Pakistani security forces kill eight militants in Karachi

Pakistani soldiers patrol next to a newly fenced border along Afghan border at Kitton Orchard Post in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal agency on October 18, 2017. Pakistani paramilitary troops have killed eight militants from a group which tried to assassinate an opposition politician in Karachi, officials said. (AFP)
Updated 22 October 2017
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Pakistani security forces kill eight militants in Karachi

KARACHI: Pakistani paramilitary troops have killed eight militants from a group which tried to assassinate an opposition politician in Karachi, officials said Sunday.
The Pakistan Rangers staged a joint raid with counter-terrorism officers in the Raees Goth neighborhood overnight after intelligence information about the presence of militants there, the Rangers’ spokesman for Sindh province, Major Qambar Raza, told AFP.
“After an intense exchange of fire five terrorists were killed on the spot, while three others who were captured wounded later died in hospital,” he said.
He said two militants whose identity has been established belonged to a newly formed group called Ansar-ul-Sharia which was involved in the attempt to assassinate opposition politician Khawaja Izharul Hassan from the Muttahida Qaumi Movement in September.
Hassan was unhurt but the group killed a 10-year-old boy and a guard and wounded four others in the shootout last month.
Ansar-ul-Sharia chief Sheharyar-ud Din — also known as Abdullah Hashmi — was among those killed in the overnight raid, Raza said, describing him as the mastermind of the assassination bid.
A senior police official confirmed the raid and details.
Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city with more than 14 million inhabitants and a major business and industrial hub, is rife with political, sectarian and ethnic militancy.
A crackdown in the city by security forces in recent years has brought a lull in violence, but scattered attacks still take place.


Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

Updated 21 June 2018
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Japan halts missile drills after Trump-Kim summit

TOKYO: Japan has halted evacuation drills simulating a North Korean missile attack in the wake of historic talks between Washington and Pyongyang, local media reported Thursday.
Government officials did not immediately confirm the reports, but authorities in one town said they were suspending a drill planned for next week on orders from Tokyo.
The decision comes after US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un met last week in Singapore, with the pair signing a joint document calling for denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
Yaita in Tochigi prefecture north of Tokyo had been planning an evacuation drill for next week involving some 800 residents including 350 school children, city official Yutaka Yanagida said.
But the city suddenly canceled all preparations late Wednesday after being instructed by the government that “drills should be postponed for the time being following a change in the environment after the US-North Korea summit,” he said.
Contacted by AFP, a Cabinet Office official said the government would announce its policy on evacuation drills on Friday, declining to comment further.
Last year, Pyongyang fired two missiles over Japan and it has splashed others into the sea near the country, sparking a mix of panic and outrage.
Earlier this year, hundreds of Tokyo residents scrambled for cover in the Japanese capital’s first evacuation drill for a military attack by Pyongyang.
North Korea has singled out Japan, a key US ally in the region, for verbal attacks, threatening to “sink” the country into the sea and to turn it into “ashes.”
But the regional mood has turned toward diplomacy since the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea, which set off a series of diplomatic moves culminating in the Trump-Kim meet.