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US Army kills senior Islamic State official in Syria

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Washington, June 20 (IANS/DPA) The US Army has said they have killed a high-ranking member of the Islamic State terrorist militia in Syria in an airstrike.

“US Central Command conducted an airstrike in Syria, killing Usamah Jamal Muhammad Ibrahim al-Janabi, a senior ISIS official and facilitator,” the US Central Command, or CENTCOM, said in a post on social media platform X on Wednesday.

“His death will disrupt ISIS’s ability to resource and conduct terror attacks,” it added.

“There is no indication any civilians were harmed in this strike.”

US troops are stationed in Syria to prevent a resurgence of Islamic State. They are deployed in areas controlled by the Kurdish militia YPG and its allies.

Despite the military victory over the extremist militia announced in 2019, its cells are still active in the country.

According to observers, however, the US is also seeking to limit the influence of its arch-enemy Iran with its continued military presence in the region.

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According to a defence official in Washington, around 700 US soldiers are still in Syria. Their deployment has become more dangerous with the outbreak of the Gaza war.

Pro-Iranian militias have repeatedly carried out attacks on the often small US military bases in the desert.

–IANS/DPA

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International

Afghanistan's central bank puts on auction $15 million

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Kabul, July 14 (IANS) Afghanistan’s central bank put on auction $15 million on Sunday in a bid to maintain the stability of the national currency afghani.

“The bidders including moneychangers and private banks should deposit the necessary money in cash in the form of afghani in the central bank, Da Afghanistan Bank,” a statement by the bank said on Saturday, reported Xinhua news agency.

According to the statement, the bank has requested all eligible banks and foreign exchange and monetary service providers to participate in the auction.

The bank auctioned $15 million last week.

Since assuming power in August 2021, the Afghan caretaker government has taken a series of measures to maintain the stability of afghani against foreign currencies.

–IANS

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Man found dead alongside his vessel in Australia

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Sydney, July 14 (IANS) A man was found dead alongside his vessel on a lake in Queensland state on Sunday, the second fatal boating incident in Australia.

The boat was reported missing in the morning. A search and rescue operation then kicked off at Lake Somerset, about 70 km northwest of Queensland state’s capital Brisbane, involving joint efforts by water police, specialist officers, aerial assets, and multiple other agencies, reported Xinhua news agency.

At 4.00 p.m. local time, police located the vessel in the water and the body of the 45-year-old man. Investigations into the circumstances of the incident are ongoing by Queensland Police.

The Somerset Lake incident occurred only a day after one man died and another survived while crossing the Tweed River bar in New South Wales’ far north.

At around 6.00 a.m. on Saturday, police attended the scene at the north wall of the Tweed River, where two people were seen clinging to the upturned hull of a 6.5-meter half-cabin runabout boat.

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One of them was taken to a nearby hospital for a precautionary examination, while the other could not be revived and was declared dead at Duranbah Beach.

–IANS

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One dead, two missing in floods in Philippines

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Manila, July 14 (IANS) At least one person died and two others were missing after floods hit parts of the southern Philippines over the weekend, a government agency monitoring disasters said on Sunday.

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council said that the lone fatality was due to drowning, reported in Davao Occidental province on Friday.

The two missing people were reportedly swept away by a strong current while crossing a river in Bukidnon province, reported Xinhua news agency.

The agency said the flooding affected nearly 39,000 people in four regions. Around 10,000 displaced villagers of the affected population have stayed in evacuation centres while waiting for the flood to subside.

The agency recorded at least eight landslides triggered by incessant rains in the Davao region and Zamboanga Peninsula.

The floods have damaged at least 47 houses in two regions, 40 roads, and two bridges in four regions of the Southeast Asian country.

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–IANS

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Trump's shooter identified as Thomas Matthew Crooks

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New Delhi, July 14 (IANS) Thomas Matthew Crooks (20) has been identified as the person suspected of shooting former US President Donald Trump in an attempted assassination, the FBI said in a statement.

“The suspected shooter was Thomas Matthew Crooks (20) of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, as the subject involved in the assassination attempt of former President Donald Trump on July 13, in Butler, Pennsylvania,” said the FBI.

Crooks was killed on the spot by the security officials after he fired shots at the former US President, piercing through his ear, during a campaign rally in western Pennsylvania.

The FBI had earlier said that the shooting was being investigated as “an assassination attempt” on Trump.

The motive behind the assassination attempt, however, is yet to be revealed.

Trump, who is due to be anointed the Republican Party’s Presidential candidate, had a narrow escape on Saturday when shots aimed at him at a campaign rally grazed his right ear and killed two people at the event.

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–IANS

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Maldives pledges $1.3 million in aid for Palestinians

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Colombo, July 14 (IANS) The Maldives has pledged to donate over $1.29 million in humanitarian aid for Palestine, Permanent Representative of the Maldives to the United Nations Ali Naseer Mohamed said.

The aid was announced during the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) Pledging Conference held Friday at the UN headquarters, Xinhua news agency reported.

Naseer also said that the Maldivian government has increased its annual donation of $5,000 to Palestine by 10-fold, to $50,000 this year.

The representative also urged the international community to increase their financial assistance and fulfill political obligations to progress UNRWA initiatives.

–IANS

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