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10 members of a family killed in flooding in Afghanistan

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Islamabad, May 26 (IANS/DPA) Ten members of a family were killed overnight in a village in the capital of Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province due to heavy rainfall and flooding, local officials said on Sunday.

Rescue teams are searching for the remaining victims after four bodies were recovered, the head of the information and culture department, Zabihullah Amiri, said in a statement. There are no reports of survivors from the family.

Flooding has deepened Afghanistan’s already dire humanitarian crisis, adding to the death toll caused by multiple natural disasters in recent years.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said in a statement that floods in the past few weeks have affected at least 80,000 people in the country.

This month, Afghan authorities reported more than 400 deaths due to flash floods across different provinces. Baghlan province, in the north, was hit the hardest.

Extreme weather events such as flash floods and droughts are on the rise in Afghanistan. Experts blame the climate crisis for this. The country remains among the world’s top 10 climate-impacted nations, despite having a negligible carbon footprint.

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After decades of wars and conflicts, Afghanistan is ill-prepared to cope with the consequences of climate change.

The country is still reeling from the multiple earthquakes earlier this year and severe flooding in March.

–IANS/DPA

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3 IS militants killed in airstrikes in Iraq

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Baghdad, June 20 (IANS) Three Islamic State (IS) militants were killed on Thursday in airstrikes in the northern province of Kirkuk, the Iraqi military said.

Based on intelligence reports, Iraqi warplanes carried out an airstrike at 6:30 a.m. local time in the rugged area of Wadi al-Shay, southwest of the namesake provincial capital Kirkuk, leaving three IS militants killed, according to a statement from the Security Media Cell, a media outlet affiliated to the Iraqi Joint Operations Command.

The warplanes carried out another airstrike on the nearby caves and tunnels used by the militants, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement gave no immediate details about the results of the second airstrike, but said more information would be released later.

A source in the Iraqi army told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that a force from Kirkuk Operations Command was dispatched to the scene to search the attacked sites.

The security situation in Iraq has improved since the defeat of the IS in 2017. However, IS remnants have sneaked into the urban centres, deserts, and rugged areas, carrying out frequent guerilla attacks against security forces and civilians.

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–IANS

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Russian air defence intercepts 15 Ukrainian drones

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Moscow, June 20 (IANS) The Russian air defence systems intercepted and destroyed 15 Ukrainian drones overnight during a series of attacks that caused damage and resulted in one fatality, the Russian Ministry of Defence reported on Thursday.

According to the Ministry, a drone attack caused a fire at an oil depot in the Takhtamukay district of the Republic of Adygea, covering an area of approximately 400 sq mt, Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire has been fully extinguished, said Murat Kumpilov, Head of the Republic, on his Telegram channel. No casualties or threats to residents were reported in the attack.

Maxim Yegorov, Head of the Tambov region, said an explosion and subsequent fire occurred early in the morning at an oil depot in Rasskazovsky municipal district.

Drone debris was found in the district, though no injuries were reported.

Another drone attack targeted the town of Slavyansk-na-Kubani in Krasnodar Territory, where a Ukrainian drone crashed into a private house, resulting in one fatality.

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–IANS

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2 killed, 5 missing as torrential rain lashes Chinese province

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Hefei, June 20 (IANS) Two persons died while five others were missing after torrential rain hit Huangshan City in east China’s Anhui Province, local authorities said on Thursday.

The downpour between Wednesday night and Thursday morning also left more than 200 residents needing emergency rescue. So far, more than 2,100 residents have been relocated, Xinhua news agency reported.

The city also upgraded its emergency response for flood control from Level III to Level II.

China has a four-tier flood-control emergency response system, with Level I being the most severe.

–IANS

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Asian Development Bank approves $40 mn loan to Bhutan

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Manila, June 20 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said it has approved a policy-based loan of 40 million US dollars to help Bhutan further strengthen its public financial management and green growth.

The concessional loan aims to support policy reforms in expanding domestic resource mobilisation, promoting private sector development, and introducing climate change adaptation and mitigation measures, Xinhua news agency reported.

Under the program, domestic resource mobilisation is expected to be strengthened by improving customs and property tax administration, implementing a medium-term revenue strategy, and enhancing the governance and management of state-owned enterprises.

“This will significantly reduce the gap between current expenditures and tax revenues. The rollout of an integrated financial management information system will improve public financial management,” the ADB said.

It added the program will help promote private sector development and streamline, modernise and digitise investment, business processes and trade services to enhance the ease of doing business in the country.

ALSO READ:  Over 1.1 mn people in Gaza facing food insecurity: UN

–IANS

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Cyprus rejects Hezbollah's threats as not based on 'reality'

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Athens, June 20 (IANS/DPA) Cyprus on Thursday rejected threats made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, who warned the EU island nation against cooperating with the Israeli military in a fiery speech the day before.

Should Cyprus make its airports and military bases available to the Israeli military, it would “become part of the war”, Nasrallah said.

But the Cypriot government said Nasrallah’s statements were divorced from the truth.

“The insinuations made by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah do not correspond to reality,” Cyprus government spokesman Konstantinos Letybiotis said on Cypriot broadcaster RIK.

“Nasrallah’s statements are unpleasant, and we will take all steps at the diplomatic level.”

In recent years, Israeli and Cypriot media had repeatedly reported that special units of the Israeli army had travelled to Cyprus to practice counter-terrorism tactics together with Cypriot units.

The situation between Lebanon and Israel has deteriorated. There are increasing concerns that the daily cross-border clashes between the Israeli military and the Hezbollah militia are on the verge of expanding.

ALSO READ:  Over 1.1 mn people in Gaza facing food insecurity: UN

Israel’s military approved plans for an offensive in Lebanon on Tuesday, raising concerns about an escalation. On Wednesday, Hezbollah said at least three of its members were killed in an Israeli strike in southern Lebanon.

–IANS/DPA

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