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Five security personnel killed in Pakistan attacks

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(Last Updated On: November 14, 2021)

At least five security personnel – three soldiers and two policemen – were killed and six civilians were injured in three separate attacks in Pakistan’s restive western region bordering Afghanistan, security forces said on Saturday.

Reuters reported that two soldiers were killed during a shootout with militants in the Hoshab area of Pakistan’s Turbat district, while a third soldier was killed while trying to clear an improvised explosive device in a related incident, the armed forces’ communications wing said.

Earlier on Saturday, two policemen were killed and six civilians injured, including a young girl, in attacks in northern Pakistan near Afghanistan as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) militants agreed on a month’s ceasefire after talks with the government, police said.

The policemen were killed by an improvised explosive device near the border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where they were posted at a reservoir.

“The two policemen were killed in an IED blast that took place at 10 am,” Abdul Samad Khan, senior police officer of Bajaur district told Reuters.

The other attack took place on the outskirts of Quetta, the capital of Balochistan province, where a policeman and five people including a young girl and three women were injured.

The explosives were planted in a motorcycle targeting a police patrol in the area, said Ali Raza, a senior police officer.

A local TTP spokesman denied responsibility for the attacks, saying the militant group will abide by the ceasefire.

The Pakistani Taliban, or Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have fought for years to overthrow the government in Islamabad and rule the South Asian nation of 220 million with their own brand of Sharia law.

There have been numerous failed attempts to reach peace agreements in the past, Reuters reported.

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More than 100 million people forcibly displaced in the world: UN refugee agency

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

More than 100 million people have been driven from their homes around the world, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Monday, citing new data about those escaping violence, conflict, persecution and human rights violations.

The war in Ukraine has been one of the factors propelling millions of people to flee, the UNHCR said, adding that protracted conflict in places like Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of Congo were other factors behind the high numbers.

“It’s a record that should never have been set,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi in a statement sent to journalists. “This must serve as a wake-up call to resolve and prevent destructive conflicts, end persecution, and address the underlying causes that force innocent people to flee their homes.”

The UNHCR data includes refugees, asylum seekers and those displaced within their own countries. Last week, an humanitarian body said those displaced within their own countries had reached a record of close to 60 million people by the end of last year.

Grandi urged action to address the causes of displacement, saying humanitarian aid was only treating the consequences.

“To reverse this trend, the only answer is peace and stability so that innocent people are not forced to gamble between acute danger at home or precarious flight and exile,” he added.

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Biden supports Japan becoming permanent member of UNSC

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(Last Updated On: May 23, 2022)

U.S. President Joe Biden said on Monday that he supports Japan becoming a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, NHK public television said on Monday.

Calls have been rising recently for reform of the United Nations Security Council, where both Russia and China are permanent members.

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Australia ousts conservatives after nine years, Albanese to be PM

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(Last Updated On: May 22, 2022)

Australia’s Labor Party was set to end almost a decade of conservative rule as the government was swept away in Saturday’s election by a wave of support for candidates who campaigned for more action on climate change and may hold the balance of power.

Partial results showed that while Labor had made small gains, Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition had been punished by voters in Western Australia and affluent urban seats in particular, Reuters reported.

“Tonight, I have spoken to the leader of the opposition and the incoming prime minister, Anthony Albanese. And I’ve congratulated him on his election victory this evening,” said Morrison.

Albanese, speaking as he headed to his party celebrations, said he wanted to unite the country and “end the climate wars”.

“I think people want to come together, look for our common interest, look towards that sense of common purpose. I think people have had enough of division, what they want is to come together as a nation and I intend to lead that.”

Albanese said he aimed to be sworn in swiftly so he could attend a meeting of the Quad security grouping in Tokyo on Tuesday. He promised constitutional recognition and parliamentary representation for Indigenous Aboriginals, as well as the establishment of an anti-corruption commission.

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