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Female student behind suicide attack at university in Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: April 27, 2022)

A woman suicide bomber who killed three Chinese teachers in Pakistan was a teacher who had enrolled for a master’s degree months before her attack, carried out on behalf of separatist insurgents, Reuters quoting a Pakistani official said on Wednesday.

The blast detonated by the 30-year-old woman on Tuesday blew up a minivan outside Karachi University’s Confucius Institute, a Chinese language and cultural centre, killing her, the three Chinese teachers and a Pakistani driver.

According to Reuters it was the first major attack this year against nationals of long-time ally China working in Pakistan, and it drew Beijing’s condemnation.

A separatist group, the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) based in the southwestern province of Balochistan, said the mother of two, who held a graduate degree in zoology and was studying for another, had volunteered for the attack targeting China, whose investment projects in Balochistan they oppose, Reuters reported.

“Baloch Liberation Army once again warns China to immediately halt its exploitation projects … Otherwise our future attacks will be even harsher,” the BLA said in an email.

Baloch separatist guerrillas have been fighting for a greater share of their province’s natural resources for decades, mostly focusing attacks on natural gas projects, infrastructure and the security forces.

But in recent years they have attacked Chinese projects and workers. Balochistan and its deep-water port in Gwadar are a major link in China’s Belt and Road network of infrastructure and energy projects stretching to the Middle East and beyond.

For years, suicide bombing in Pakistan have been a tactic of Islamist militants, usually carried out by men or boys. The Baloch separatists said this was their first suicide attack by a woman and warned of more.

The threat of suicide attacks by the BLA will be a major worry for Pakistan as it tries to reassure China it is doing everything it can to protect its projects and people.

China’s Foreign Ministry has strongly condemned the attack and demanded Pakistan punish the perpetrators and prevent such incidents happening again, read the report.

A Pakistan interior ministry official who declined to be identified said the woman, a science teacher from Balochistan, had signed up for a second master’s degree at Karachi University about five months ago.

An investigation had been launched by police and civilian and military intelligence agencies, the official said.

The acting vice chancellor of Karachi University, Nasira Khatoon, expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the families of the blast victims and said the campus would remain closed on Wednesday.

“We hope that the government will punish the elements involved … and believe that every possible step will be taken to reach the elements behind the attack,” she said.

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Two killed, 14 wounded in Norway nightclub shooting

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(Last Updated On: June 25, 2022)

Two people were killed and 14 injured on Saturday in a shooting at a nightclub and in nearby streets Norway’s capital Oslo, according to reports.

A suspect believed to be the sole perpetrator was arrested, police said.

The crime scene extended from the London Pub via a neighbouring club and onwards to a nearby street where the suspect was apprehended a few minutes after the shooting began in the early hours of Saturday, police spokesman Tore Barstad told newspaper Aftenposten.

The London Pub is a popular gay bar and nightclub in the centre of Oslo.

“I saw a man arrive with a bag, he picked up a gun and started to shoot,” journalist Olav Roenneberg of public broadcaster NRK reported.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately clear.

Oslo is due to hold its annual Pride parade later on Saturday, just months after Norway marked 50 years since the abolition of a law that criminalised gay sex.

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Pakistan’s central banks tells staff to work from home to save fuel

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(Last Updated On: June 23, 2022)

Pakistan’s central bank asked its employees to work from home two days a week and hold more virtual meetings as the country looks to conserve fuel and ensure it doesn’t run out of US dollars, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

In a Twitter message on Thursday, State Bank of Pakistan told its staff to opt for virtual meetings, car pooling and cutting down on air-conditioning. It also suspended purchases of furniture and restricted travel.

“These measures are intended to help with the energy bill while not compromising work,” the authority said.

“We encourage the banking industry and other stakeholders to save energy as much as possible.”

Pakistan’s government has already ordered shopping malls and factories to shut early in various cities including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad and Rawalpindi, and cut the working week by a day.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s administration has increased pump prices by as much as 83 percent in less than a month as he tries to curb subsidies and win a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Bloomberg reported.

The south Asian nation’s energy needs are largely met through imports and in July-May, its total petroleum import bill increased by 99 percent, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics’ data.

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Rwanda’s president urges other countries to follow UK migrant deal

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(Last Updated On: June 22, 2022)

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame said Tuesday that a controversial deal with Britain to take in migrants could be extended to other countries as the asylum system is “broken.”

Kagame, who is to host the Commonwealth summit in Kigali this week, said he believed the British deal could still go ahead despite being blocked by the European Court of Human Rights, AFP reported.

Britain has wanted to send some migrants and asylum seekers to Rwanda, in a proposal criticized by the UN refugee agency, rights groups and British church leaders.

Earlier this month, the first flight carrying asylum seekers was canceled following a European court ruling, AFP reported.

But Rwanda’s president told the Qatar Economic Forum: “I think the agreement is still on and may be implemented as well.”

Kagame said Rwanda has been hosting more than 100,000 refugees for decades, “so we are not new to this problem.”

“In fact most Rwandans have experienced being a refugee at some point in their lives. We know what it means and we are doing this for the right reasons.”

Kagame highlighted his country’s experience in giving “safe haven” to more than 1,000 people from Libya with help of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“The arrangement with the UK is really connected to that experience. There is no doubt that the asylum system is broken and it needs innovative solutions and we are happy to be contributing to those solutions.”

He added that when Britain approached Rwanda, “we talked about it, we looked at all the merits and thought it was something we could try to help out on as we have done in the past.”

Kagame said the model could be used with other countries, AFP reported.

“We need to try something new. What has been in place has not worked very well and that is why people are complaining about all kinds of things and we are seeing increased migration.”

“We need to really take a new look at the problem.”

Kagame said other solutions were possible but insisted “the problem has been running for a long time and hasn’t been sorted out.”

Rwanda will host the Commonwealth summit on Friday and Saturday, and Kagame praised the 54-nation group.

He said it helps “direct attention to challenges” facing smaller, developing countries, and that there would be “meaningful” meetings at the summit.

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