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Yemen: 25 killed, 110 wounded in a militant strike at Aden Airport

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Sanaa, Dec 31: A large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, shortly after a plane carrying the newly formed Cabinet landed there, security officials said.At least 25 people were killed and 110 wounded in the blast.

Yemen’s internationally recognised government said Iran-backed Houthi rebels fired four ballistic missiles at the airport.Rebel officials did not answer phone calls from The Associated Press seeking comment. No one on the government plane was hurt. The officials later reported another explosion close to a palace in the city where the Cabinet members were transferred following the airport attack.


The Saudi-led coalition later shot down a bomb-laden drone that attempted to target the palace, according to Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV channel. The Cabinet reshuffle was seen as a major step toward closing a dangerous rift between the government of embattled Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and southern separatists backed by the United Arab Emirates.


Hadi’s government and the separatists are nominal allies in Yemen’s years-long civil war that pits the Saudi-led, US-backed military coalition against the Houthis, who control most of northern Yemen as well as the country’s capital, Sanaa.


AP footage from the scene at the airport showed members of the government delegation disembarking as the blast shook the grounds. Many ministers rushed back inside the plane or ran down the stairs, seeking shelter.


Thick smoke rose into the air from near the terminal building. Officials at the scene said they saw bodies lying on the tarmac and elsewhere at the airport. Yemeni Communication Minister Naguib al-Awg, who was on the plane, told the AP that he heard two explosions, suggesting they were drone attacks.


Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed and the others were quickly whisked from the airport to the Mashiq Palace. Military and security forces sealed off the area around the the palace.
“It would have been a disaster if the plane was bombed,” al-Awg said, insisting the plane was the target of the attack as it was supposed to land earlier.


Prime Minister Saeed tweeted that he and his Cabinet were safe and unhurt. He called the explosions a “cowardly terrorist act” that was part of the war on “the Yemeni state and our great people.” Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak blamed the Houthis for the attacks.


His ministry said in a statement later that the rebels fired four ballistic missiles at the airport, and launched drone attacks at the palace, the Cabinet’s headquarters.


ICRC workers were at the airport transiting with other civilians when the blast took place, it said. “This is a tragic day for the ICRC and for the people of Yemen,” said Dominik Stillhart, ICRC’s director of operations. Yemeni Belqees television said its reporter Adeeb al-Ganabi was also killed in the airport blast.


Information Minister Moammer al-Iryani said at least 10 other journalists were wounded. A statement from Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, said the “Secretary-General condemns the deplorable attack on Aden airport shortly after the arrival of the newly formed Yemeni cabinet, which killed and wounded dozens of people.” (Agencies)

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Afghanistan: 37 killed, over 70 injured as blast hits Shia mosque in Kandahar

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(Asian News Hub) – Suicide bombers assaulted a Shiite mosque in southern Afghanistan that was packed with worshippers attending weekly Friday prayers, killing at least 37 people and wounding more than 70, Associated Press reported quoting hospital official and an eyewitness.

The attack on the Imam Barga mosque came a week after a bombing claimed by a local Islamic State affiliate killed 46 people at a Shiite mosque in northern Afghanistan.

Also Read: Amit Shah warns Pakistan, refers to surgical strike

Murtaza, an eye-witness who like many Afghans goes by one name, said four suicide bombers attacked the mosque. Two detonated their explosives at a security gate, allowing the other two to run inside and strike the congregation of worshippers.

Speaking to The Associated Press by phone, he said Friday prayers are typically attended by around 500 people.

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At least 20 killed, over 300 injured in an earthquake in Pakistan

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(Asian News Hub) – At least 20 people were killed and over 300 others injured after a powerful 5.9 earthquake struck Pakistan’s Balochistan province early on Thursday, October 7, 2021, according to PTI quoting media reports.

Disaster management officials said the death toll may increase, Geo News reported.

According to the seismological centre, the epicentre was located near Harnai at a depth of 15 km.

The Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) said many of the dead were women and children.

The quake affected Quetta, Sibi, Harnai, Pishin, Qila Saifullah, Chaman, Ziarat and Zhob in Balochistan.

Images on social media showed people in the city of Quetta out on the streets in the aftermath of the quake, Dawn newspaper reported.

Aftershocks are still being felt in different areas. The earliest tremors were felt at 3:20 am after which panicked citizens rushed out of their houses reciting verses from the holy Quran. Relief and rescue activities are underway, with an emergency declared in all hospitals.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Harnai Sohail Anwar Hashmi, several people have been rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

He said that several buildings in Harnai have been damaged. Many people were left buried under the rubble.

The power supply to the area has been suspended, he said.

According to the rescue sources, more than 70 houses were reported damaged in Harnai.

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World surpasses 5M COVID-19 deaths

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(Asian News Hub) – The coronavirus death toll around the world surpassed 5 million on Friday, according to Reuters’s tally.

Around the world, an average of 8,000 deaths a day were reported, according to the outlet. However, it noted that the global death rate has slowed in recent weeks.

Reuters reported that it took over a year to accumulate 2.5 million deaths, but it took under eight months to accumulate the second 2.5 million deaths.

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