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Pakistan heatwave kills 65 people in Karachi – welfare organisation

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

A mother holds her child, covered with a towel to avoid sunlight, during a heatwave in Karachi, Pakistan May 21, 2018. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro


A heatwave has killed 65 people in Pakistan’s southern city of Karachi over the past three days, a social welfare organization said on Tuesday (May 22), amid fears the death toll could climb as the high temperatures persist.

The heatwave has coincided with power outages and the holy month of Ramadan when most Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours. Temperatures hit 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit) on Monday (May 21), local media reported.

Faisal Edhi, who runs the Edhi Foundation that operates morgues and an ambulance service in Pakistan’s biggest city, said the deaths occurred mostly in the poor areas of Karachi.

A government spokesperson could not be reached for comment. But Sindh province’s Health Secretary Fazlullah Pechuho told the English-language Dawn newspaper that no one has died from heat-stroke.

Nonetheless, reports of heat stroke deaths in Karachi will stir unease amid fears of a repeat of a heatwave in of 2015, when morgues and hospitals were overwhelmed and at least 1,300 mostly elderly and sick people died from the searing heat. — Reuters

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Gunman injures Pakistan interior minister

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: Ahsan Iqbal Pakistan’s Minister of Planning and Development speaks with a Reuters correspondent during an interview in Islamabad, Pakistan June 12, 2017. Picture taken June 12, 2017. REUTERS/Caren Firouz/File Photo

A gunman has shot and injured Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal while he was visiting his constituency in the north-eastern city of Narowal.

Iqbal had just attended a rally in the Punjab City when he was hit at least once in the arm. He was taken to a hospital and his life is not in danger.

The attacker was arrested and is being questioned, officials said. The motive for the shooting is not yet clear. — Reuters

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India says Pakistan ‘will pay’ after Kashmir army camp attack

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Indian policemen take their positions near the site of a gunbattle with suspected militants during a snowfall in Srinagar February 12, 2018. REUTERS/Danish Ismail

NEW DELHI/SRINAGAR,India (Reuters) – India warned Pakistan that it would “pay for this misadventure” following a deadly attack by militants on an army camp in the northern state of Jammu and Kashmir that has stoked tensions between the nuclear armed rivals.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on Monday evening that the Indian army has ample evidence to prove that “the handlers of the terrorists were back in Pakistan.”

Saturday’s attack on the camp near Jammu, the winter capital of the state, was the worst in months with six soldiers and the father of a soldier killed. Among the 10 wounded were women and children. At least three militants were killed, according to Indian officials, bringing the death toll to 10.

“Pakistan is expanding the arc of terror… resorting to ceasefire violations to assist infiltration,” Sitharaman said. “Pakistan will pay for this misadventure.”

Indian officials have said the heavily armed attackers involved in Saturday’s attack were members of the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militant group.

Pakistani officials criticized India for rushing to a conclusion without a full inquiry.

After shooting their way into the base, the militants — who Indian officials said wore fatigues and carried assault rifles and grenades — had taken positions inside a residential complex meant for soldiers’ families, leading to more than a day of gunfights to clear the area.

In a separate incident, officials from India’s paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) said on Tuesday they were still fighting militants who the day before tried storming one of their bases in the state’s main city of Srinagar.

After guards opened fire on two gunmen, toting AK-47s, who then took cover in a building adjacent to the camp, said Rajesh Yadav, a spokesman for the reserve police force. By noon, one member of the CRPF and at least one of the militants had been killed.

India has long accused Pakistan of training and arming militants and helping them infiltrate across the heavily militarized Line of Control into Jammu and Kashmir, India’s only Muslim majority state.

Since India-Pakistan split 71 years ago, the nations have fought each other in three wars, two over the Kashmir region, which they both claim in full but rule in part.

Pakistan rejected India’s latest allegations and has denied giving material aid to the fighters in Kashmir. Such accusations, according to a recent statement by Pakistan’s foreign ministry, stem from India’s attempts to divert attention from its own “state terrorism” in the area to include “the brutalisation of peaceful, unarmed Kashmiris.”

Reporting by Rupam Jain and Fayaz Bukhari, Editing by Tom Lasseter & Simon Cameron-Moore


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Australian bushfires destroy buildings during heatwave

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, January 8th, 2018

Bushfires destroyed buildings and threatened lives as a heatwave hit three Australian states with temperatures in excess of 40 degree Celsius on Saturday.

Several structures were burning on Saturday afternoon as a fire raged out of control on the outskirts of Australia’s second largest city, Melbourne.

“The warnings are being issued and people to access those warnings and to continue to access those warnings is the important thing, because it’s a dynamic environment and obviously we are providing timely, relevant and tailored information to allow community members to make decisions about their safety. So, the important thing is to stay attuned to the systems where the warnings are being published,” said Victoria’s Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley.

More than 50 fires were reported across the state and power was lost to 400 homes.

Emergency warnings were issued in both Victoria and the state of South Australia where another fire in the rural southeast forced residents to seek shelter in buildings because the roads were too dangerous to evacuate.

Meanwhile, Sydney has experienced its hottest weather in 79 years with temperatures in the region hitting as high as 47.3-degree Celsius.

Severe fire warnings were issued for the greater Sydney area and total fire bans were put in place across the city.

About 7,000 properties across New SouthWales were left without electricity, partly because of the heat.

Experts have warned that land and sea temperatures have been affected by climate change, leading to more extreme weather conditions.

Monday’s forecast for Sydney, perhaps unsurprisingly, is for more hot weather – and some rain later in the day. — Reuters


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