Afghan conflict

Australian elite soldiers killed Afghan civilians, report finds

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has released findings from a four-year inquiry into misconduct by its forces.

The inquiry investigated 57 incidents and heard from hundreds of witnesses.

It had uncovered a "shameful record" of a "warrior culture" by some soldiers, ADF chief General Angus Campbell said.

He said the report said 25 Special Air Service (SAS) soldiers were involved in the killings, none of which could be "described as being in the heat of battle".

Afghan conflict: Red Cross forced to scale down

Two ICRC offices will close and a third will see operations scaled down.

The ICRC country head said the "painful decision" meant people in the north would no longer get help they needed.

She stressed the Red Cross would not leave Afghanistan, but said the organisation had to limit the risks faced by its staff.

Many other humanitarian organisations have pulled out of Afghanistan in recent years as Taliban and so-called Islamic State militants have stepped up attacks.

Afghan conflict: Families flee Taliban Kunduz assault

The evacuations came as Taliban militants seized the district of Qala-e-Zal, just west of the city.

Clashes continue in other parts of the city, as the Taliban try to increase pressure on government troops in both the north and south of the country.

The militants twice entered Kunduz in the past two years before retreating.

BBC South Asia editor Jill McGivering says this is a classic example of surge and retreat which is now common in Afghanistan as the Taliban tries to extend its reach but struggles to retain new ground.