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Dozens of stranded Rohingya refugees land in Bangladesh

Dozens of Rohingya believed to be from one of several boats floating in the Bay of Bengal for weeks have landed on the coast of southern Bangladesh, according to officials, as fears grow over hundreds of people stuck at sea on vessels because of coronavirus restrictions. Security officials quoted by news agencies said on Sunday that a small boat carrying…

Dozens of stranded Rohingya refugees land in Bangladesh

Dozens of Rohingya believed to be from one of several boats floating in the Bay of Bengal for weeks have landed on the coast of southern Bangladesh, according to officials, as fears grow over hundreds of people stuck at sea on vessels because of coronavirus restrictions.
Security officials quoted by news agencies said on Sunday that a small boat carrying about 40 people, including “starving” women and children, had come ashore the previous day.
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Local people tipped off the coastguard and 29 people were arrested and about 10 fled, police and security officials said.
Chris Lewa, director of the Arakan Project monitoring group, said the group that landed on Saturday had likely come on a small boat from one of the larger vessels still at sea, believed to be carrying hundreds of people.
The two trawlers – carrying an estimated 500 Rohingya women, men and children – were stuck in the Bay of Bengal after being rejected by Malaysia, which has imposed restrictions on all boats in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
Bangladesh has refused to let the fishing boats land on its territory despite United Nations calls to allow them in as a powerful storm bears down on the region.
Shobbir Ahmed, a Rohingya at one of the refugee camps in southeast Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar told AFP news agency that two of his daughters who had been on the stranded boats were among those who landed on Saturday.
He said the women, aged 19 and 17, had boarded a trawler two months ago trying to get to Malaysia. Ahmed said he paid a Rohingya intermediary about $2,230 for them to make the trip.

Rohingya refugees walk to the shore with his belongings after crossing the Bangladesh-Myanmar border by boat through the Bay of Bengal in Teknaf, Bangladesh [File: Mohammad Ponir Hossain/Reuters]

Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the rescued Rohingya would be sent to the island of Bhashan Char in the Bay of Bengal where Bangladesh has built shelters for some 100,000 refugees.
The proposed relocation to the island in the cyclone-prone coastal belt has drawn criticism from rights groups and sparked protests by the Rohingya.
There are about one million Rohingya in camps in Bangladesh, the majority of whom fled a brutal military crackdown in Myanmar in 2017.
Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen said last month that the country would not allow the Rohingya boats into its territory.
His declaration came after more than 60 Rohingya died on a boat that waited at sea for two months before it could dock.
For years, Rohingya from Myanmar and Bangladesh have fled by boat for Thailand and Malaysia when the seas are calm between October and April. Hundreds died in 2015 after a crackdown in Thailand led smugglers to abandon their human cargo at sea.
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Dozens killed in fighting in Afghanistan as peace talks continue |NationalTribune.com

Fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban left dozens dead in a restive eastern province as negotiators from both sides pushed ahead with peace talks in Qatar. Overnight clashes erupted in three districts of Nangarhar province when Taliban fighters attacked several checkpoints of Afghan forces and pro-government fighters, Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor…

Dozens killed in fighting in Afghanistan as peace talks continue |NationalTribune.com

Fighting between Afghan forces and the Taliban left dozens dead in a restive eastern province as negotiators from both sides pushed ahead with peace talks in Qatar.
Overnight clashes erupted in three districts of Nangarhar province when Taliban fighters attacked several checkpoints of Afghan forces and pro-government fighters, Ataullah Khogyani, spokesman for the Nangarhar governor told the AFP news agency on Thursday.
He said at least 11 Afghan security personnel were killed in fighting in Hesarak, while eight pro-government fighters were killed in Khogyani district.
The official added that about 30 Taliban fighters died in the clashes.
The Taliban has not commented on the fighting so far. 

“There have been no attacks from our side … The enemies continue to attack and spill the blood of Afghans,” Afghanistan’s acting Minister of Defense Asadullah Khalid said. 
The latest fighting comes as the Afghan government and the Taliban are engaged in talks in Doha aimed at ending the long-running conflict.
Representatives from the Afghan government and the Taliban started face-to-face talks on Monday after months of delay over a contentious prisoners swap agreement between the two sides.
The negotiations are a result of a deal between the Taliban and the United States signed in February, which also paved the way for the withdrawal of all foreign forces by May 2021.
US Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad said although the talks raise hopes of the war ending in the country, many challenges remain.
“This is a new phase in diplomacy for peace in Afghanistan,” Khalilzad said last week.
“These negotiations are an important achievement, but there are … significant challenges on the way to reaching an agreement.”

SOURCE:
Al Jazeera and news agencies

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Dozens feared trapped in building collapse in India’s Maharashtra |NationalTribune.com

One person has died and at least 100 feared trapped in the debris of a five-storey building that collapsed in an industrial town in western India’s Maharashtra state, officials said. Not all the roughly 200 residents of the building in Raigad district’s Mahad town, about 165km (100 miles) south of India’s financial capital Mumbai, were…

Dozens feared trapped in building collapse in India’s Maharashtra |NationalTribune.com

One person has died and at least 100 feared trapped in the debris of a five-storey building that collapsed in an industrial town in western India’s Maharashtra state, officials said.
Not all the roughly 200 residents of the building in Raigad district’s Mahad town, about 165km (100 miles) south of India’s financial capital Mumbai, were at home when it crumbled in the evening, local legislator Bharatshet Maruti Gogawale told the Reuters news agency on Monday.
India’s National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) spokesman Sachidanand Gawde told reporters that emergency workers had retrieved the body of one victim, who has not yet been identified.
“I believe about 100 to 125 people must have been inside at the time of its collapse,” Gogawale, who was present at the accident site, told Reuters.
The building was comprised of 47 flats, police officials in Mahad said in a statement.
Local residents and police combed through tin sheets, metal rods and other wreckage in a desperate search for survivors as ambulances ferried victims to nearby hospitals.
Authorities said more than two dozen people were pulled out by rescue teams and taken to hospital amid heavy monsoon rains.
NDRF rescue teams and canine squads were deployed to the scene of the accident.
An unnamed official with the Maharashtra state Disaster Management Unit later told the Press Trust of India that at least 51 people were missing.

A man removes the debris after a five-storey building collapsed in Raigad in the western state of Maharashtra [Reuters]

Former Mahad legislator Manik Motiram Jagtap told the local TV9 Marathi channel that the structure was 10 years old and built on “weak” foundations.
“It fell like a house of cards,” he said. “It is a scary situation.”
The office of Uddhav Thackeray, chief minister of Maharashtra state, said on Twitter that he had been in touch with local representatives in the area.
“He has assured them that all possible support will be extended for speedy rescue and relief works,” the tweet said.
The cause of the accident was not clear. But building collapses are common in India, usually due to shoddy construction, substandard materials and disregard of regulations.
More than 1,200 people were killed in 1,161 building collapses across India in 2017, according to latest data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
Many of these accidents occur between June and September during the monsoon season, which plays a vital role in boosting agricultural harvests across South Asia.
But the monsoon season also causes widespread death and destruction, unleashing floods, triggering building collapses and inundating low-lying villages.
The death toll from monsoon-related disasters this year has topped 1,200, including more than 800 lives lost in India alone, according to a tally by the AFP news agency.
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Dozens killed in separate Burkina Faso attacks |NationalTribune.com

In this file photo from 2015, soldiers guard positions near the Naaba Koom military base in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso [Arnaud Brunet/Reuters] An armed group in Burkina Faso attacked a cattle market and a humanitarian convoy, killing at least 35 people, the government said on Sunday. Twenty-five people were killed and more wounded in the attack…

Dozens killed in separate Burkina Faso attacks |NationalTribune.com

In this file photo from 2015, soldiers guard positions near the Naaba Koom military base in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso [Arnaud Brunet/Reuters]
An armed group in Burkina Faso attacked a cattle market and a humanitarian convoy, killing at least 35 people, the government said on Sunday.
Twenty-five people were killed and more wounded in the attack on the market in the eastern village of Kompienga, while five civilians and five military police were killed near the northern village of Foube, the government said in a statement.
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Armed groups “targeted a humanitarian convoy returning from Foube after delivering supplies”, it said.
A further 20 people were wounded in the convoy attack, it said.
No group has claimed responsibility.
Saturday’s violence underscores deep instability in parts of Burkina Faso, which has been battling armed groups with links to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) since 2017.
Hundreds have been killed in the past year in the Sahel nation, and more than half a million people have fled their homes due to the violence, which has also raised ethnic and religious tensions.
The bloodshed follows the death of at least 15 people on Friday in an attack on a convoy transporting traders in northern Burkina Faso. That attack, in Loroum province, was also blamed on armed groups.
In the past five years, more than 900 people have been killed by armed groups, while some 860,000 people have fled their homes.
The Sahel country is part of a regional effort to battle an armed uprising along with Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Chad.   Their militaries, under-equipped and poorly trained, are supported by 5,000 French troops in the region.   Unrest in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger killed approximately 4,000 people last year, according to UN figures.

SOURCE:
News agencies

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