Kabul Suicide Bomb Kills 8, Wounds 400; Bangladeshi Blogger Murdered; Drone Strike in N. Waziristan; India Imposes Wheat Duty
Afghanistan Suicide bomber kills 8, wounds 400 in Kabul On Friday morning, a suicide car bomb killed eight people and wounded 400 in a densely populated area of Kabul (BBC, Pajhwok, TOLO News). The bomb exploded in the Shah Shahid area of the city, and a security source told BBC that its likely target was ...
Suicide bomber kills 8, wounds 400 in Kabul
On Friday morning, a suicide car bomb killed eight people and wounded 400 in a densely populated area of Kabul (BBC, Pajhwok, TOLO News). The bomb exploded in the Shah Shahid area of the city, and a security source told BBC that its likely target was a military compound. Most of the casualties were civilians. According to Kabul Police Chief General Rahman Rahimi they bore the brunt of the attack while a small military unit sustained minor damage. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.
17 Sarobi villages cleared
On Thursday, Afghan security officials announced that 17 villages had been cleared and 48 Taliban militants suffered casualties in an operation in the Sarobi district of Kabul province (Pajhwok, TOLO News). The head of the operation Brig. Gen. Lal Jan Zaheer stated: “Our forces are in high morale. So far 23 militants have been killed and another 25 wounded besides the confiscation of several weapons and ammunition.” Sarobi district chief Ghulam Nabi Ishaqzai emphasized the benefit of clearing the area commenting,”There are two important highways — the Azra-Sarobi and Kabul-Sarobi, but the most important is the ruby mine in Jaldalak area of Sarobi, which the insurgents sometimes illegally benefit from.” The ongoing operation involves more than 2,000 Afghan soldiers.
Atheist blogger Niloy Neel murdered in Dhaka
Police in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka have confirmed that a blogger Niloy Neel, known for his atheist views, was murdered by a gang, armed with machetes, in his home in the city’s Goran area on Friday (TOI, HT, BBC). He is the fourth secular blogger to have been killed in Bangladesh this year, by suspected Islamist militants. Police said about six attackers had tricked their way into Neel’s home by saying they were looking to rent a flat.
In May, blogger Ananta Bijoy Das was killed by masked men with machetes in the northeastern city of Sylhet. He was said to have received death threats from Islamist extremists. In March, another blogger Washiqur Rahman, was killed in Dhaka. Blogger Avijit Roy, who courted controversy by championing atheism and also tackling issues such as homosexuality, was killed in Dhaka in February. Bangladesh is officially secular but critics say the government is indifferent to attacks on bloggers by Islamist militants.
Drone strike in North Waziristan
On Friday, a suspected U.S. drone strike killed between four and seven suspected militants in Datta Khel, North Waziristan according to various reports (AP, RFE/RL, ET). The strike reportedly targeted the Haqqani Network and hit a house. According to data collected by New America the strike is the ninth strike in 2015 and the first strike in Pakistan since June (NA).
Sindh assembly passes resolution condemning MQM leader
On Friday, the Sindh Assembly passed a resolution condemning anti-state remarks by MQM leader Altaf Hussain (ET, Dawn). The resolution read: “This House condemns the statements of Altaf Hussain asking for intervention by foreign institutions and countries in the internal matters of Pakistan. His statements asking for the breakup of Sindh are also strongly condemned.” Sindh Information Minister Nisar Ahmed Khuhro stated, “We have asked the federal government to take legal action against Altaf Hussain and are waiting for a response that will determine our line of action.” MQM figures criticized the resolution calling it “a black day in the history of the Sindh assembly.”
India to impose 10 percent import duty on wheat
Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said on Friday that the government will impose an import duty of 10 percent on wheat until March 31 next year, reinstating tariffs after a gap of eight years (Reuters). Reportedly the decision was taken after officials from the ministries of farm, food, trade, and finance met to discuss ways to curb imports at a time when “domestic stocks are ample after seven years of bumper harvests aided by government subsidies.”
In June private firms signed deals to import 500,000 tonnes of premium Australian wheat, the biggest such purchases in more than a decade, which led to criticism Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government was letting farmers down. The duty increase, announced on the website of the upper house of parliament, could rule out the import of another 500,000 tonnes that had been expected earlier. A trader in New Delhi said the government may have been forced to move quickly due to fears that some of the French wheat rejected by Bangladesh over quality concerns could find its way into India.
Studies show northwestern India, Nepal at risk due to earthquakes
Scientists publishing in the journal Nature Geoscience and Science, warned that there is an increased risk of a major earthquake in the west of Nepal and India (NYT, BBC). Their data suggested that the devastating quake that hit Nepal in April did not release all of the stress that had built up underground, and has pushed some of it westwards.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal earlier this year killed about 9,000 people, and left many thousands more injured and homeless. It occurred in a geological collision zone, where the Indian tectonic plate pushes north into the Eurasian plate, moving the ground an average of 2cm a year.
— David Sterman and Shuja Malik
Edited by Peter Bergen
WAKIL KOHSAR/AFP/Getty Images
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