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Five killed in a terror attack in a Kabul luxury Hotel

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Five killed in a terror attack in a Kabul luxury Hotel

Kabul is once again under terror attack. At least five people have been killed and six others wounded in a terror attack at a most secured five start hotel by gunmen, who stormed late Saturday evening. Security forces were still busy in flushing out the building where more terrorists were considered to be holed up.

According to TOLO News, a Kabul based news channel, Najib Danish, the spokesman for the Interior Ministry addressed journalists early Sunday morning close to the Intercontinental Hotel and informed that so far five civilians have been killed and six wounded, including three security force members, in the ongoing siege. Five floors have been cleared of insurgents and only the sixth floor remains, he said.

He said that by 8.30 am two attackers had been killed and security forces were still looking for at least one more if not two. Over 100 guests, including 16 foreign nationals and staff had been rescued. He denied of a hostage situation in the hotel. All wounded had been Afghan nationals, he asserted.

TOLO News channel showed desperate people trying to escape from the 6th floor of the burning building just after 8am Sunday morning. This comes after gunmen stormed the hotel at about 9pm on Saturday night. By 8.30am on Sunday the situation still had not been brought under complete control, the report said.

Aljazeera sources in Kabul said that two attackers had been killed and one or two others were believed to be still resisting. Afghan Special Forces were fighting the surviving gunmen who attacked the hotel on Saturday and seized hostages.

Five killed in a terror attack in a Kabul luxury Hotel

Jennifer Glasse, Aljazeera correspondent says, “Security forces are going floor-to-floor in that hotel, trying to flush out those attackers.”

A person inside Hotel Intercontinental Kabul described a “very dire situation”.”I spoke with somebody inside the hotel … [who] said attackers were inside the hotel and set fire to a number of floors,” said Glasse.

Aljazeera journalist further said, “We know that there were guests inside the hotel at the time of the attack and that a wedding was also going. The interior ministry said that those in the wedding party have been evacuated, as have some guests and staff.”

A witness has reportedly said that part of the building, one of the largest luxury hotels in Kabul, was on fire. Explosions were also heard throughout the night  while special forces, including the Crisis Response Unit, tried to end the siege. Two batches of extra security force, including foreign troops arrived at the scene at about 4am and at 7am.

The terror attack came days after US embassy in Kabul issued a warning saying that armed groups may be planning attacks against hotels in the city.

Glasse says, “Kabul has been on high alert for the last few days as prominent delegations have come through the city.”

The Hotel Intercontinental Kabul, situated on a hill overlooking the capital, is usually heavily guarded because of its popularity. Government officials, guests and foreign journalists prefer this hotel for better security arrangements.

Earlier in 2011, this hotel came under attack when security forces killed the attackers. However, 10 civilians were killed in the attack.

No group or individual has claimed responsibility for the attack so far.

On December 28, militants attacked a Shia cultural centre in Dashte Barchi area in Kabul, killing 50 people and injuring 80 others, during a discussion held to mark the 38th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

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Bigg Boss 14 contestant Rahul Vaidya struggles walking in knee deep water, compares Dubai rains with Mumbai floods

Singer and TV personality Rahul Vaidya was recently stranded in the Dubai rains.

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Rahul Vaidya, who was in Dubai ahead of his show which was scheduled to take place today, left the country due to heavy rains and reached Kolkata. The artist shared on social media his encounters in the UAE city, including challenges like walking through knee-deep water. Rahul provided an update regarding the heavy rainfall in Dubai on his Instagram profile.

The Bigg Boss 14 contestant revealed that he was in Kolkata and prepared to do an evening performance. Recalling the terrifying period he went through, Vaidya said there was a lot of confusion and panic in Dubai. The situation was similar to that when heavy floods hit Mumbai in 2005.

Vaiday also posted seval other images and videos of cars that were underwater and flooded roadways. The Bigg Boss 14 contestant, who shared his ordeal, claimed that even though it had just rained for two hours, the situation was dire.

In one of the video, which went viral he can be seen struggling in walking in knee-deep water. He can be also seen holding his sneakers in one hand and with other hand he was seen managing other things.

This is the result of the two hours of rain that it had, he can be heard saying in the video. Vidya also said he dosen’t believe Dubai is accustomed to a lot of rain. Everything had stopped working, he remarked.

After taking part in the first season of the singing reality show Indian Idol, Rahul Vaidya gained widespread recognition. In addition to Bigg Boss, he took part in Khatron Ke Khiladi 11.

Meanwhile, heavy rains that triggered flooding in the UAE and Bahrain, which left 18 people dead in Oman on Sunday and Monday, have paralyzed the financial hub of the Middle East, Dubai.

A lot of incoming flights were diverted from Dubai’s international airport because of the rain. At 7:26 p.m., the busiest airport in the world for foreign visitors stopped accepting new arrivals; a gradual resumption was announced for more than two hours later.

Images of planes navigating flooded tarmacs are making the rounds on social media.

According to pictures shared on social media, the flagship malls Dubai Mall and Mall of the Emirates both experienced heavy floods, while at least one Dubai Metro station had water up to the ankles.

There were several road collapses, severe flooding in residential areas, and numerous reports of leaks from windows, doors, and roofs.

Due to the unfavourable weather, schools around the United Arab Emirates were forced to close, and as more storms are predicted, the closures are anticipated to last until Wednesday. The government of Dubai allowed its staff to work remotely till this Wednesday.

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Dubai sky turns green during storm in UAE, video goes viral

The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain.

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1 person was killed in UAE as it witnessed heavy rainfall on Tuesday, stranding commuters, flooding roads, disrupting trains and flights and resulting in water leakage from mall ceilings. The UAE witnessed record-breaking rainfall on Tuesday and the National Centre of Meteorology recorded 254 mm of rainfall in less than 24 hrs in the Khatm Al Shakla area in Al Ain. It is being said that the rainfall was the highest documented since the start of data collection in 1949.

The heavy rainfall in UAE came days after a similar situation in neighbouring Oman, where 13 people were killed in flash floods. Many parts of Oman saw torrential rains, which caused students to be trapped in buses and swept away motorists and trapped people in their homes.

Videos from Dubai circulating on social media showed widespread waterlogging on roads in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and other important cities. This left daily commuters in cars and other vehicles struggling to get back home. Dubai metro station too was seen flooded and closed.

One such video circulating on social media shows the aerial view of the city of Dubai from the top of a building. In the video the stormy winds are seen blowing over the city of Dubai. As the storm intensifies the Dubai sky turns green and ultimately gets covered by heavy rainfall. The video has gone viral on social media with more than 1.1 million views.

Another video showed water leakage from the ceilings of shopping malls, flooding the floors and destroying goods. A video which was shot in the famous Mall of the Emirates, showed pieces of ceiling falling as the rainwater gushed inside. Videos from many outlets of the Deira City Centre mall chain showed escalators being rendered unusable. Majid Al Futtaim, the company which owns the Mall of Emirates, said that the shopping complexes have been kept open and the customers are being sent away from the flooded areas. 

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda says statements on reclaiming Katchatheevu island from Sri Lanka have no ground

Devananda told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about Katchatheevu as elections are taking place in India.

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Sri Lankan Minister Douglas Devananda has said the statements from some political leaders in India on reclaiming Katchatheevu from the island nation have no ground. He told the media on Thursday that it is not unusual to hear such claims and counterclaims about the strategic island as elections are taking place in India.

The Sri Lankan Minister said he thought India is acting on its interests to secure this place to ensure Sri Lankan fishermen would not have any access to that area and that Sri Lanka should not claim any rights in that resourceful area. According to the 1974 agreement, Devananda said Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen can go fishing in the territorial waters of both countries until the pact was reviewed and amended in 1976.

The amended agreement resulted in fishermen from both countries being barred from fishing in neighboring waters. India’s ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday steered clear of the row surrounding Katchatheevu island. To a volley of questions on the Katchatheevu issue, MEA spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal reffered to External affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s recent comments on the matter.

He said he would like to talk about the issue that has been raised. He added the External Affairs minister has spoken to the press here in Delhi and also in Gujarat and has clarified all the issues. He said everyone should look into the press engagements and they would find the answers to their questions there.

The remarks from Devananda, a Sri Lankan Tamil, came days after the Narendra Modi government accused the Congress and its ally DMK in Tamil Nadu of overlooking national interests by handing over Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka in 1974. The BJP has also been slamming the 2 parties for not ensuring the rights of the fishermen wanting to fish in waters around the island.

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