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Kazakhstan detains 7,939 people over unrest

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(Last Updated On: January 10, 2022)

Kazakhstan’s security forces have detained a total of 7,939 people as of Monday over last week’s unrest, the Interior Ministry said, the worst bout of violence in the Central Asian nation’s post-Soviet history, Reuters reported. 

According to the report government buildings were briefly captured or torched in several cities last week as initially peaceful protests against fuel price increases turned violent.

Authorities have blamed the violence on “extremists” and “terrorists” some of whom they say were foreigners, read the report.

Karim Masimov, former head of the National Security Committee, was detained on suspicion of treason last week, days after President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev dismissed him.

Tokayev has also sacked his cabinet, issued shoot-to-kill orders to end the unrest and declared a state of emergency in the oil-rich nation of 19 million. He also asked a Russian-led military bloc to send in troops, who the government says have been deployed to guard strategic objects.

Russian and state media reported 164 people were killed during the clashes, citing a government social media post. But health and police authorities did not confirm the figure and the social media post was then deleted, Reuters reported.

“I think there was some kind of a conspiracy involving domestic and certain foreign destructive forces,” Secretary of State Yerlan Karin told state television on Monday, without naming any suspects.

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Saudi-led coalition denies targeting detention center in Yemen

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(Last Updated On: January 22, 2022)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthis in Yemen denied targeting a detention centre in Yemen’s Saada province, saying the facility hit was not a site restricted from strikes, the Saudi official news agency SPA reported on Saturday.

A Reuters witness said several people, including African migrants, died in the Friday attack that reportedly killed at least 60 people.

“The coalition will inform the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen (OCHA) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on the facts and details,” the state news agency said, citing a coalition spokesman.

He said the target in Saada was not on no-targeting lists agreed upon with the OCHA, was not reported by the ICRC and did not meet the standards stipulated by the Third Geneva Convention for Prisoners of War, Reuters reported.

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Bomb blast kills 3 people in eastern Pakistan

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

A bomb blast ripped through a crowded market in eastern Pakistan on Thursday (January 20), killing three people and wounding over 20, police said, Reuters reported.

A police spokesman, Arif Rana, told Reuters it was a bomb, saying a time device rigged to a motorcycle exploded outside a shop in the market.

A nine-year-old boy is among the three dead, he said.

“I was around 12 feet or so away from the place, but the blast was so severe that we didn’t know what had happened. Then the fronts of some shop caught fire, and a couple of the shop assistants were injured. A man in the house over there died. A child was passing by, both his legs were blown off. I picked him up, but he was dead. It was a very severe blast,” said a resident who witnessed the explosion.

According to Reuters a newly formed separatist group based in southwestern Balochistan province claimed responsibility in a text message sent to a Reuters reporter.

It said a bank was the target of the attack. Police said they were investigating, saying it was premature to link this to Pakistan Super League (PSL) Twenty20 cricket tournament scheduled to start in a week or so.

Baloch separatists have been fighting a low-key insurgency against the Pakistani government to demand a greater share in the local mineral rich resources, Reuters reported.

They usually attack government interests or Chinese projects in the province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, but an attack in a city like Lahore is rare.

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, read the report.

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Russia’s Putin hosts Iranian counterpart in Kremlin

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(Last Updated On: January 20, 2022)

Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted on Wednesday (January 19) his Iranian counterpart Ebrahim Raisi for talks in Moscow as Russia tries to help salvage a nuclear deal between world powers and Tehran, Reuters reported.

Putin and Iranian Raisi held discussions on the issues of bilateral cooperation Kremlin said, Reuters reported.

Raisi said that a visit to Russia could be a turning point in political, trade and economic relations between the two countries, Russian News Agency RIA Novosti reports.

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