36 foreign militants killed in Pakistan air strikes

Updated 23 January 2014
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36 foreign militants killed in Pakistan air strikes

ISLAMABAD: Three Germans were among 40 people killed when Pakistani jets and helicopters bombarded suspected Taleban hideouts in a northwestern tribal district, a senior security source said Wednesday.
The air strikes in the North Waziristan tribal region on Tuesday followed two major Taleban attacks on military targets in as many days.
“Most of (the) terrorists killed are foreign fighters including 33 Uzbeks and three Germans,” the source told AFP.
Uzbeks, many affiliated with the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan, make up one of the largest groups of foreign fighters in Pakistan’s tribal northwest.
There was no immediate confirmation from the countries concerned. Independent verification of casualties was not possible because media and aid workers are not allowed to visit the area.
The source added that Wali Muhammad, a Pakistani Taleban commander and trainer of suicide bombers, was among the dead. This was confirmed by a senior militant source.
Tuesday’s operation was one of the heaviest bombardments in recent years in North Waziristan, a key stronghold of militants linked to the Taleban and Al-Qaeda.
Officials said some of those killed were linked to an attack on Sunday on paramilitary troops in the northwestern city of Bannu that killed 26, and a double suicide bombing on a church in September that killed more than 80.
Another military official said a few families had fled the fighting and moved out of the tribal areas, but so far there has been no mass migration from the area.
The government officials said that around 500 families fled to Bannu district from North Waziristan after the bombardment.
“Some 500 families from Mir Ali sub-division of North Waziristan have migrated to Bannu. They are living with the local host tribes of Mamashkhel and Bakakhel in Bannu,” said Arshad Khan, head of the Fata Disaster Management Authority (FDMA).


More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

Updated 24 April 2019
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More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

  • Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday
  • The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban

DURBAN: At least 60 people have been killed and more than 1,000 have fled their homes after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides along South Africa’s eastern coast, authorities said on Wednesday.
Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal province. Flooding also killed at least three people in neighboring Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said.
The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban. Multiple dwellings collapsed in mudslides, said Robert McKenzie, a KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman.
Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday.
Victor da Silva, a resident of the coastal town of Amanzimtoti, said his family managed to evacuate before the floods destroyed their home and cars.
“On Monday, the water was just crazy. And yesterday morning I got here, everything was fine, my garage was still here, the other part of the house was still here, and it just couldn’t stop raining,” Da Silva said. “And then an hour and a half later, everything poof (vanished) because the rain just hasn’t stopped.
Authorities in southern Tanzania ordered evacuations of residents from low-lying areas and the closure of schools and offices ahead of landfall of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth on neighboring Mozambique’s coast on Thursday.
“We’ve decided to evacuate all residents of valleys and other low-lying areas and we advise them to seek refuge at public spaces,” Mtwara regional commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa, told reporters.
Johan Fourie said he fled his home in Amanzimtoti, Kwazulu-Natal, just before part of it collapsed.
“I nearly lost my life, and my neighbor, I believe, is in hospital,” Fourie told eNCA television.
The region had been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not foresee the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
“As a result, there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said.
Some people were swept away by the water, he added.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday and was expected in the Eastern Cape in the next few days.
“This is partly what climate change is about, that it just hits when we least expect it,” he said.
Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds.