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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan army said on Friday that border with Afghanistan in Chaman area has been closed after three Pakistanis were killed by “unprovoked” firing from the Afghan side, while 18 others were injured, China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
The army spokesman said the Afghan Border Police “opened fire” on the Pakistani border forces Frontier Corps (FC) in charge of security of a population census team in southwestern Balochistan province.
A senior health official in the province, Akhtar, said the death toll from the cross-border firing reached three, and a woman is among the dead.
Army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor had said earlier in a statement that one civilian was killed and 18 individuals, including four FC soldiers, were injured.
He said Pakistan closed the Chaman border, one of the major crossing points with Afghanistan. Locals said hundreds of trucks with transit goods were stuck up on both sides of the border.
The Pakistani spokesman said that Afghan Border Police had been “creating hurdles” in the conduct of census in divided villages of Killi Luqman and Killi Jahangir in Chaman area, on the Pakistani side of the border.
Earlier Pakistani media quoted local forces as saying that the injured include two women and six children. The injured were shifted to a hospital by ambulances of FC. TV footage showed injured were being treated at a local hospital.
The incident happened days after two high-level Pakistani delegations of army and intelligence officials visited Afghanistan this week for discussions on security issues, focusing on border management.
Pakistan insists for effective border security to check illegal movement for militants. – BERNAMA
MEXICO CITY – Four soldiers and six gunmen were killed in a sequence of confrontations in the central state of Puebla, Mexican officials said Thursday.
A dozen other people were wounded in Wednesday night’s violence in the village of Palmarito, state Attorney General Victor Carranca told a press conference.
The trouble started when army troops responded to reports about a theft of fuel from a pipeline.
As the soldiers arrived, they came under fire at a distance “from a group of individuals who hid behind a group of women and children,” making it impossible for the troops to return fire, the National Defense Secretariat said in a statement.
Two soldiers were killed and another was wounded.
Two hours later, troops encountered the fuel thieves travelling in five SUVs without the benefit of human shields. This time, when the gunmen started shooting, the soldiers shot back.
The battle left two troops and six gunmen dead, while nine other soldiers and two attackers were wounded.
Fourteen suspects are in custody, including two minors, state Government Secretary Diodoro Carrasco said during the press conference.
Troops seized three automatic rifles and a handgun, ammunition, and four vehicles, two of them with armor-plating.
The clashes prompted protests by residents of Palmarito, who blocked a portion of the Puebla-Orizaba highway on Thursday to demand the withdrawal of the army and the release of the suspects.
Carrasco said that the troops will remain and that efforts to stop the pipeline thefts will continue.
Theft of fuel from pipelines for sale on the black market costs Mexico some $5 billion a year, according to state oil company Pemex.–NNN-EFE
SEREMBAN – A five year-old boy was killed and three others seriously injured in an accident involving a bus and three cars at KM 271.1 of the northbound North-South Expressway (PLUS) near the Seremban Rest and Recreation area, this evening.
Negeri Sembilan traffic staff officer ASP Mohd Hafidzal Zainal Abidin said the boy was identified as Muhammad Wafiq Fitri Walilah, while his father, Walilah Karim, 40, mother, Sri Yulianty Mukhtaruddin, 34 , and sister, Puteri Wafiqah Walilah, 2, who was sitting on her mother’s lap were all seriously injured.
The 6.10pm accident caused a massive traffic congestion for as far as 10km.
“Initial investigations revealed that the accident occurred when a bus that was heading to Nilai from Seremban skidded and hit the rear of a Honda BRV which was moving slowly because of heavy traffic.
“A Toyota Estima which was earlier in front of the bus diverted into the left lane but was hit in the rear by a Mercedes car which was on the left lane,” he said when contacted by Bernama here today.
According to him, Muhammad Wafiq Fitri who was in the back seat of the Honda BRV was believed to have died on the spot when he was thrown out of the car but the drivers of the other vehicles were not injured and the bus driver had been detained for further investigations.
The body of the victim was sent to the Tuanku Jaafar Hospital while the injured are also receiving treatment at the same hospital. – BERNAMA
A gunman who went by the nickname Black Jesus killed three white men in downtown Fresno, California, on Tuesday, and fired at another before he was taken into custody while shouting “Allahu Akhbar,” police said.
The suspect, 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, was also wanted in connection with the fatal shooting last week of an unarmed security guard at a Motel 6 in Fresno, Police Chief Jerry Dyer told reporters at a press conference.
Dyer said Muhammad fired at least 16 rounds from a large-caliber handgun in less than a minute at four downtown Fresno locations at about 10:45 a.m. local time before he was spotted running through the streets by a police officer.
“Immediately upon the individual seeing the officer he literally dove onto the ground and was taken into custody and as he was taken into custody he yelled out ‘Allahu Akhbar,'” Dyer said. The term means “God is great” in Arabic.
“He does not like white people,” Dyer said, citing the suspect’s statements after being arrested and his Facebook postings. The chief said Muhammad, who is African American, used the nickname Black Jesus.
All four of the men killed on Tuesday were white, as was the security guard and the other man Mohammad shot at but missed.
Dyer said it was too early to rule out terrorism and that his department had contacted the Federal Bureau of Investigation to investigate, but portrayed the incident as “a random act of violence.”
“These individuals who were chosen today did not do anything to deserve what they got,” he said. “These were unprovoked attacks by an individual who was intent on carrying out homicides today, and he did that.”
Dyer said Muhammad had been identified quickly as the prime suspect in the Motel 6 shooting on April 13 and that police had been urgently seeking him across the Fresno area since then.
Fresno is an agricultural hub in California’s central valley, about 170 miles southeast of San Francisco.
Muhammad has a criminal history that includes weapons and drug charges and had spent time in state prison, Dyer said.
County government buildings were placed on lockdown during the shooting spree and residents were urged to shelter in place.
Local television images showed what appeared to be a body covered in a yellow tarp in a street near where police tape marked off several crime scenes. – Reuters
CHONGQING: The family of the 14-year-old girl who was killed after she was thrown off a swing ride at an amusement park will be compensated, the authorities said a day after the tragic Feb 3 accident.
According to news outlet China Global Television Network (CGTN), Gan Tian’s father on Saturday signed an agreement with Zhaohua Park to receive 870,000 yuan (RM561,558) in compensation.
The authorities said the girl’s death was caused by a seatbelt on the ride that suddenly broke. The ride had passed an annual quality inspection just two months ago, CGTN reported.
Park officers, however, were found to be operating the amusement rides in an improper manner.
Gan Tian and her nine-year-old cousin had successfully bought tickets for A Journey In Space ride, despite regulations stating that children under 12 years old and below 120cm are not allowed on it.
Gan Tian was flung from her seat soon after the ride started. She reportedly attempted to seize the handrail, but was thrown from the ride and her body smashed into some railings before hitting the ground.
Footage taken by an onlooker showed Gan Tian dangling from the ride by a limb for a few seconds.
A Journey In Space ride is also available in 18 other amusement parks across China. All of them have suspended operations indefinitely as investigations are underway. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network
RIO DE JANEIRO – Dengue fever, zika virus and chikungunya killed 796 people in Brazil in 2016, the country’s Health Ministry said on Monday.
Until Dec. 24, the country registered 629 deaths caused by dengue, 159 by chikungunya and six by zika virus, a slight decrease from 2015, when the three diseases caused 1,001 deaths in the country. Compared with 2015, deaths caused by dengue fell but those by chikungunya increased in 2016.
In 2016, Brazil had 1.49 million suspected cases of dengue, 265,000 of chikungunya and 214,000 of zika.
The number of suspected dengue cases in 2016 was the second highest since 1990. In 2015, the country registered a record high of 1.64 million suspected cases, with the highest number registered in the midwestern and southeastern regions.
Chikungunya cases rose 589 percent compared with 2015. Unlike dengue, chikungunya and zika have only been registered in Brazil recently.
The first chikungunya case was registered in the country in 2014. Therefore, the majority of the population is vulnerable as there are no antibodies against the disease.
Zika was first registered in Brazil in 2015 and became more prominent because of its effects on pregnant women, whose babies can have several malformations, mainly microcephaly.- BERNAMA
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – A train derailed in northern India on Wednesday injuring at least 43 people, police and rail officials said, at least the third such accident in recent weeks that has raised concerns about the safety of the ageing rail network.
The train derailed near the city of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh state early in the morning.
All the injured, several of whom were in critical condition, had been taken to nearby hospitals, Javeed Ahmad, director general of police, Uttar Pradesh, said in a tweet.
TV footage from the scene showed mangled, toppled carriages, some with their wheels still on the tracks. Two coaches had fallen off a bridge into a small canal. Some passengers were seen picking up their luggage from near the tracks.
India’s creaking railway system is the world’s fourth largest. It runs 11,000 trains a day, including 7,000 passenger trains carrying more than 20 million people.
But it has a poor safety record, with thousands of people dying in accidents every year, including in derailments and collisions. This was at least the third such accident in recent weeks. On Nov. 20, at least 146 people died when a train derailed near the same city.
Suresh Prabhu, India’s railways minister, has promised to replace old tracks and upgrade safety apparatus. The government spends more than 90 percent of the railways’ revenues on operational costs, leaving little for upgrades for the colonial-era system.
By some analyst estimates, the railways need 20 trillion rupees (238.5 billion pounds) of investment by 2020, and India is turning to partnerships with private companies and seeking loans from other countries to upgrade the network.
(Additional reporting by Paritosh Bansal; Editing by Nick Macfie)
IPOH – Two motorcyclists were killed in a collision with a four-wheel drive (4WD) vehicle at Km 24, the Ipoh-Kuala Lumpur road near Gua Tempurung here today.
In the 10am incident, the victims who came Sauk, Kuala Kangsar and identified as Asaya Abdul Rahim, 50, and his nephew, Muhammad Amirul Mukminin Muhammad Shuhaimi, 16, died on the spot.
Gopeng Fire and Rescue chief Rohana Mustafa said the victims were on their way from Kuala Lumpur to Ipoh before the motorcycle they were riding on was hit by a Toyota Hilux 4WD that came from the opposite direction.
“A lorry had hit the back of the Hilux, causing it to skid into the opposite lane and colliding with the motorcycle ridden by the victims,” Rohana said when contacted by Bernama today.
The bodies were sent to Kampar Hospital for post mortem while the lorry and 4WD drivers sustained minor injuries. – BERNAMA
IPOH – Two people died and nine others were injured, six of them badly, in an accident involving eight vehicles on the south-bound lane of the North-South Expressway near the exit to Slim River today.
Intan Maizura Aidul Badri, 34, and Ridzuan Abdul Rajak (rpt) Rajak, 33, died in the accident which occurred at about 3.30pm at Km371.9 of the highway, said a police source.
It said their bodies and the badly injured six people were taken to the Slim River Hospital.
The source said four cars and four lorries were involved in the accident.
“A lorry travelling north went out of control and veered onto the opposite lane and crashed into the other vehicles,” the source said when contacted.
The north-bound right lane at the stretch had to be closed following the accident and traffic movement had slowed down, the source said. – BERNAMA
KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia condemns in the strongest terms the recent assassination of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara, Turkey, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
In the post on his Twitter account today, Najib also conveyed his condolences to the Karlov’s family as well as to the Russian people.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the assassination of Ambassador Andrey Karlov in Ankara. Condolences to his family and the Russian people,” Najib said.
During an art exhibition in Ankara, Monday, the Russian Ambassador to Turkey was assassinated with multiple shots by a gunman, and at least three others were left wounded in the assault.
Earlier today, Wisma Putra had issued a statement regarding the incident, calling it as a barbaric and heinous act.
It also urged that the perpetrators of this cowardly incident must be swiftly brought to justice.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, their families and loved ones during this difficult period,” the foreign ministry said. – BERNAMA
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