Prospective MEP Del Singh dies in Taliban bomb attack in Kabul

Daily Echo: Southampton politician Del Singh dies in Afghanistan bomb horror Southampton politician Del Singh dies in Afghanistan bomb horror

A leading Southampton politician was one of 21 people killed in a Taliban attack on a Kabul restaurant popular with foreigners and affluent Afghans.

Del Singh, the Labour's Party's prospective MEP candidate for the south east, was among 13 foreigners who died in an assault carried out by a suicide bomber and two gunmen.

Mr Singh, of St Mary's, had more than ten years' experience working with the UN and other organisations in countries such as Afghanistan, Kosovo and Sudan.

Daily Echo:

The 39-year-old also carried out voluntary work with jobseekers in the south east as well as joining Care International UK and the Labour Friends of Palestine group.

In 2012 the former Cantell School pupil, pictured below, took part in a marathon in Gaza to help raise funds for Palestinian children.

Speaking at the time he said: “All you hear are these horror stories coming out of Gaza about conflict and terrorist attacks but what people forget is that half of the population there are under the age of 16.”

Daily Echo:

Politicians across the country have paid tribute to Mr Singh following his death in the suicide attack.

Labour leader leads tributes

Del was "professional, reliable and witty"

Labour MP for Southampton Itchen John Denham said: “He was quite a remarkable individual because he had devoted his career in some of the most difficult and dangerous places in the world working with the United Nations and development organisations including the British Government.

“He'd dedicated his life to trying to bring opportunity and development in these very very difficult places.

“It's a huge loss obviously, we all feel it very strongly in the Labour party and he was a brilliant candidate for European elections, but it will be felt more widely because of the man he was.

“He was warm, friendly, funny, committed - he talked about what he did very naturally - it came naturally to him, there was no side to him, no pretence about what he did.

Daily Echo:

“It's a terrible shock and a terrible loss of a very very good man.”

Mr Denham said he understood Mr Singh had spent much of the last 10 to 15 years working abroad, but had not spent so much time there in the last year as he prepared to run in the European elections.

Born and raised in Southampton, Mr Singh began his working life in two food production factories in Eastleigh, working alongside his mother.

He went on to gain a business degree and a Masters in European studies.

In 2002-2004 he worked for two years as an advisor to the European Mission to Kosovo, where he helped develop the first economic national plan for the country.

Daily Echo:

He also managed a community aid and development programme in Sudan as well as working for the UN in Afghanistan and other countries.

Mr Singh had campaigned for Labour at every election since 1992 and is pictured on his website with party leader Ed Milliband.

The website also includes glowing testimonies from leading figures who queued up to back his campaign to become an MEP.

Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead says: “Del has been an extraordinary asset to Labour in Southampton. He's campaigned all year round for myself, Labour councillors and in support of community campaigns across the city.

“And he's a fantastic speaker and educator on issues of international development and justice, making what happens in Europe and across the world accessible, relevant and compelling for local members and constituents.”

Southampton city councillor Jacqui Rayment also praises Mr Singh.

Daily Echo:

Kabul police chief General Mohammad Zahir Zahir said that the victims of the attack included 13 foreigners and eight Afghans, the majority of whom were civilians.

He said the three attackers, including a suicide bomber and two gunmen, were also killed during Friday's assault on the Lebanese restaurant.

The dead included the head of the International Monetary Fund in Afghanistan and three United Nations staff.

The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Insurgents have frequently targeted foreign interests around the country and in Kabul.

The assault began with the suicide bomber detonating his explosives at the front door of the restaurant, in an area housing several embassies, non-governmental organisations and the homes and offices of Afghan officials.

As chaos ensued, the two other attackers entered through the kitchen and began shooting. They were later killed by security guards.

The US condemned ''this despicable act of terrorism in the strongest possible terms'', State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

The restaurant, like most places frequented by foreign diplomats, aid workers, journalists and businessmen in the war-weary country, has no signs indicating its location and is heavily secured.

It is on a small side street in the diplomatic quarter of the central Wazir Akbar Khan area, just off a bumpy semi-paved road in a house with low ceilings and an enclosed patio, but no windows.

Bags of dirt are piled up around it to act as blast walls, and guests must go through a series of steel airlocks, where they are searched before entering. The surrounding area is full of police and security guards to protect against insurgent attacks, which have increased in recent months around the country.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack targeted foreign officials dining at what he described as a ''hotel''.

''There was a suicide attack on a foreign hotel where special foreign invaders are coming for dinner. In this attack an explosive was used which was very strong and heavy casualties and massive destruction happened,'' he said.

Zabihullah said the targets of the attack included ''high-ranking German officials'' and the German foreign ministry said it was investigating. The Taliban frequently provide exaggerated casualty figures.

Insurgents have frequently targeted foreign interests around the country and in Kabul. The Taliban has increased attacks in recent months after foreign forces handed over control of security for the country to the Afghan army and police. Foreign forces are due to withdraw from the country altogether by the end of this year.

A security agreement that would keep about 10,000 US troops and about 6,000 from allied nations past 2014 has been delayed by President Hamid Karzai's refusal to sign it until Afghans elect his successor in the April 5 election.

The deal is seen as crucial to train and mentor the nascent Afghan security forces, which now number about 350,000. If the deal falls through, the US has said it will pull all its forces out of Afghanistan.

Comments (11)

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10:20am Sat 18 Jan 14

Huey says...

Shocking, very sad
Shocking, very sad Huey

10:55am Sat 18 Jan 14

Frank28 says...

What was he doing in Afghanistan? It's an incredibly dangerous place.
What was he doing in Afghanistan? It's an incredibly dangerous place. Frank28

10:57am Sat 18 Jan 14

pap says...

Del was such a good lad. Southampton lost one of its most compassionate sons last night. RIP mate.
Del was such a good lad. Southampton lost one of its most compassionate sons last night. RIP mate. pap

10:58am Sat 18 Jan 14

southy says...

Very Sad a active person he will be missed rip
Very Sad a active person he will be missed rip southy

10:59am Sat 18 Jan 14

pap says...

Del was such a good lad. Went to school with him and have seen him over the years. Tireless campaigner for the Palestinian cause and put himself in harm's way for the benefit of others.

Everyone that knows him will miss him greatly. The sort of chap who could get on with anyone and would help you whenever he could.

RIP Del. Southampton lost one of its best last night.
Del was such a good lad. Went to school with him and have seen him over the years. Tireless campaigner for the Palestinian cause and put himself in harm's way for the benefit of others. Everyone that knows him will miss him greatly. The sort of chap who could get on with anyone and would help you whenever he could. RIP Del. Southampton lost one of its best last night. pap

12:00pm Sat 18 Jan 14

hulla baloo says...

Lives are still being lost and wasted for a cause that will never be won or resolved.
Thanks Tony Bliar for your legacy. Glad you and your family are safe and making millions.
Lives are still being lost and wasted for a cause that will never be won or resolved. Thanks Tony Bliar for your legacy. Glad you and your family are safe and making millions. hulla baloo

12:57pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Toqeer Kataria says...

So sad to hear, what a tragedy what a loss, what a great humble man we have lost. Very active in all his work especially for the friends of Palestine. RIP Del Singh you will be missed. .
So sad to hear, what a tragedy what a loss, what a great humble man we have lost. Very active in all his work especially for the friends of Palestine. RIP Del Singh you will be missed. . Toqeer Kataria

2:51pm Sat 18 Jan 14

AmitRC says...

Del Singh, Sardara mere yaara, this is really tough dude. The only solace, if any, is that you were at a place you really enjoyed. All the squash outings in the UNICA club, all the Anaar dinners, the Jaisalmer evenings, the early morning runs, the parties at your place, the evening in Delhi. It is all fresh and will be cherished forever. You are the most awesome, likeable, loveable, guys - this is really difficult. You will definitely stay with us forever Dude Singh. Really sorry!!!!!
Del Singh, Sardara mere yaara, this is really tough dude. The only solace, if any, is that you were at a place you really enjoyed. All the squash outings in the UNICA club, all the Anaar dinners, the Jaisalmer evenings, the early morning runs, the parties at your place, the evening in Delhi. It is all fresh and will be cherished forever. You are the most awesome, likeable, loveable, guys - this is really difficult. You will definitely stay with us forever Dude Singh. Really sorry!!!!! AmitRC

5:50pm Sat 18 Jan 14

FoysCornerBoy says...

How awful. Del will have done more for the causes of the poor and oppressed - people from all faiths and backgrounds - in Afghanistan and the middle east than his barbarous killers. He would have made a fantastic European MP and I hope that people in the south east remember him and his legacy when they cast their votes in this May's elections.
How awful. Del will have done more for the causes of the poor and oppressed - people from all faiths and backgrounds - in Afghanistan and the middle east than his barbarous killers. He would have made a fantastic European MP and I hope that people in the south east remember him and his legacy when they cast their votes in this May's elections. FoysCornerBoy

11:40pm Sat 18 Jan 14

Inform Al says...

FoysCornerBoy wrote:
How awful. Del will have done more for the causes of the poor and oppressed - people from all faiths and backgrounds - in Afghanistan and the middle east than his barbarous killers. He would have made a fantastic European MP and I hope that people in the south east remember him and his legacy when they cast their votes in this May's elections.
He seems to have been a great guy, but like the majority I will not be voting for a party that does not intend giving the electorate the referendum that most of us want.
[quote][p][bold]FoysCornerBoy[/bold] wrote: How awful. Del will have done more for the causes of the poor and oppressed - people from all faiths and backgrounds - in Afghanistan and the middle east than his barbarous killers. He would have made a fantastic European MP and I hope that people in the south east remember him and his legacy when they cast their votes in this May's elections.[/p][/quote]He seems to have been a great guy, but like the majority I will not be voting for a party that does not intend giving the electorate the referendum that most of us want. Inform Al

11:13pm Sun 19 Jan 14

peenut81 says...

hulla baloo wrote:
Lives are still being lost and wasted for a cause that will never be won or resolved.
Thanks Tony Bliar for your legacy. Glad you and your family are safe and making millions.
You missed the purpose of the invasion then, it has been a great success for the oil/gas giants who go their new pipeline, the weapons manufacturers (inc. local BAE) who got a blank cheque of taxpayers money for a decade, before closing up shop, for the logistics and catering companies who overcharged, underserved and then took their profits offshore and of course the bankers who financed the whole invasion knowing that the extra billions $ of heroin money would be cleaned by them whilst propping up their otherwise capital less balance books.
Britain's economy is based on warmongering and drug dealing, therefore this war has been very beneficial to the above 'national interests' even if the taxpayers and armed forces have paid the real cost.
[quote][p][bold]hulla baloo[/bold] wrote: Lives are still being lost and wasted for a cause that will never be won or resolved. Thanks Tony Bliar for your legacy. Glad you and your family are safe and making millions.[/p][/quote]You missed the purpose of the invasion then, it has been a great success for the oil/gas giants who go their new pipeline, the weapons manufacturers (inc. local BAE) who got a blank cheque of taxpayers money for a decade, before closing up shop, for the logistics and catering companies who overcharged, underserved and then took their profits offshore and of course the bankers who financed the whole invasion knowing that the extra billions $ of heroin money would be cleaned by them whilst propping up their otherwise capital less balance books. Britain's economy is based on warmongering and drug dealing, therefore this war has been very beneficial to the above 'national interests' even if the taxpayers and armed forces have paid the real cost. peenut81

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