operation. Assessing an immediate threat, the security force engaged, killing the individuals.

 Multiple weapons and bomb making materials were seized by the security force during the operation.

 In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan:

 South

 A combined Afghan and coalition patrol killed multiple insurgents and detained two other insurgents during an operation in Baghran district, Helmand province, yesterday. During the operation, insurgents fired at the combined patrol. Assessing the threat, the patrol returned fire, killing multiple insurgents. 8,800 pounds (4,000 kilograms) of poppy seeds, 66 pounds, (30 kilograms) of opium and a quantity of small arms were seized by the security force. The narcotics material and weapons were safely destroyed on site.

 In Tarin Kot district, Uruzgan province, a combined Afghan and coalition patrol killed two insurgents and detained numerous other insurgents during an operation to disrupt an insurgent network yesterday. Upon arriving in the area, the combined patrol was engaged by insurgents with small arms fire. The patrol returned fire resulting in the two insurgents killed. The patrol also seized a quantity of small arms, which were safely destroyed on site.

 A combined Afghan and coalition security patrol discovered a large improvised explosive device during an operation in Zharay district, Kandahar province, yesterday. The IED was located just inside the entry to a local compound, presenting a direct threat to the local population. The combined force requested assistance from an explosive ordnance disposal team, which safely destroyed the IED resulting in one uninhabited building damaged. No civilians were harmed during the operation.

 A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of Taliban facilitator in Sangin district, Helmand province, yesterday. The facilitator distributes weapons and explosives throughout the Sangin district and plans roadside bomb attacks against coalition forces. Additionally, he coordinates the movement of insurgent fighters from Ghorak to Sangin and directs them in attacks throughout the district.

 East

 In Shinwar district, Nangarhar province, a weapons cache was turned over to Afghan forces as part of a local disarmament program yesterday. The cache consisted of two rocket-propelled grenades launchers, eight RPGs, one mortar tube, 74 82 mm mortar rounds, one recoilless rifle, three heavy machine guns, 90 12.7 mm rounds, and various weapon mounts. All of the weapons were turned over to local police officials for inventory.

 A combined Afghan and coalition security force detained multiple suspected insurgents during an operation in search of a Haqqani network leader in Sabari district, Khost province, yesterday. The leader distributes rockets, firearms, and roadside bomb components, as well as, plans attacks throughout Sabari district.

 During a routine security patrol in Ghazni district, Ghazni province, a combined Afghan and coalition force observed multiple suspected insurgents unloading AK-47s and RPGs from a container yesterday. Assessing an imminent threat, the combined force requested close air support to engage the insurgent position resulting in several insurgents killed and a building destroyed. The combined force assessed that no civilians were harmed during the operation. In addition, multiple rifles and RPGs were seized by the force and turned over to local police officials

/ Jim Guthrie

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Attacks in the south of Afghanistan have reportedly killed two members of the United States-led military alliance, NATO.

 

 

The forces said the deaths took place on Sunday one in an insurgent attack and the other in a bomb explosion, AP reported. 

 The alliance did not disclose further information and is awaiting confirmation on the part of the families of the soldiers. 

 The deaths increased to at least 78 the number of foreign troops killed in the war-hit country so far this month. 

 The past few months have witnessed a surge in violence in Afghanistan, which has resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Afghans and US-led foreign troops. 

 The rising number of foreign casualties has stoked opposition the Afghan war, which has been raging on since 2001, among NATO member states. 

/ Writer by James Guthrie

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The Defence Secretary, Dr Liam Fox, has today announced a contract award for 14 new Chinook helicopters, the RAF's workhorse on the front line in Afghanistan.

A Royal Air Force Chinook helicopter lifts off during pre-deployment training for operations in Afghanistan (stock image)

[Picture: Senior Aircraftman Neil Chapman, Crown Copyright/MOD 2009]

The contract with Boeing to supply the Chinook heavy lift helicopters will bring a significant enhancement to the mobility of front line forces. Already the largest fleet in Europe, this new contract will bring the UK's overall number of Chinooks to 60.

Dr Fox made the announcement during a visit to RAF Odiham, where he was given a tour of existing Chinook helicopters and spoke to crews who have recently returned from Afghanistan.

Today's announcement follows the Government's recent commitment to a one per cent a year real terms increase in the MOD's equipment and support budget from 2015.

This new Chinook contract is valued at £1bn, including development, manufacture, and the first five years of support for the new Chinooks.

Dr Fox said:

"This government is committed to delivering a top class equipment programme that is properly funded.

A Royal Air Force Chinook inserts Royal Marines of the Brigade Reconnaissance Force during an operation in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan, in May 2011 (stock image)

[Picture: Petty Officer (Photographer) Hamish Burke, Crown Copyright/MOD 2011]

"By committing to increased funding, greater efficiencies and changes to our defence equipment programme, we have brought reality to the Defence Budget and can start signing contracts that will deliver real equipment. The previous government promised more Chinooks, but never had the money for them and never ordered them. It was just an aspiration.

"From the Falkland Islands to Iraq and Afghanistan, the RAF has operated Chinooks magnificently for many years in the most demanding environments. These additional helicopters will significantly enhance our existing heavy lift helicopter capability, supporting our front line troops in current and future operations for decades to come."

The Chinook is an incredibly versatile aircraft; capable of transporting up to 40 men or 10 tonnes of cargo, it provides vital support to front line forces in Afghanistan. The new Chinook Mark 6 helicopters will feature a digital flight control system, making them easier to operate in the most difficult conditions; including hot and dusty environments such as those encountered in Afghanistan.

Soldiers of the 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards are pictured in a poppy field waiting for a Chinook helicopter to extract them following an operation in Afghanistan (stock image)

[Picture: Captain Joanna Timmerann, Crown Copyright/MOD 2010]

The RAF will receive the first aircraft for initial trials and testing in 2013 and it will enter service in May 2014, making an immediate contribution to the flexibility of the UK Chinook capability.

Delivery will be complete by the end of 2015. Three helicopters will be ready for operational deployment in early 2015, and all fourteen will be fully operational by early 2017.

The Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Dalton, said:

"Chinook is an exceptionally capable helicopter that in the hands of the very skilful RAF crews has proved itself time and again in many operational theatres across the globe and is the backbone of the Royal Air Force's helicopter fleet.

"This procurement will significantly enhance our battlefield helicopter capability and, alongside our other rotary wing platforms, the additional Chinooks will sustain the RAF's world-renowned support helicopter capability.

A Royal Marine from 42 Commando is pictured in a poppy field as a Chinook helicopter takes off in the background (stock image)

"This procurement will cement the role of the RAF's highly professional and committed support helicopter aircrew and ground crew at the heart of delivering decisive air power."

Vice President and Managing Director of Boeing Defence UK Ltd, Mike Kurth, said:

"The Boeing Company has a long-standing and growing relationship with the United Kingdom, its military and its aerospace industry and we are especially honoured by the confidence the RAF has shown in the Chinook.

"We feel a special kinship with the RAF crews because our employees are working shoulder to shoulder with them to deliver capability to the front line."

/ Writer by James Guthrie

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KABUL, Afghanistan – A combined Afghan and coalition security force captured a Taliban leader and several associates during a security operation in Panjwa’i District, Kandahar province, yesterday. 

The Taliban leader was responsible for coordinating attacks and acquiring weapons for insurgents in the district. 

The force also destroyed an unstable explosive ordinance facility during the operation, neutralizing the threat to Afghan civilians in the area. 

In other International Security Assistance Force news throughout Afghanistan: 

South 

In Qalat District, Zabul province, an Afghan and coalition combined security force captured a Taliban leader and one suspected insurgent during a security operation yesterday. The detained leader was responsible for leading attacks against Afghan National Security Forces in the district. He also coordinated roadside bomb placements and facilitated weapons for other insurgents. 

An Afghan and coalition combined security force destroyed an unstable explosive ordinance facility and detained two suspected insurgents in Nahr-e Saraj District, Helmand province, yesterday. The target of the operation was a Taliban leader involved in the facilitation, movement and preparation of heavy weapons throughout the upper Gereshk area. During the search, the security force came across the facility. After securing the area and ensuring no civilians were present, the force destroyed the facility, which was laden with explosives. 

East 

In Nerkh District, Wardak province, a combined Afghan and coalition security force killed two insurgents and detained several suspected insurgents during a security search for a Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin leader yesterday. The leader is the bodyguard for the highest-appointed Hezb-e Islami Gulbuddin District leader. While searching for the leader, the force noticed several armed insurgents hiding in a nearby tree line. After they identified the threat, the force fired at the armed insurgents, killing two. Following the engagement, the force seized multiple grenades, AK-47 assault rifles and chest racks. 

An Afghan and coalition combined security force killed two insurgents during a search for a Haqqani network leader in Zurmat District, Paktiya province, yesterday. The targeted leader is responsible for building roadside bombs and coordinating direct action attacks in the district. The security force was led to the area after receiving several tips from local citizens about insurgent activity in the area. While searching the area, the force observed two armed insurgents maneuvering in the area. A firefight ensued, and the two insurgents were killed. The deceased insurgents were armed with several grenades, AK-47 assault rifles, blasting caps for explosives, detonation cord and chest racks. No civilians were harmed during this operation. 

Lastly, an ISAF Unmanned Aerial Vehicle made a forced landing in Jalalabad city, Nangarhar province, yesterday. While the exact cause of the forced landing is under investigation, initial indications suggest mechanical issues may be the cause. The UAV was conducting routine operations at the time of the crash. Security forces assess no civilians were injured during this incident and there are no reports of enemy activity in the immediate area.

/ Writer by James Guthrie

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The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Enduring Freedom.

Pfc. Douglas L. Cordo, 20, of Kingston, N.Y., died Aug. 19 in Zabul, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.  He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division, Fort Wainwright, Alaska.

/ Writer by James Guthrie

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