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Ten Pakistani soldiers killed in insurgent attack, army says

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(Last Updated On: January 28, 2022)

Separatist insurgents have claimed responsibility for an attack on a Pakistani army post near a southwestern port in which China is investing, and the army said 10 soldiers were killed.

The attack, launched late on Tuesday in Kech district, north of Gwadar port, was the heaviest in years in a low-key insurgency that ethnic Baloch insurgents have been waging against the Pakistani government.

“We are resolute in our commitment to rid Pakistan of all forms of terrorism,” Prime Minister Imran Khan said in a statement on Friday in which he paid tribute to the 10 “martyred” soldiers.

The army said it killed one of the attackers and arrested three in a clearance operation that was still going on.

The Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) insurgent group claimed responsibility for the attack, saying in a statement sent to a Reuters reporter that 17 soldiers and one of its members were killed.

Ethnic Baloch guerrillas have been fighting the government for decades for a separate state, saying Pakistan’s central government unfairly exploit the rich gas and mineral resources of Balochistan province, which shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

China is involved in the development of the Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea and other projects in the province as part of a

$60 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is itself

part of Beijing’s Belt and Road initiative.

The insurgents often target gas projects as well as infrastructure and security posts in the province but have begun launching attacks in other parts of Pakistan.

They also attack Chinese projects, and occasionally kill Chinese workers despite Pakistani assurances that it is doing everything it can to protect the Chinese projects.

Pakistan has also accused India of covertly supporting the insurgents. India denies that.

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Chechin leader and Putin ally says ‘Poland next after Ukraine’

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)

The Kremlin-backed leader of Russia’s southern province of Chechnya has posted a video in which he warns that Poland could be next after Ukraine.

Ramzan Kadyrov, who is famous for his bluster, said in the video he posted to his official Telegram page that Ukraine was “a done deal” and that “if an order is given after Ukraine, we’ll show you (Poland) what you’re made of in six seconds.”

Poland, which borders Ukraine, is a NATO member and has provided its neighbor with weapons and other aid since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24. It has also welcomed in millions of Ukrainian refugees.

Kadyrov later urged Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to “finally come to his senses and accept the conditions offered by our president (Vladimir Putin).”

Kadyrov has repeatedly used social media to boast about Chechen fighters’ alleged performance against Ukrainian troops and to make other unconfirmed statements about the war in Ukraine.

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Ukraine needs to face reality and talk to Putin – Zelenskiy

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy on Friday (May 27) said Ukraine was not eager to talk to Russia’s Vladimir Putin but that it has to face the reality that this will likely be necessary to end the war.
 
“There are things to discuss with the Russian leader. I’m not telling you that to me our people are eager to talk to him, but we have to face the realities of what we are living through,” Zelenskiy said in an address to an Indonesian think tank.
 
“What do we want from this meeting… We want our lives back… We want to reclaim the life of a sovereign country within its own territory,” he said, adding that Russia did not appear to be ready yet for serious peace talks.
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Imran Khan ends long march to ‘avoid bloodshed’

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(Last Updated On: May 28, 2022)
PTI Chairman and Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan on Friday dispelled reports that he had struck a deal in exchange for ending the party’s Azadi March, saying that he did so in order to avoid bloodshed.
 
Speaking at a press conference in Peshawar, he said he would take to the streets again if early elections were not announced. 
 
He regretted how police officials attacked the participants of the march, blaming the government for hand-picking officers to target the PTI.
 
“Our workers asked why we did not stage a sit-in. I am the man who staged a sit-in for 126 days. It was not difficult for me, but by the time I reached I became aware of the extent of the situation […] I knew that day that there would be bloodshed.”
 
Imran said the people were “ready” after seeing the “terrorism” carried out through the police. “Everyone was ready to fight, some of our people were so angered by what they saw,” he said, adding that officials were instructed to brutalise protesters.
 
“The anger at the time, if I had staged a sit-in that day I can guarantee that there would have been bloodshed,” he said, adding that there was a prevailing sense of hatred against police officials.
 
“But the police is also ours, it is not their fault,” the PTI chairman said, blaming the government for issuing the directives. If there was violence then it would only have caused chaos in the country, he said.
 
“Do not think it was our weakness and don’t think that a deal was made. I am hearing strange things that a deal was made with the establishment. I did not make a deal with anyone,” he said, adding that the only motive behind his actions was concern for the country.
 
He also made it clear that the PTI would not negotiate with or accept the “imported government”.
 
“I think of this as a jihad. I will stand up against this as long as I am alive,” he said, reiterating that he only cared about the future of the country.
 
He again stressed his six-day ultimatum to the government for the announcement of early elections. “If they do not clearly announce a date for the elections or for the dissolution of the assemblies, I will take to the streets again. Let me make it clear, this time we will be prepared.”
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