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Afghans 'foil' attempt to assassinate vice president

Afghan Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum was reportedly the target of an assassination plot. Credit: Reuters/Caren Firouz

Afghanistan's intelligence agency has said it foiled an attempt to assassinate Vice-President Abdul Rashid Dostum in the northerly Jawzjan province, Reuters reports.

The assassination was reportedly to have been carried out by a suicide bomber who had hidden a bomb on the back of his horse as he attended a game of buzkashi which is a national sport in the country.

"The suicide bomber ... planned to detonate it during a buzkashi match," the statement by the spy agency said.


US bases in Afghanistan set to remain open after 2015

The US military bases in Kandahar and Jalalabad are likely to remain open beyond the end of 2015, a senior US official said as Washington considers slowing its pull-out from Afghanistan.

US soldiers from D Troop of the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Credit: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The anticipated policy reversal reflects the US embrace of Afghanistan's more co-operative president, Ashraf Ghani, and a desire to avoid a of collapse of local security forces as seen in Iraq.

It coincides with new efforts backed by Pakistan and China for peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

Prince Harry honours Afghan war veterans

Prince Harry meets veterans at Guildhall Credit: PA

Prince Harry has paid tribute to those who served in the Afghan conflict at a reception at London's Guildhall.

Joined by his father the Prince of Wales, the Duchess of Cornwall and the prime minister, Harry, who served two tours in Afghanistan met fellow servicemen and women from the conflict during a reception following the St Paul's service.

Cheryl Routledge's son Liam Riley, a corporal in the 3rd Battalion The Yorkshire Regiment, served with Harry when they trained together in Canada. He was killed in February 2010 by an improvised explosive device.

"He gave a statement saying that he was a 'legend' and what a lovely bloke he was," Ms Routledge said.

"I just wanted to thank him for his kind words and for giving us a lift at a time when we desperately needed it."

Prince William meets Afghanistan veterans

Prince William meets Callan Shelton and her daughter Macie Credit: PA

The Duke of Cambridge has spent more than an hour chatting with veterans and the families of those killed in Afghanistan.

Prince William was at Wellington Barracks in London where he discussed the conflict and posed for dozens of photographs at the gathering hosted by the Royal British Legion.

Private Aron Shelton, from Bridlington in East Yorkshire, said his wife Callan was delighted after the Duke, wearing his Royal Air Force ceremonial uniform, posed for a photograph with her and their two-year-old daughter.

"My wife is over the moon," he said. "She can't believe it. My wife has already said she will get it blown up to triple A4 size and get it on the wall."

The event followed the service of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral to mark the end of Britain's 13-year military involvement in Afghanistan.


War hero's son: Ceremony helped me understand dad's sacrifice

A teenage boy whose father was killed during the Afghanistan conflict has told ITV News that today's ceremony honouring the war dead has helped him understand why his dad went to fight.

Brandon, aged 15, lost his father Sgt Steven Campbell five years ago when a roadside bomb exploded nearby.

It's helped me see that he was there for a good cause, and he did what he loved doing.

It's helped a lot.

– Brandon Campbell, son of Sgt Steven Campbell

Former commander reflects on 13 years in Afghanistan

As 13 years of conflict in Afghanistan officially came to an end with a special commemorative ceremony, those involved have used the opportunity to reflect on the operation.

Among them was Stuart Tootal, a former Commanding Officer for 3 Para, who resigned over the way his troops were treated.

He told ITV News that he was pleased with how the operation had improved over the past eight years, in particular in giving Afghani troops the necessary training and skills to allow them to monitor and take on terrorist forces themselves.

Afghanistan war soldiers honoured

The Archbishop of Canterbury has honoured Britain's Armed Forces who fought and died in Afghanistan, publicly thanking them during a service held in their memory.

The end of the 13-year conflict was marked by a ceremony of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral where the Most Rev Justin Welby paid tribute to all those who served, leaving behind family, facing danger and suffering injury.

ITV News Correspondent Neil Connery reports.

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