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New York City apartment building fire kills 19, including 9 children

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(Last Updated On: January 10, 2022)

Nineteen people were killed, including nine children, and dozens were injured from an apartment building fire in The Bronx borough of New York City on Sunday (January 9), according to city officials.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams confirmed 19 people had died from the blaze that broke out around 11 a.m. in a 19-floor affordable housing development.

“The numbers are horrific,” he said. “This is a painful moment for us and the men and women who live here, not only in the Bronx but throughout this city, this is going to be one of the worst fires that we have witnessed during modern times here in the city of New York.”

Earlier on Sunday, officials said 32 people had been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries and some 60 people were injured in total.

A Reuters photographer at the scene on Sunday saw emergency responders performing CPR on at least eight people in front of the building. Firefighters with hose lines were working to push smoke out of the building, and one of them was seen breaking a window on an upper floor to release the fumes.

The cause of the blaze was still under investigation, the city’s fire department commissioner Daniel Nigro told reporters at a news briefing.

U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres, a Democrat whose district includes the building, told MSNBC “decades of disinvestment” in affordable housing developments such as this one poses safety risks to residents and leaves such buildings “wide open to catastrophic fires that can cost people their lives.”

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the smoke had spread to every floor of the building, likely because the door to the apartment where it started was left open, and that victims had suffered from significant smoke inhalation.

“Members found victims on every floor in stairwells and were taking them out in cardiac and respiratory arrest,” he said.

Some 200 firefighters helped put out the blaze, and some ran out of oxygen in their tanks but pushed through anyway to rescue people from the building, Adams told CNN on Sunday.

This was the second major deadly fire in a residential complex in the U.S. this week after twelve people, including eight children, were killed early on Wednesday when flames swept through a public housing apartment building in Philadelphia.

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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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World

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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World

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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