Tributes to south east MEP candidate Del Singh killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan (From The Argus)
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Tributes to south east MEP candidate Del Singh killed in suicide attack in Afghanistan
Tributes have been paid to an MEP candidate who was killed along with 21 others in a devastating suicide attack in Afghanistan.
Dhamender Singh Phangurha was due to stand as a Labour candidate in the South East region, which includes Sussex, at the European elections in May.
Better known as Del Singh, he was in the country supporting the Afghan Budget Department.
The 39-year-old was eating in a popular Kabul restaurant on Friday evening local time when a suicide squad launched the deadly attack.
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Tributes poured in from his Labour colleagues across Sussex yesterday.
Leading them was friend Purna Sen, activist and Labour PPC for Brighton Pavilion.
She said: “We both shared a background in international development and we would talk about our visits to Kabul.
“He loved that country and desperately wanted to be part of its future.
“For someone so committed to peace to die in such a violent way is just terrible.
“In a way his tragic ending illustrates why he was out there in the first place.”
He said: “As well as mentoring long-term unemployed people, working for a homelessness charity and serving on the board of Care International, he undertook humanitarian work for theUN, EU and UK government in Kosovo, Sudan, Sierra Leone and elsewhere.
“He would have made an influential and impressive member of the European Parliament, and public life is diminished by his untimely and violent death.”
Based in Southampton, he was a staunch Labour activist and a regular at party conferences.
He had canvassed many times in Brighton and Hove and was gearing up for the European elections in May.
Away from politics he was something of a foodie and a keen marathon runner.
His family told a national Sunday newspaper he was “funny, bighearted and humble”.
His partner, Komal Adris, 35, added: “He loved the country. He’s been going there on and off for around six years. He kept going back to all these conflict areas because he loved his work and wanted to see a more peaceful world.”
Tributes also came from the Leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband, who praised Mr Singh for his dedication to others.
Purna Sen added: “He was a hardworking guy but also someone with a great sense of
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