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Suicide Bomber Targets Foreigners In Kabul As NATO Suspends Joint Operations In Afghanistan



KABUL - Up to 12 people are reported to have been killed in a suicide bomb attack, which struck a bus near the Afghan capital, report BBC News.

A 22-year-woman is believed to have driven a car filled with 300 kg of explosives into a mini bus on a road leading to the Kabul International Airport.

According to Al Jazeera, nine of them were foreign workers for an international courier company, and one was an Afghan translator. Eleven people were wounded in the attack, the interior ministry said.

Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin, a group allied with the Taliban, claimed responsibility for the blast meant to avenge the controversial anti-Islam film, which has sparked furor in the Muslim world.

Meanwhile, NATO troops in Afghanistan have been ordered to halt some joint operations with Afghan security forces following a string of so called “green-on-blue” deadly attacks, reports CNN.

Joint operations will now only be conducted routinely at battalion level - large operations involving several hundred troops.

More than 50 coalition troops have been killed since January in 36 attacks where Afghan security troops have turned their guns on allied soldiers.

According to BBC News, a fifth of UK soldiers killed this year in Afghanistan were killed not by insurgents, but by Afghan soldiers or police.

Over the weekend, four Americans and two British troops were shot dead by suspected Afghan police.

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A Naturalist's Defense Of The Modern Zoo

Zoos are often associated with animal cruelty, or at the very least a general animal unhappiness. But on everything from research to education to biodiversity, there is a case to be made for the modern zoo.

Photograph of a brown monkey holding onto a wired fence

A brown monkey hangs off of mesh wire

Marina Chocobar/Pexels
Fran Sánchez Becerril


MADRID — Zoos — or at least something resembling the traditional idea of a zoo — date back to ancient Mesopotamia. It was around 3,500 BC when Babylonian kings housed wild animals such as lions and birds of prey in beautiful structures known as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Ancient China also played a significant role in the history of zoos when the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD) created several parks which hosted an assortment of animals.

In Europe, it wouldn't be until 1664 when Louis XIV inaugurated the royal menagerie at Versailles. All these spaces shared the mission of showcasing the wealth and power of the ruler, or simply served as decorations. Furthermore, none of them were open to the general public; only a few fortunate individuals, usually the upper classes, had access.

The first modern zoo, conceived for educational purposes in Vienna, opened in 1765. Over time, the educational mission has become more prominent, as the exhibition of exotic animals has been complemented with scientific studies, conservation and the protection of threatened species.

For decades, zoos have been places of leisure, wonder, and discovery for both the young and the old. Despite their past success, in recent years, society's view of zoos has been changing due to increased awareness of animal welfare, shifting sensibilities and the possibility of learning about wild animals through screens. So, many people wonder: What is the purpose of a zoo in the 21st century?

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