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Russia-led bloc starts pulling troops out of Kazakhstan

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(Last Updated On: January 13, 2022)

A Russia-led military bloc began to pull its troops out of Kazakhstan on Thursday after a week-long deployment which helped the Central Asian nation overcome the worst bout of violent unrest in its post-Soviet history, Reuters reported.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev asked for assistance from the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (CSTO) last week as violence gripped half of the country while he dismissed some of his sRussiaenior security officials who were later charged with treason.

This week, the authorities said they had stabilised the situation and completed what they called an “anti-terrorist operation” in most of the country, its biggest city Almaty a notable exception.

“Thanks to your arrival, Kazakh military and security forces were able to carry out their immediate task of locating and detaining bandits,” Kazakh Deputy Defence Minister Mukhamedzhan Talasov told departing CSTO troops on Thursday.

According to Reuters the alliance said on Wednesday the peacekeeping contingent would take 10 days to fully withdraw.

The protests, triggered by a sharp increase in car fuel prices, were initially peaceful, but turned violent in many major cities as some protesters attacked security forces, captured and torched government buildings and looted shops.

The authorities have detained almost 10,000 people over the unrest and said some of the attackers were foreigners trained by Islamist militants, read the report.

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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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