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Modi awarded highest civilian award by UAE

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi received the United Arab Emirates’ highest civilian honour during a visit on Saturday to the oil-rich Gulf nation, reinforcing ties between the countries even as he faces criticism over stripping occupied Kashmir of its autonomy. The induction of Modi into the Order of Zayed shows the importance the UAE places on India, the world’s third-largest...

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Obama confirms Taliban leader’s death in US strike

HANOI: Barack Obama on Monday confirmed that Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US strike, hailing his death as an “important milestone” in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan. “We have removed the leader of an organization that has continued to plot against and unleash attacks on American and Coalition forces, to wage war against the Afghan...

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Seventeen girls dead in fire at school dormitory in Thailand

BANGKOK: At least 17 young girls died after a fire swept through the dormitory of a school for children of hill tribes in northern Thailand, officials said Monday, adding several others were either missing or injured. The fire started late at night, meaning many of the children were asleep and unable to escape as flames engulfed the two-storey building. "The...

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Five dead in Philippine pop concert: Police

MANILA: Five people, including teenagers, died from unknown causes during a pop concert in a suburb of the Philippine capital, police said Sunday. The five were among an estimated 14,000 attending the “Closeup Forever Summer” open-air concert, headlined by Belgian DJ duo Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike late Saturday, investigating officer Giovanni Arcinue told AFP. Among the fatalities was a...

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Afghan spy agency confirms death of Mullah Mansour

KABUL: Afghanistan’s spy agency said Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour was killed in a US bombing raid, This is the first confirmation from regional officials of his death which marks a potential blow to the resurgent militant movement. The Taliban have not commented officially on the very rare American drone attack deep inside Pakistan on Saturday, authorised by President Barack...

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Daesh calls for attacks on the West during Ramadan

BAGHDAD: A new message purporting to come from the spokesman of Islamic State (Daesh) calls on followers to launch attacks on the United States and Europe during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, which begins in early June. "Ramadan, the month of conquest and jihad. Get prepared, be ready... to make it a month of calamity everywhere for the non-believers...especially...

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Four killed, 90 injured in Baghdad Green Zone riots: hospitals

BAGHDAD: At least four people were killed and 90 injured among anti-corruption protesters who stormed Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone on Friday, hospital sources said on Saturday. Iraqi security forces used live and rubber bullets as well as tear gas to dislodge the protesters from the district that houses government buildings, parliament and embassies. The toll, compiled from four hospitals...

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Man shot near White House after failing to drop weapon

WASHINGTON: A U.S. Secret Service agent shot a man who brandished a gun near the White House on Friday while President Barack Obama was out golfing, and the man was taken to a hospital in critical condition, officials said. The Secret Service, which protects the president and his family, briefly locked down the White House as a precaution, and Vice...

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Russia proposes joint Syria air strikes with US-led coalition from May 25

MOSCOW: Russia has proposed to the U.S.-led coalition that they stage joint air strikes on Syrian rebels including Nusra Front who are not observing the ceasefire, starting on May 25, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday. Such action would be coordinated with the Syrian government, he told a Defence Ministry meeting broadcast on state television, adding that Moscow...

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Paris attacks suspect Abdeslam refuses to answer questions

PARIS: The last known survivor of the team that carried out last November's Paris attacks refused to talk during questioning Friday by anti-terror judges, and the session ended abruptly. Salah Abdeslam's lawyer, Frank Berton said his client invoked his right to silence. Abdeslam, 26, had said last month he wanted to explain all. Berton told reporters that Abdeslam was disturbed...

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Air-sea search intensifies for missing EgyptAir plane

Cairo: A massive search was under way for an EgyptAir plane that disappeared over the Mediterranean with 66 people on board, with suspicions swiftly focusing on a terrorist motive. Egypt's aviation minister said that while it was too soon to say why the Airbus A320 flying from Paris to Cairo had vanished from radar screens, a "terrorist" attack would be...

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Seven die in Afghanistan crash of Azerbaijan’s Silk Way freight plane

BAKU: A freight plane of Azerbaijan's Silk Way airline crashed on Wednesday in Afghanistan, killing seven of its nine crew, Azerbaijan's civil aviation administration said. It said the plane had crashed after taking off from Dwyer airport in Afghanistan. The crew were from Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Reuters

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Afghanistan inks accord with Hekmatyar’s Hazb-e-Islami militant group

KABUL: Afghanistan signed a draft agreement with the Hezb-e-Islami militant group on Wednesday in a move the government hopes could lead to a full peace accord with one of the most notorious warlords in the insurgency. Hezb-e-Islami leader Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is a veteran of decades of Afghan war and rights groups have accused his group of widespread abuses, particularly during...

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First missing Chibok girl found in Nigeria

ABUJA: The first of more than 200 schoolgirls missing for over two years after they were kidnapped by Boko Haram militants in Chibok in northeast Nigeria has been found, a parents group and local officials said on Wednesday. Lawan Zannah, secretary of an association of parents of the missing girls, said teenager Amina Ali was found on Tuesday near the...

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Ecuador hit by 6.7 quake; minor injuries, light damage reported

QUITO: A magnitude 6.7 earthquake struck Ecuador's coast overnight on Wednesday, causing minor injuries and light damage in the same region where a 7.8 tremor killed more than 650 people last month. The quake on Wednesday cut electricity in some coastal areas and sent people running into the streets as far away as the highland capital of Quito, witnesses said....

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Turkish warplanes hit PKK targets in Turkey, northern Iraq, 10 killed

DIYARBAKIR: Turkish warplanes hit Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) targets in southeast Turkey and northern Iraq, killing at least ten fighters, security sources said on Wednesday. The military has been carrying out regular air strikes against positions of the outlawed group in the mountainous regions of northern Iraq, where it has camps near the Turkish border, after the collapse of ceasefire...

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Iraq’s Shi’ite rivalries risk turning violent, weakening war on Islamic State

BAGHDAD: A power struggle within Iraq's Shi'ite Muslim majority has intensified as attempts to form a new government flounder, threatening to turn violent and ruin U.S.-led efforts to defeat Islamic State. For the first time since the U.S. withdrawal at the end of 2011, Shi'ite factions came close to taking arms against each another last month, when followers of powerful...

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