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Five bodies of Afghan migrants who drowned in Turkey return home

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(Last Updated On: October 25, 2022)

The bodies of five Afghans who drowned when their boat capsized in a lake in Turkey last month were returned to Afghanistan on Wednesday. 

The Afghan embassy in Turkey announced earlier this week that 59 migrants had died while crossing Van Lake in Turkey. Of the total, 29 were Afghans. 

Earlier this week, Sayed Abdul Basit Ansari, a spokesman for the Ministry of Immigrants and Repatriations said: “It has been agreed with Kam Air Airlines about transferring the bodies to Kabul. They will be brought from Istanbul and Ankara to Kabul for free by Kam Air.”

The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time also called on all Afghans to contact the ministry if they had lost contact with relatives.

This week, officials in Turkey were able to identify 29 Afghans. The rest of the migrants were mostly from Pakistan and Iran. 

AP meanwhile reported that Hashmatullah Noor was at the Kabul airport shortly before dawn to collect the bodies of his 19-year-old niece and nephew. He lost 10 relatives, all of them under 22 years old, in the tragedy. 

He told AP: “There are no jobs, only war. Our young people have no choice but to leave.” 

Reports indicate the boat, carrying between 55 and 60 migrants, was reported missing on June 27. Turkish authorities have said smugglers transport migrants across Lake Van, from Iran, in order to avoid police and military checkpoints. 

Turkey, which hosts about 3.7 million Syrian refugees, is a key crossing point for migrants trying to reach Europe.

AP reported that Turkish authorities have detained five people in connection with the tragedy and have removed a local administrator from office.

Meanwhile, according to Ansari, 35,000 Afghans applied for asylum in the European Union last year. 

This is not however the first boat to capsize in Lake Van. Another boat, also carrying Afghans along with Pakistanis and Bangladeshis, capsized in December last year. Seven people died in this incident. 

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Elon Musk begins Twitter poll on reinstating Trump’s account

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(Last Updated On: November 19, 2022)

Twitter owner Elon Musk launched a poll Friday on the social media platform asking if former US President Donald Trump should be allowed back on the platform.

“Reinstate former President Trump,” Musk wrote in a post which garnered more than 4.4 million impressions at the time of publication, Anadolu Agency reported.

More than 55% of users voted “yes,” while 44% said “no.”

Hours earlier, the American billionaire implied that he was mulling whether to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account.

“Trump decision has not yet been made,” tweeted Musk, as he announced three high-profile reinstatements of accounts that were banned by the social media giant.

“Kathie Griffin, Jorden Peterson & Babylon Bee have been reinstated,” said Musk.

Trump had about 88.8 million followers when Twitter permanently suspended the former US president’s account in January 2021, citing his role in the Jan. 6 riot at the US Capitol and the potential for more violence.

Musk had forecast a Trump return in May when he called the expulsion “morally wrong and flat-out stupid.”

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IEA says it has eradicated war and corruption in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 17, 2022)

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA), Mullah Mohammad Hassan Akhund, said at a meeting on Wednesday with officials from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war and administrative corruption in the country and pave the ground for progress and development.

He said that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has created an aid fund for Afghanistan and they will help Afghanistan in health, education, and other fields in addition to humanitarian aid.

An OIC official meanwhile said it will stand by Afghanistan and we will continue its cooperation with Afghanistan in the areas of prosperity, stability, and development.

The Prime Minister of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, Mullah Muhammad Hassan Akhund, meanwhile welcomed the delegation of the OIC, and said, “You will see the real facts and the efforts of the Islamic Emirate in various sectors.”

He said that the Islamic Emirate has been able to eliminate war, insecurity, murder, destruction, and corruption in the country.

In conclusion, the IEA will not allow anyone to use Afghanistan soil against other countries, he said. 

 

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Explosion in busy Istanbul street leaves at least 4 dead

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(Last Updated On: November 13, 2022)

An explosion on Istanbul’s popular pedestrian Istiklal Avenue on Sunday afternoon has left at least four people dead and a number of people injured, a senior official told Associated Press.

Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya tweeted that the explosion occurred at about 4:20 p.m. Istanbul time and that there were deaths and injuries, but he did not say how many. The cause of the explosion was not clear.

Al Jazeera also reported at least four people were killed and 38 others injured.

However, according to the Associated Press, Turkey’s media watchdog imposed a temporary media ban on reporting of the explosion, which means broadcasters cannot show videos of the moment of the blast or its aftermath. 

The Supreme Board of Radio and Television has imposed similar bans in the past, following attacks, accidents and some political issues.

Footage on social media showed ambulances, fire trucks and police at the scene. Social media users said shops were shuttered and the avenue closed down.

Broadcaster CNN Turk meanwhile reported 11 people were injured. 

The avenue is a crowded thoroughfare popular with tourists and locals, lined by shops and restaurants.

Turkey was hit by a string of deadly bombings between 2015 and 2017 by ISIS (Daesh) and outlawed Kurdish groups.

 

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