A secretive Russian intelligence unit

A secretive Russian intelligence unit has been offering the Taliban bounties to kill British and American soldiers in Afghanistan.

The Times understands that American intelligence officials informed their British security counterparts that the Russian group at the centre of the claims is believed to be Unit 29155. This is the elite subversion and assassination wing of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence arm, whose agents were charged with the attempted murder of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury in 2018.

The men – from a terror group called the Balochistan Liberation Army – threw grenades at a security post near the entrance before opening fire with AK-47 rifles.

Traders scrambled for cover in their offices and were evacuated out a back entrance as the attackers tried to fight their way inside before heavily armed police arrived.

Abu Kalam lives with 11 other family members in a home built from bamboo and tarpaulin with mud walls. It’s extremely cramped, he says, but everyone is staying at home.

Outside, life in the camp has ground to a halt. The children are no longer able to go to school; his two older sons, who used to work on a tea stall and pulling a rickshaw, have lost their income.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senate minority leader Chuck Schumer have both demanded briefings for their respective chambers on what Mr Trump and his intelligence community knew about the alleged Russian bounty programme and why it wasn’t reported all the way up the chain of command to the president and his top advisers such as Vice President Mike Pence, if that is indeed the case.

“We need to know whether or not President Trump was told this information, and if so, when,” Mr Schumer said in a statement on Monday.

Similarly, animal-borne Covid-19 is believed to have originated at a ‘wet market’ selling wildlife for consumption in Wuhan, before the virus spread around the world.

They researchers also found evidence of recent infection with the new influenza virus originating with people who worked in abattoirs and the swine farming industry in China.