Afghanistan on Thursday strongly condemned an alleged rocket firing by the Pakistani army on its soil resulting in civilian casualties and damage to their houses.
In a statement released, the Foreign Ministry said the rockets were fired on eastern Kunar province, along a disputed border that Pakistan is fencing since mid-2017.
A police spokesman in the province said at least six civilians were killed and seven others, including women and children, were wounded in the rocket firings on Wednesday.
Two houses were also damaged.
“Afghan forces stationed there responded to the attacks,’’ the official added.
Kabul called on Islamabad to refrain from “unacceptable” artillery attacks and arbitrary installations, as it can cause further escalations between the two countries.
According to the Foreign Ministry, Islamabad has agreed to a ceasefire following diplomatic efforts, and a joint meeting will be held between security officials in the area.
The 2,430-kilometre-long Afghan-Pakistan border was created in 1893 between the then British India and the Emirate of Afghanistan.
Battles between neighbouring states along the de facto border known as the Durand Line rarely occur, but relations are considered tense.
Afghanistan and Pakistan are in dispute over whether the border is officially recognised.
Report says Kabul accuses Islamabad of supporting the Taliban militants fighting against the United States-backed Afghan government, a claim Pakistan denies.
Edited By: Abiodun Oluleye/Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu (NAN)
German state premier to support town affected by United States troop withdrawal
The premier of the German state of Rhineland-Palatinate has pledged support to one of the regions affected by the withdrawal of United States troops from Germany.
“Whatever happens (at the military base) in Spangdahlem in the end – and we hope it will be very little – the state will of course support the local council and municipalities with the necessary measures,” Malu Dreyer said on Monday during talks with local officials.
The main aim was to maintain the United States military base in Spangdahlem and for the United States announcement to be reversed, the minister said.
“We are fighting for the site,” Dreyer added.
In the past week, the United States announced it would transfer F-16 fighter jets stationed in the town in the west of Germany to Italy, affecting around half of the 4,000 soldiers living at the air base.
The United States airforce said the base in Spangdahlem would continue to operate despite the troop withdrawal, though plans are not final yet.
Around 11,000 people live at the air base, including relatives.
United States President Donald Trump has announced the United States would withdraw about 12,000 troops stationed in Germany.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Toxic alcohol death toll crosses 100 in India as 30 arrested
The death toll from poisoning linked to toxic liquor in India’s northern state of Punjab rose to 105 on Monday even as police carried out a crackdown on the illicit alcohol trade in the region.
Poor farmers and workers fell ill after drinking the alcohol across three districts, and the first deaths were reported last Wednesday.
The toll soared from 21 on Friday after families reported deaths to administration officials over the weekend, in what has become the country’s worst bootleg alcohol incident this year.
Eighty people died in the Tarn Taran district over the past five days, senior official Kulwant Singh said.
Twenty-five deaths were confirmed in nearby Amritsar and Batala, state police said.
In a crackdown, police conducted dozens of raids across villages to arrest 30 bootleggers and smashed illegal distilleries while seizing thousands of litres of tainted liquor.
Initial investigations revealed the liquor contained methanol, which can cause blindness and death when consumed in large amounts.
The Punjab government has suspended seven excise officials and six police officials even as opposition parties accused ruling party leaders of “patronising (the) spurious liquor trade.”
An average of 1,000 people die in India each year after consuming illegally distilled alcohol, government data shows.
The liquor is usually made with poor-quality ingredients and sometimes mixed with industrial alcohol and toxic substances.
A total of 151 people, mostly tea-plantation workers, died after drinking toxic alcohol last year in one of the worst cases of liquor poisoning in India in recent years.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim (NAN)
Trump furious after Appeal Court overturns Boston bomber death penalty
United States President Donald Trump has flayed an appellate court ruling that overturned the death sentence given to the 2013 Boston Marathon bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
In a tweet on Sunday, Trump said that hardly had anyone deserved the death penalty than Tsarnaev.
He said the government must push for the death penalty, adding that the country could not let the ruling stand.
“Rarely has anybody deserved the death penalty more than the Boston Bomber, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.
“The court agreed that this was one of the worst domestic terrorist attacks since the 9/11 atrocities.
“Yet the appellate court tossed out the death sentence. So many lives lost and ruined.
“The Federal Government must again seek the death penalty in a do-over of that chapter of the original trial.
“Our country cannot let the appellate decision stand. Also, it is ridiculous that this process is taking so long!,” the tweet read.
Three people died and hundreds of others were injured after Tsarnaev, 27, and his older brother, Tamerlan, detonated homemade bombs along the marathon’s route on April 15, 2013.
Tsarnaev was handed the death penalty in 2015 but he appealed the ruling in 2019 on the ground that the juniors were biased.
In its ruling on July 31, the First United States Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with him, and ordered a retrial of the case.
It said the trial judge should have excluded jurors, who had already concluded that Tsarnaev was guilty.
Prosecutors are now left with two options: to comply with the appellate court ruling or challenge it at the Supreme Court.
Edited By: Silas Nwoha (NAN)
Three dead in attack on Afghan jail, scores of prisoners flee
An attack, claimed by Islamic State on a jail compound in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, killed at least three persons and injured dozens.
The attack triggers heavy fighting, in which scores of prisoners escaped, an official said.
Sohrab Qaderi, a provincial council member, said a huge car bomb explosion was followed by at least two smaller blasts, outside the government-run prison, and that Police then fought attackers who had taken up positions nearby.
Islamic State’s Amaq news agency quoted a military source as saying its fighters had carried out Sunday’s attack but gave no further details.
There was no independent confirmation that the militant group was responsible.
“At least three people were dead and 25 injured in the ongoing clashes,’’ Qaderi said.
“More than 50 prisoner escaped and the death toll could rise, he added.
The assault happened on the third and final day of a ceasefire between the Afghan government and the Taliban, when hundreds of Taliban prisoners were released in an attempt to make a final push for intra-Afghan peace talks.
The Taliban was not responsible for the attack, a spokesman for the Islamist group said.
President Ashraf Ghani and the Taliban have both indicated that long-delayed negotiations could begin immediately after the Eid al-Adha festival, which took place in Kabul on Thursday.
The Taliban says it has freed all 1,000 Afghan prisoners it had pledged to release in a deal with the United States.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)