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Two-thirds of UNRWA schools have been hit in Gaza: Agency chief

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Two-thirds of UNRWA schools have been hit in Gaza: Agency chief

Gaza, July 11 (IANS) The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has said that since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began, two-thirds of its schools in Gaza have been hit, some bombed out, and many severely damaged.

Schools have gone from safe places of education and hope for children to overcrowded shelters, often ending up a place of death and misery, UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said on Wednesday on social media platform X.

“Nine months in, under our watch, the relentless, endless killings, destruction, and despair continue. Gaza is no place for children,” Lazzarini added, noting that four schools were hit in the last four days, Xinhua news agency reported.

Israel has been waging a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on October 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage.

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During the past 24 hours, the Israeli military has killed 52 people and wounded 208 others, bringing the total death toll to 38,295 and injuries to 88,241 since the conflict broke out, the Gaza-based health authorities said in a statement on Wednesday.

–IANS

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Over 30 missing after rain-triggered flash floods in China

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Over 30 missing after rain-triggered flash floods in China

Over 30 missing after rain-triggered flash floods in China

Beijing, July 20 (IANS) More than 30 people remained missing after flash floods struck Xinhua Village in southwest China’s Sichuan Province at around 2:30 am Saturday, local authorities said.

The floods triggered by torrential rains also damaged over 40 houses in the village in Hanyuan County, Ya’an City, according to the county’s emergency management bureau.

The disaster also disrupted roads, bridges and communications, Xinhua news agency reported.

Rescue operations are currently underway. A local fire brigade with 217 rescuers and 55 vehicles has rushed to the scene. The Ministry of Emergency Management has also dispatched 29 rescue experts and 13 sets of rescue equipment, as well as drones to provide emergency communications.

In addition to 10,000 sets of relief materials previously allocated to the province, the central authorities will send another 40,000 sets, including folding beds, quilts and towels, to support local governments in evacuating and resettling the affected people and providing basic living assistance.

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–IANS

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Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

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Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

Afghan police warn of legal action against reckless driving

Faizabad (Afghanistan), July 20 (IANS) The police of north Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province on Saturday warned that local drivers will face legal action if they do not obey traffic laws.

A total of 13 people were killed and 36 others injured in road accidents in the province over the past month, the provincial police office said in a statement, adding that the deadly accidents occurred in Faizabad city, the provincial capital, and some districts of the province due to reckless driving on congested roads.

Earlier this week, 17 persons were killed with 34 others injured as a passenger bus plunged into a ravine in north Afghanistan’s Baghlan province, Xinhua news agency reported.

Poor conditions on roads, reckless driving and lack of safety measures during travel, according to officials, are among the major causes of deadly road accidents in the war-ravaged Asian country.

–IANS

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Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

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Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

Jordan says 83 new aid trucks cross into Gaza

Amman, July 20 (IANS) Jordan announced that 83 new trucks of humanitarian aid crossed into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, carrying food parcels, blankets, clothes, and health materials for the war-torn territory that has been haunted by a humanitarian crisis.

“The aid was dispatched by the Jordanian Armed Forces and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization, in cooperation with the World Food Program, and supported by Helping Hands Association, Human Appeal, and several popular campaigns,” the state-run Petra news agency reported.

Hussein Shibli, secretary-general of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation, said Jordan’s efforts in aiding the people in Gaza are substantial, and the support and donations that reach Jordan’s warehouses from various local, regional, and international organizations indicate the trust that Jordan gains from different countries, and its ability to deliver humanitarian aid to the Strip.

Shibli added that the total number of land trucks that have entered the Gaza Strip to date has reached 2,694, and 53 aid planes have been dispatched via Egypt’s Al Arish International Airport, Xinhua news agency reported.

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–IANS

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Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

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Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

Over 8,58,000 Afghan refugees return home from Pakistan, Iran

Kabul, July 20 (IANS) A total of 858,170 Afghan refugees returned home from neighbouring Pakistan and Iran from April to June, according to the Afghanistan office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The IOM Afghanistan also said in a post on its X account on Friday that more than 5,30,000 people also made outbound trips from Afghanistan during the second quarter of this year, reports Xinhua news agency.

Over 2.5 million Afghan refugees have reportedly been living in Pakistan.

Additionally, about the same number of refugees are residing in Iran.

–IANS

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12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

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12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

12 dead, 31 missing in China bridge collapse (Lead)

Beijing, July 20 (IANS) At least 12 people were killed and 31 others injured after a highway bridge collapsed in northwest China’s Shaanxi Province, local authorities said on Saturday.

The bridge, located in Zhashui County in Shangluo City, partially collapsed around 8.40 p.m. on Friday due to a sudden downpour and flash floods, according to the provincial publicity department, Xinhua news agency reported.

A total of 17 cars and eight trucks plunged into the Jinqian River below the bridge based on initial investigation.

As of Saturday noon, rescue workers had recovered seven of them and found 12 people dead, with one person rescued, said the provincial Party committee.

Thirty-one people remain unaccounted for, and search efforts are ongoing.

–IANS

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