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Pakistan:132 killed in two terror attacks on election rallies

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Pakistan:132 killed in two terror attacks on election rallies

Nawaz Sharif and daughter Maryam Sharif sent to jail on return

In one of the bloodiest days in Pakistan, around 132 people were killed and 180 injured in two separate terrorist attacks during election gatherings in Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Friday, the day when former PM Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Sharif were arrested on their arrival at Lahore airport.

The fast moving developments in the country are somehow related to the forthcoming general election for national assembly and state assemblies to be held on 25 July. Currently the federal and state governments are headed by caretaker Prime Minister and Chief Ministers.

Read More: Taliban kill 20 people in suicide attack in Peshawar

Nawabzada Siraj Raisani, the Baloshistan Awami Party (BAP) candidate for the provincial assembly seat was among 128 killed in the suicide attack on an election gathering in the Mastung area, 60 km south-west of Quetta.

In another terror attack four people died when remote-controlled explosive device was used to attack Akram Khan Durrani,a Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) candidate for national assembly in Bannu in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Thirty people were injured in the attack. Durrani survived the attack.

Reports say that the blast occurred when Durrani boarded his vehicle after addressing a public meeting. The explosive-rigged motorcycle was parked near his vehicle.

Read More: Pakistan placed on ‘grey list’, India welcomes FATF’s move

Nawabzada Siraj Rasani was the younger brother of Nawab Aslam Raisani, the former chief minister of Baloshistan. Elder brother is contesting for national assembly.

According to Dawn, Haji Lashkari Raisani, another brother of Siraj Rasani confirmed saying, “My younger brother has been martyred in the suicide attack”  adding that he was critically injured in the attack and succumbed to his injuries while being taken to the hospital.

Tehreek-Taliban Pakistan’s Gazi force Lal Masjid” wing in a Whatsapp message has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. All hospitals in Mastung and Quetta were kept on emergency to help the survivors.

A large number of people sitting in the gathering died on the spot and many were injured. The dead included some relatives of the slain BAP leader Siraj Raisani.

Qaim Lashkari, the Deputy Commissioner of Mastung said, “It was a suicide attack”. Another senior police official said, “It seems the target of the suicide attack was Siraj Raisani.”

An injured survivor said, “The suicide bomber blew himself up when local leaders were speaking at the gathering. The suicide bomber went near the stage where Siraj Raisani and other leaders were sitting and detonated the explosive-laden jacket he was wearing.”

Aslam Tareen, the Director General Civil Defence also confirmed that it was a suicide attack saying that around 8 kg explosives, ball bearing and nails were used in the suicide jacket saying “We have collected evidences from the explosive site.”

The bodies of the identified victims were handed over their relatives. However, large number of bodies remained unidentified. Allauddin Marri, the caretaker chief minister of Balochistan, has strongly condemned the suicide bombing and termed it a barbarian act. He said that terrorists involved in the attack would be brought to justice.

There have been several minor and moderate attacks on election related gatherings. However, the casualties remained highest in a single day on Friday. Rockets were reportedly fired at the house of Zahoor Buledi, another BAP candidate some two weeks ago.

Read More: Ousted Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif sentenced to 10 years in prison

Meanwhile, former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz were arrested by National Accountability Bureau (NAB) officials upon their arrival from London to Lahore on Friday night. They were subsequently whisked away to Islamabad on a chartered flight.

Pakistan:132 killed in two terror attacks on election rallies

Nawaz and Maryam had been convicted by the accountability court in the Avenfield corruption reference last Friday and handed jail term of 10 years and seven years respectively. Former PM was found guilty of owing assets beyond known income, while his daughter was convicted for aiding and abetting her father in covering up a “conspiracy”.

Read More: Pakistan: Supreme Court disqualify Nawaz Sharif for life

At the time of conviction, both were in London for taking care of bed-ridden PM’s ailing wife. They announced that they would return to Pakistan to appeal against the sentence. Before leaving London Nawaz said that he had decided to return to the country to fulfil his pledge to ‘honour the vote’, “despite seeing the bars of prison in front of my eyes”.

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Slovakia’s Prime Minister safe after surviving multiple gunshot

The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

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Slovakia’s Deputy Prime Minister has confirmed today that Prime Minister Robert Fico’s condition is stable, with his life no longer in immediate danger, following an alarming incident where he was shot multiple times.

The Prime Minister was shot by an assassin while he was leaving a meeting on Wednesday.The assailant critically injured 59-year-old Prime Minister Fico by shooting him five times.

Following the attack, Prime Minister Fico was urgently airlifted to the hospital, where he underwent extensive surgery that lasted several hours. Defence Minister Robert Kalinak, addressing reporters from outside the hospital where Fico was receiving treatment on Wednesday, described the Prime Minister’s condition as critical, emphasising that he was fighting for his life.

The identity of the suspect is yet unconfirmed as the police further investigate. Unconfirmed reports from local media suggest that the assailant may have been a 71-year-old writer and political activist.

A video is currently circulating in which the alleged perpetrator can be seen. In the clip, he mentions that he does not agree with government policy.

The shooting has sparked international concern. Expressing shock over the incident, PM Modi conveyed his solidarity with the people of the Slovak Republic, wishing Prime Minister Fico a speedy recovery. He strongly condemned the shooting, denouncing it as a cowardly and despicable act while emphasising the need for unity against such violent acts and reaffirming India’s support for Slovakia during these challenging times.

Earlier, EU chief Ursula von der Leyen also expressed disapproval of the vile attack on Prime Minister Robert Fico . On X, she stated that such acts of violence have no place in society, undermining democracy, the most precious common good. Von der Leyen extended her thoughts to Prime Minister Fico and his family, highlighting the European Union’s solidarity during this challenging time. The condemnation from EU leadership underscores the gravity of the situation and the need for a united stance against violence targeting political figures. As the investigation unfolds, international support for Slovakia remains steadfast, emphasising the importance of upholding democratic principles and ensuring the safety of leaders across Europe.

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World Earth Day 2024: Google Doodle showcases aerial view of planet’s natural beauty

Google celebrated Earth Day 2024 with a special doodle featuring an aerial view of our planet’s biodiversity.

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Google shared a doodle today to celebrate World Earth Day 2024, which showcased aerial photos of the planet’s biodiversity and natural beauty. Google reminded us of the importance of protecting planet earth for future generations with the help of this doodle.

The Google letters depict specific locations across the globe where people, communities, and governments work every day to help protect the planet’s natural beauty, biodiversity, and resources, according to the explanation of the annual Earth Day 2024 doodle on their website.

It said, these examples remind us that there’s much more to do to address the climate crisis and biodiversity loss, but also offer the promise of hope and optimism.

The islands of Turks and Caicos are represented by the letter “G.” The islands’ conservation efforts are concentrated on protecting important regions for biodiversity and addressing persistent environmental problems.

The largest reef in the southern Gulf of Mexico and a UNESCO biosphere reserve, Scorpion Reef National Park, is represented by the letter “O” in the Mexican flag.

The letter “O” features Iceland’s Vatnajokull National Park, which was designated as a national park in 2008 following decades of advocacy. The ecology within and surrounding the biggest glacier in Europe is safeguarded by this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The letter “G” has the Jau National Park in Brazil on it. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the biggest forest reserves in South America.

The Great Green Wall of Nigeria is represented by the letter “L,”  and the Pilbara Islands Nature Reserves of Australia are represented by the letter “E.”

Meanwhile, Earth Day is a worldwide event that promotes protection of the environment every year. April 22 serves as a reminder of the importance of conservation efforts and sustainable practices to guarantee a healthier world and a brighter future.

The occasion inspires people across the world to come together and take action to protect the environment, strengthening our bonds with nature and promoting good change.

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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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