The number of people in the UK having to rely on food banks to eat has increased again this year, according to a leading charity.The Trussell Trust, which operates hundreds of food banks across the country, gave out three-day food parcels to 519,342 people in the six months to the end of September – including 188,584 to children.This is an increase compared to the 506,369 parcels the charity gave out during the equivalent months of 2015 and means that the Trussell Trust is on course to deliver a record number of food parcels this year. Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Regional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usage. Percentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and 2016-17Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 12 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Regional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usageRegional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usage – Highcharts CloudRegional variation in Trussell Trust food bank usagePercentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and2016-17Percentage change in visitor volume between first halves of 2015-16 and 2016-17Northern IrelandEast MidlandsEastNorth WestScotlandWalesSouth WestWest MidlandsSouth EastYorkshire & HumberLondonNorth East-40%-30%-20%-10%0%10%20%30%40%50%Source: Trussell Trust One of the scenes in Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winning film I, Daniel Blake takes place in a food bankCredit:Valerie Hache/AFP The number of food banks operating in the UK has increased in recent years and they have come to be seen by many as symbolic of a widening inequality gap.There are hundreds of small independent food bank operators across the UK so the Trussell Trust’s statistics alone cannot be used as a measure of the raw volume of people needing emergency food.However, due to their nationwide coverage, Trussell Trust food banks can be used as a way to gauge trends in demands for emergency food and the factors driving people to need it.The most common reason for people needing to attend a Trussell Trust food bank was because of delays in receiving benefits payments or due to changes in the benefits they were entitled to.Over two in five people attending Trussell Trust food banks between April and September this year gave benefits changes or delays as one the reasons they needed emergency food. Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Food parcels distributed by the Trussell Trust. Three-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between April and SeptemberLong description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 3 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying values.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Food parcels distributed by the Trussell TrustFood parcels distributed by the Trussell Trust – Highcharts CloudFood parcels distributed by the Trussell TrustThree-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between Apriland SeptemberThree-day emergency food parcels given out at food banks between April and September492 641492 641506 369506 369519 342519 3422014201520160100k200k300k400k500k600kSource: Trussell Trust Use regions/landmarks to skip ahead to chart.Reasons for Trussell Trust food bank usage. Proportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food, April-September 2016Long description.No description available.Structure.Chart type: column chart.column series with 6 columns.The chart has 1 X axis displaying categories.The chart has 1 Y axis displaying values.Chart graphic.Reasons for Trussell Trust food bank usageReasons for Trussell Trust food bank usage – Highcharts CloudReasons for Trussell Trust food bank usageProportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food,April-September 2016Proportion of attendees who gave each reason for needing emergency food, April-September 2016Benefit delaysLow incomeBenefit changesDebtHomelessnessSickness0%5%10%15%20%25%30%Source: Trussell Trust A Department for Work and Pensions spokesperson said: “Reasons for food bank use are complex so it’s misleading to link them to any one issue and the vast majority of benefits are processed on time.“We know that work is the best route out of poverty and employment is at a record high. But for those who need extra support, we provide a strong safety net through the welfare system, including hardship payments, benefit advances and budgeting loans.”The DWP also noted that Jobcentre Plus District Managers already have the flexibility to work with food banks on a local level if they wish, as they do with other local community initiatives such as hostels for homeless people.An example of a local partnership on food banks is the Lalley Centre in Manchester where a Work Coach currently visits the centre one day each month. Low income was the second most common reason for needing emergency food, with one in four food bank attendees citing it.David McAuley, Chief Executive of The Trussell Trust, said: “As the number of emergency food parcels provided to people by food banks rises once again, it’s clear that more can be done to get people back on their feet faster. Many food banks now host independent welfare and debt advisers but they cannot solve all the issues.“To stop UK hunger we must make sure the welfare system works fairly and compassionately, stopping people getting to a point where they have no money to eat.”It feels like we could be seeing a new era at the DWP with a consultation on Work Capability Assessments and willingness to engage in dialogue with charities working on the front line. A telephone hotline could build on this and go a long way to improving food banks ability to help get people out of a crisis faster.” On a regional level, Northern Ireland saw the largest increase in Trussell Trust food bank usage with numbers up by 43 per cent in the six months to the end of September 2016 compared with the equivalent period in 2015.The East Midlands saw the next largest increase (up 16.4 per cent), while the North East was the only region to see the number of visitors to Trussell Trust food banks decrease compared to last year. 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Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. In her final TV interview before her death on December 27, actress Carrie Fisher discussed the revelation in her most recent autobiography “The Princess Diarist” that she had a brief affair with her Star Wars co-star Harrison Ford.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Britain could become first country in the world to ban sale of ivory antiques as MPs debate whether to further restrict items to prevent poaching.In September, the government announced plans to prohibit the sale of ivory which is less than 70 years old, but stopped short of a total ban.However campaigners say the change does not go far enough and claim poachers can easily get around the rules by making their products appear older, or forging certificates of authenticity. Chinese police officers with ivory and rhino horn seized from poachers Credit:Rex/Shutterstock The sale of pianos with ivory keys could fall under new legistlation On Monday parliament will debate the future of Britain’s domestic ivory market ahead of a public consultation on the government’s ‘70 year’ plan. The wildlife charity WWF is calling for the consultation to also include proposals for a total ban.“It is time for the government to take all possible action to end the illegal global ivory trade,” said Tanya Steele, CEO of WWF-UK.“We urgently need the UK to take a stand for elephants, continue to demonstrate global leadership and implement a ban without delay. “Such a commitment will send a strong message that the UK refuses to play any part in the illegal ivory trade. “ WWF say closing the antique trade in ivory would set a precedent for other countries worldwide where demand for ivory strongly contributes to the ongoing elephant poaching crisis.One third of the population of African elephants has been wiped out since 2007 and now only 350,000 remain in the wild, with an animal killed every 15 minutes on average.The illegal wildlife trade is the fourth largest illegal trade behind drugs, human trafficking and counterfeiting, and is worth over an estimated £12 billion annually worldwide.China, home to the world’s greatest legal and illegal ivory markets announced they will ban domestic trade by the end of 2017 and the US has introduced a near-total ban.
Fathers are more likely to pass on DIY knowledgeCredit:Alamy Nationwide surveyed 2,000 people. Young adults are increasingly having to rely on parents and other family members to help them out financially as the cost of renting and buying property becomes increasingly unaffordable. Research last year found that one in 12 properties bought in the UK is partly funded by a gift from family or a friend. For first-time buyers, the proportion needing help with their deposit is even higher, at 17 per cent, according to the study by conveyancer My Home Move. When looking for cash, it might be best to ask mum firstCredit:Alamy Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Around one in seven (15 per cent) of mothers still wash or iron clothes for adult offspring, unlike fathers, one per cent of whom said they would do the same. But fathers are more likely to pass on their DIY expertise (11 per cent) than mothers (four per cent).Larry Banda, Nationwide’s Director of Financial Planning said: “It’s encouraging to see appreciation of the financial skills passed down by mums featuring so prominently. “Careful budgeting and organisation of finances can make a huge difference to both wealth and wellbeing – and learning to prepare for a rainy day, as well as bigger purchases to come, can make the difference toward achieving your goals in adulthood.” The Bank of Mum and Dad has been replaced with the Bank of Mum, according to a new survey that suggests that mothers are more generous with handouts. One in six mothers (17 per cent) will their grown-up children cash to help them out, compared with only one in ten (9 per cent) fathers.The research by Nationwide Building Society also found a similar proportion ofmothers (16 per cent) will still cook and bake for their sons and daughters once they reach adulthood. The figure for fathers is just two per cent.
Six weeks ago, the Duchess hinted that a third baby was on the cards.During a visit to Poland, she was presented with a cuddly toy designed for newborns. She turned to the Duke and laughed: “We will just have to have more babies.”The Duchess is one of three children, and enjoyed a happy childhood with her siblings, Pippa and James.The new baby will be a sibling for Prince George, who turned four in July, and Princess Charlotte, who celebrated her second birthday in May. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting their third child, Kensington Palace has announced.The Duchess is less than 12 weeks pregnant, but was compelled to bring forward the announcement after being too unwell to attend a planned public appearance today. In a statement, the palace said the Duchess was suffering from severe morning sickness, as she did with her previous pregnancies. “As with her previous two pregnancies, the Duchess is suffering from Hyperemesis Gravidarum.”Her Royal Highness will no longer carry out her planned engagement at the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre in London today.”The Duchess is being cared for at Kensington Palace.” The Duchess of Cambridge photographed last week The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with Prince George and Princess Charlotte during a trip to Germany in JulyCredit:Carsten Koall/EPA David Holmes CBE, chief executive of Family Action, who runs the Hornsey Road Children’s Centre the Duchess was supposed to visit today, said: “Family Action would like to give our warmest congratulations to The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on the wonderful news that they are expecting their third child. The couple’s third child will be born fifth in line to the throne, pushing Prince Harry into sixth place.The Prince of Wales is first in line, followed by the Duke of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte.William Hill is offering odds of 33/1 that the Duchess is pregnant with twins. Alice is the bookmakers’ favoured name if the baby is a girl, followed by Elizabeth and Victoria. For a baby, the shortest odds are on James, Arthur and Phillip. ”We are honoured that The Duchess of Cambridge chose to visit Hornsey Road Children’s Centre.“Although she is no longer able to attend today we entirely understand why this wasn’t possible.“Once again, Family Action sends our warmest wishes to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on their very happy news.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The Duchess of Cambridge attends her most recent public engagement at Kensington Palace on August 30Credit:Samir Hussein/WireImage In July, when she was in the early stages of pregnancy, the Duchess undertook a tour of Poland and Germany, participating in a rowing race. Afterwards she was handed a stein of local beer to toast the rowers.The news was announced as the royal couple were preparing to send their eldest child, Prince George, off to school for the first time. They have chosen a fee-paying independent school in a south London borough for their four-year-old son.Thomas’s Battersea will welcome the young prince and his parents on Thursday.Prince George’s first day at school will also mark a new chapter for the Cambridges as they are now mainly based in their Kensington Palace apartment rather than their Norfolk home Anmer Hall.The Duke, who quit his job as a pilot for the East Anglian Air Ambulance in July to become a full-time royal, is also due to attend the National Mental Health and Policing Conference in Oxford on Tuesday. The Duchess’s last public engagement was a tour of Kensington Palace’s White Garden last week, to mark the anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales.Wearing a floral dress and sheltering beneath an umbrella, she showed no outward sign of feeling unwell. A spokesman for Theresa May, Prime Minister, said: “It is fantastic news and she passes on her congratulations to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.” The Duchess of Cambridge, pregnant with Princess Charlotte in 2015 Four will soon become five A Kensington Palace statement said: “Their Royal Highnesses the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that the Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child.”The Queen and members of both families are delighted with the news. Prince Harry said he was feeling “fantastic” about becoming an uncle for the third time, adding: “Great. Very very happy.”Asked how his sister-in-law was getting on, he told reporters: “I haven’t seen her for a while but I think she’s ok.”The Prince of Wales, the new baby’s grandfather-to-be, is “delighted” with the news, Clarence House said. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are very pleased to announce that The Duchess of Cambridge is expecting their third child pic.twitter.com/DZCheAj1RM— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) September 4, 2017 The Duchess is handed a stein of beer during her tour of Germany in JulyCredit:Jane Barlow/PA
@CocaCola_UK why can’t we get Rose’s lime cordial anywhere in the UK this month? What’s going on?— The Faint Girl (@thefaintgirl) July 30, 2018 A Coca-Cola spokesman said: “We’re sorry that due to a fire at the factory where Rose’s Lime Cordial is produced, production has been halted while the necessary repairs are carried out. The team is working hard to ensure that production is back up and running as soon as possible and we hope it will be back on shelves in the next few weeks.” Lime cordial first originated in the 1700s when it was used by the Royal Navy to ensure sailors received their daily ration of lemon or lime juice. Lauchlan Rose of Leith patented a method to preserve citrus juice without alcohol in 1867 after realizing that preserving the juice with sugar rather than alcohol opened the product up to a far wider market. Unfortunately there has been a fire at the factory where Rose’s Lime Cordial is produced, therefore production has been suspended while repairs are underway. We hope production will be back up and running soon – our team is working to ensure this happens ASAP.— Coca-Cola GB (@CocaCola_GB) July 31, 2018 Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. The mystery behind Rose’s Lime cordial shortage has been solved as the company confirmed there has been a fire at its factory.Coca Cola, which owns it, confirmed that production had been temporarily suspended in a public apology to customers. It is hoped that supplies of the famous drink will return to normal within a few weeks.It comes after the Daily Telegraph received a number of letters from readers concerned about the disappearance from stores.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––A number of fans have also Tweeted at Coca Cola asking why the drink is absent from shops. The first factory producing lime juice was then set up by Rose on Commercial Street in Leith, Scotland in 1868.
Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Universities that “pressure sell” unconditional offers are “unethical”, the Education Secretary has warned as he urges institutions to stop the practice.Damian Hinds has called for a review of university admissions, arguing that it is unacceptable for students to feel “backed into a corner” when deciding which offer to take up.The number of unconditional offers has risen sharply in recent years, with students now 30 times more likely to receive one than five years ago. Fierce competition between universities to attract students has seen sixth form pupils increasingly offered places regardless of their exam results.Some institutions hand out “incentivised” offers, where they tell students that their offer will be unconditional but only if they accept it as their first choice university.The universities watchdog has warned that applying “psychological pressure” or “creating an impression of urgency” in decision making could be a potential breach of consumer protection law. The Office for Students (OfS) published a report in January that examined the impact of unconditional offers on students’ decision making. It found that applicants who accept an unconditional offer are more likely to miss their predicted A-level grades by two or more grades. “It is simply unacceptable for universities to adopt pressure-selling tactics, which are harming students’ grades in order to fill places,” Mr Hinds said.“‘Conditional unconditional’ offers are damaging the reputation of the institutions involved and our world-leading sector as a whole.” Mr Hinds said he intends to write to 23 institutions – including Birmingham University which is a member of the Russell Group – “urging them to stamp out this unethical practice”. Under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008, “aggressive” selling tactics are banned, which includes a seller exerting “undue influence” on a consumer by psychological means.According to the regulations, “undue influence means exploiting a position of power in relation to the consumer so as to apply pressure, even without using or threatening to use physical force, in a way which significantly limits the consumer’s ability to make an informed decision”.Headteachers have been increasingly concerned about the impact that unconditional offers have on student motivation and achievement.They have complained that students who are awarded unconditional offers “take their foot off the gas” because they are no longer concerned about their grades.Nottingham University, Sussex University and St Mary’s University, Twickenham have announced that they will no longer make unconditional offers.John Brewer, Pro Vice Chancellor of St Mary’s University, said in October that he ended unconditional offers in a bid to “maintain standards of entry”.Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students (OfS), said: “It is not in students’ interests to push them into decisions that may not be right for them, and admissions practices are clearly not working if they are having a negative impact on students’ choices or outcomes.”A spokesman for Universities UK said there are benefits they are working with Ucas to review guidance on unconditional offers. “It is essential that admissions processes and policies are fair and transparent, underpinned by clear criteria and in the best interest of students,” they said.
A “closing ceremony” will be held at Speaker’s Corner in Hyde Park to mark the occasion.The activists said in a statement: “We will leave the physical locations but a space for truth-telling has been opened up in the world.”We would like to thank Londoners for opening their hearts and demonstrating their willingness to act on that truth.”We know we have disrupted your lives. We do not do this lightly. We only do this because this is an emergency.”The London protests were part of a wider network of disruption across the globe, spanning 80 cities in 33 countries. However, giving a cryptic hint of what was to come, the statement added: “Expect more actions very soon.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings. Climate protesters are tomorrow expected to bring a fresh wave of disruption to London’s financial district, as they surrender the road blocks they have held for 10 days. The Extinction Rebellion group last night said it would relinquish it’s grip on two of the capital’s busiest roads, but hinted more action would soon follow.It is understood the next round of chaos could come as soon as this morning – targeting bankers and business chiefs in the City of London at rush hour. One organiser told the Daily Telegraph: “It’s going to be quite significant – there is going to be all sorts going on, it’s going to be very, very busy.”Demonstrators have caused considerable upheaval since arriving in the capital last Monday, as part of an international effort to force the government to take action on climate change.They brought traffic to a halt and triggered a major police response after camping on roads through the day and night. More than 1,000 people were arrested after refusing to leave blockades on Waterloo Bridge, Oxford Circus, Parliament Square and Marble Arch.Organisers have said they will “voluntarily end” their occupation of the two remaining strongholds of Marble Arch and Parliament Square at 5pm on Thursday.
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedTeam Mohammed’s Enterprise dominate at CMRCNovember 14, 2016In “latest news”Hassan shines amidst the gloomJuly 2, 2017In “Sports”Banks DIH hands over CMRC Driver SponsorshipsNovember 21, 2013In “Sports”,Group three driver Ravi Singh and his daughter Bridget Singh will be competing at the inaugural GT Motorsports’ facility at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC), Albert Street and Thomas Lands.The pair is expected to arrive in Guyana today and will begin practicing at the aforementioned venue for tomorrow night’s showdown against local drivers in their respective categories.Ravi, who has been competing in the group three category in Guyana since 2008, said he is excited to take part in the first-ever Georgetown Grand Prix.Ravi, who has won the group three category in Guyana on four occasions, said he is also enthused by the fact that the karts will be equally matched for Friday’s event.“It will all come down to driving skills and that is a good thing,” Ravi said. The 43-year-old, who has been racing competitively since the age of 15, will compete in the Four-stroke Class, and he is keen on putting on a show for his Guyanese fans on his debut at the newly refurbished track.Ravi Singh (left) and his daughter are expected to arrive in Guyana todayBridget, who started racing karts at age nine, will throw down the gauntlet to Guyanese Emma Vieira in what is expected to be a sizzling showdown. While Vieira will look to defend home turf, the 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago racer will no doubt want to prove that she’s the better driver.Bridgett, a group two driver, won the 80cc Class two years in a row, before moving to the 100cc, which she dominated for another two years.She then stepped up to the 125cc Rotax International. During the first year she finished second and won the championship the following year. After taking time off to focus on her studies, Bridget returned to the track last year and won the GP 1 Championship.Friday’s activity, which will comprise 15 races, will commence at 18:00hrs and admission to the venue is free. Some of the other races are: 60cc for ages six to 10, 80cc for ages 10-15, 125cc for 15 years and older, as well as the featured event, the Shifters Pro Cup. Among those who will be in the competition include seasoned drivers such as the father and son pair of Kevin and Kristian Jeffrey and Stephan Jeffrey.Some of the sponsors for the event are: Honda, of which the four stroke engines will be running, Rays Motor Spares, Sunburst, Banks DIH through their Monster Energy Brand, Ansa McAl through their Stag Brand, Superbet, Prem’s Electrical, Ocean Spray Hotel, Secure Innovations and Concepts Inc, E-Networks and BM Soat. (Guyana Times) Group three driver Ravi Singh and his daughter Bridget Singh will be competing at the inaugural GT Motorsports’ facility at the Guyana Motor Racing and Sports Club (GMR&SC), Albert Street and Thomas Lands.The pair is expected to arrive in Guyana today and will begin practicing at the aforementioned venue for tomorrow night’s showdown against local drivers in their respective categories.Ravi, who has been competing in the group three category in Guyana since 2008, said he is excited to take part in the first-ever Georgetown Grand Prix.Ravi, who has won the group three category in Guyana on four occasions, said he is also enthused by the fact that the karts will be equally matched for Friday’s event.“It will all come down to driving skills and that is a good thing,” Ravi said. The 43-year-old, who has been racing competitively since the age of 15, will compete in the Four-stroke Class, and he is keen on putting on a show for his Guyanese fans on his debut at the newly refurbished track.Ravi Singh (left) and his daughter are expected to arrive in Guyana todayBridget, who started racing karts at age nine, will throw down the gauntlet to Guyanese Emma Vieira in what is expected to be a sizzling showdown. While Vieira will look to defend home turf, the 20-year-old Trinidad and Tobago racer will no doubt want to prove that she’s the better driver.Bridgett, a group two driver, won the 80cc Class two years in a row, before moving to the 100cc, which she dominated for another two years.She then stepped up to the 125cc Rotax International. During the first year she finished second and won the championship the following year. After taking time off to focus on her studies, Bridget returned to the track last year and won the GP 1 Championship.Friday’s activity, which will comprise 15 races, will commence at 18:00hrs and admission to the venue is free. Some of the other races are: 60cc for ages six to 10, 80cc for ages 10-15, 125cc for 15 years and older, as well as the featured event, the Shifters Pro Cup. Among those who will be in the competition include seasoned drivers such as the father and son pair of Kevin and Kristian Jeffrey and Stephan Jeffrey.Some of the sponsors for the event are: Honda, of which the four stroke engines will be running, Rays Motor Spares, Sunburst, Banks DIH through their Monster Energy Brand, Ansa McAl through their Stag Brand, Superbet, Prem’s Electrical, Ocean Spray Hotel, Secure Innovations and Concepts Inc, E-Networks and BM Soat. (Guyana Times)
Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)RelatedAfghanistan air strike: UN confirms 30 child deaths in April attackMay 7, 2018In “latest news”Kabul blast kills 80July 23, 2016In “Crime”Kabul explosion kills 40 at gathering of clericsNovember 20, 2018In “Crime” Afghan troops keep watch at the base near Mazar-e-Sharif after the attack (Reuters)(BBC) More than 100 Afghan soldiers were killed or wounded in a Taliban attack on an army base on Friday, the defence ministry has confirmed.Fighting lasted for several hours near the city of Mazar-e Sharif in northern Balkh province.Insurgents targeted those leaving Friday prayers at the base’s mosque and others in a canteen, the army said.The Taliban said in a statement they had carried out the attack, using suicide bombers to breach defences.Earlier estimates put the death toll as high as 134, but a statement from the defence ministry on Saturday gave the figure of more than 100 killed or injured.It is one of the deadliest tolls in a Taliban attack on the Afghan army.At least 10 Taliban militants were also killed in the fighting and one attacker was detained.The Afghan government has declared Sunday a day of national mourning.Separately, the US military command in Afghanistan said that Taliban commander Quari Tayib had been killed in a coalition air strike.It said that Tayib was “once known as the shadow Taliban governor of Takhar province” in the north-east, and was killed along with eight other Taliban fighters in the strike on 17 April. The Taliban fighters who attacked the base wore army uniforms and drove through checkpoints to launch the raid, a military spokesman said.One injured soldier, Mohammad Hussain, said: “When I came out of the mosque, three people with army uniforms and an army vehicle started shooting at us. Of course, they had some infiltrators inside the base, otherwise they would never have been able to enter.“One of them sitting inside a vehicle had set up a machine gun at the car’s window and shot everyone in his way.”President Ashraf Ghani flew to the area on Saturday and visited wounded troops.US military spokesman John Thomas described the attack as a “significant” strike, but he praised Afghan commandos for bringing the “atrocity to an end”.Relatives’ anger: Syed Anwar, BBC News, KabulJan Agah from Jowzjan province lost a nephew in the attack (BBC)There are conflicting reports about casualties. The defence ministry confirmed more than 100 soldiers had been “killed or injured” but a security official in Mazar-e Sharif told the BBC that more than 100 had died, including a top military commander.Relatives of some of the soldiers gathered outside the base to take possession of coffins. They all questioned the security measures in place at the main entrance.“If strict inspections had taken place, the attackers would not have passed the first gate,” said Jan Agah, from Jowzjan province. One of his nephews serving at the base died and another was injured in the attack.The raid shows the Taliban can plan and carry out complex attacks. The militants said four of the attackers had served as soldiers for a long time and had knowledge of every corner of the base.The base at Mazar-e-Sharif is home to the Afghan National Army’s 209th Corps, responsible for providing security to most of northern Afghanistan, including Kunduz province – which has seen heavy recent fighting.Several German and other foreign soldiers are reported to be garrisoned there.Last month about 50 people were reported to have died when militants believed to be from the group known as Islamic State targeted patients and staff at a military hospital in Kabul with guns, grenades and knives.Also in March the Taliban said they had captured the crucial south Afghan district of Sangin after a year-long battle.