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Attackers target Pakistani naval airbase in Baluchistan



(Last Updated On: March 26, 2024)

Pakistani officials have said that security forces killed six insurgents trying to infiltrate a naval air base in southwestern Baluchistan province on Monday night, local media reported.

Dawn newspaper citing Makran Commissioner Saeed Ahmed Umrani said that heavy exchange of fire and explosions were reported from the vicinity of Turbat airport.

“The armed men attacked from three sides of the airport boundary, but security forces responded immediately and foiled their attempt to infiltrate the premises,” he said.

However, he did not offer any figures on casualties, saying that no dead or injured had been received at the district hospital until the time of going to press.

PNS Siddique, which is among the biggest naval air stations in Pakistan, was said to be the target of the attack.

“Six terrorists have been killed outside of the Turbat airport boundary, ensuring the safety of the base,” security officials said on Monday night.

“No loss of sensitive naval installations reported,” they said.

Locals said that over a dozen blasts were heard in Turbat town, while the firing, which began around 10pm, continued late into the night.

Balochistan Liberation Army claimed responsibility for the attack.


17 killed as truck carrying pilgrims plunges into ravine in Balochistan’s Hub



(Last Updated On: April 11, 2024)

At least 17 people were killed while over 40 sustained injuries after a truck carrying pilgrims plunged into a ravine in Balochistan’s Hub district on Wednesday, officials said.

Hub Assistant Superintendent of Police Ahmed Talha Wali confirmed the death toll and injuries.
He said the truck, carrying 50 people, was en route to the Shah Noorani shrine in Khuzdar from Thatta, Dawn reported.

He said the incident took place at 10pm last night, and that critically injured people had been taken to Jam Ghulam Qadir Hospital in Hub and Civil Hospital’s Trauma Centre in Karachi.
Earlier, Manan Baloch, the Edhi Foundation’s Hub in-charge, said that the rescue operation to retrieve the bodies and injured concluded Thursday morning.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner Munir Ahmed told AFP that the truck was speeding and that the driver lost control while negotiating a turn.

In a statement issued earlier Thursday, Balochistan Chief Minister Mir Sarfraz Bugti expressed sorrow over the loss of lives, according to state-run Radio Pakistan.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah visited the Civil Hospital’s Trauma Centre and met with the injured persons.

Speaking to the media outside the facility, he said 40 people had been discharged so far while five were in critical condition.”
Road accidents with high fatalities are common in the country due to lax safety measures, poor driver training and decrepit transport infrastructure.

Passenger buses and trucks are frequently crammed to capacity and seatbelts are not commonly worn, meaning high death tolls from single-vehicle accidents are common.

According to the World Health Organisation estimates, more than 27,000 people were killed on Pakistan’s roads in 2018.

In January last year, 41 people were killed when their passenger bus, which was also loaded with containers of flammable oil, plunged into a ravine in Balochistan province and burst into flames.

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Nine countries join Eid aid drop into Gaza



(Last Updated On: April 10, 2024)

Nine countries on Tuesday carried out a major aid drop into Gaza, with the operation marking Eid Al Fitr and the end of Ramadan.

The Jordanian Armed Forces led the mission to deliver hundreds of tonnes of resources to the war-torn enclave, which the British Ministry of Defence said was the biggest international aid drop on a single day since the conflict began last October, UAE’s The National reported.

The UAE, UK, US, Germany, France, Indonesia, the Netherlands and Egypt also took part in the operation, the ministry said.

A RAF A400M plane flew from Amman in Jordan to drop more than 10 tonnes of aid, including ready-to-eat meals, water and rice along the northern coastline of Gaza.

The flight took about an hour, with other countries dropping aid throughout the course of the day.

The UAE Joint Operations Command of the Ministry of Defence said its parcels contained clothes, shoes, toys, sweets and various items for all family members, “arriving in time for Eid Al Fitr”.

It added that the “initiative aims to alleviate the suffering of the Palestinian people in Gaza and contribute to their well-being during this important holiday”.

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the UK would “continue to push Israel as hard as we can” to boost aid access, The National reported.

“Led by our Jordanian partners, we have joined nations around the world to mark the end of Ramadan by getting life-saving aid into Gaza,” Lord Cameron said.

“Thousands of people in desperate need will benefit from this united effort. The UK remains ready to play its part in getting supplies in by land, air and sea, but the people of Gaza need more.

“We continue to push Israel as hard as we can to get more aid across the border and delivered throughout the region. Words must turn into action – this is essential to avoid an even more severe humanitarian crisis.”

British Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: “The prospect of famine in Gaza is real and today’s international airdrop will provide life-saving food supplies for civilians.

“This is the sixth RAF airdrop in recent weeks, delivering over 53 tonnes of aid, including water, flour and baby formula.

“After six months of war in Gaza, the toll on civilians continues to grow. We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists, who have failed the people of Gaza and hide behind civilians.

“This terrible conflict must end. The hostages must be released and the aid must flood in.”

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Israel reduces troops in south Gaza, Egypt to host new talks



(Last Updated On: April 8, 2024)

Israel said on Sunday it had withdrawn more soldiers from southern Gaza, leaving just one brigade, as it and Hamas sent teams to Egypt for fresh talks on a potential ceasefire in the six-month conflict.

Israel has been reducing numbers in Gaza since the start of the year to relieve reservists and is under growing pressure from its ally Washington to improve the humanitarian situation, especially after last week’s killing of seven aid workers, Reuters reported.

The military spokesperson did not give details on reasons for withdrawing soldiers or numbers involved. But Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said the troops will be preparing for future operations in Gaza.

Both Israel and Hamas, confirmed they were sending delegations to Egypt.

Hamas wants any deal to bring about an end to the war and withdrawal of Israeli forces.

Israel has said that, after any truce, it would topple Hamas, which is sworn to its destruction.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said there would be no deal without a hostage release and that he would not cave to international pressure, Reuters reported.

Hamas says an agreement must include freedom of movement of residents across the Gaza Strip.

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