Pakistan attack: Taliban militants storm agricultural college in Peshawar

Pakistani security personnel take position outside an agriculture training institute that was attacked by Taliban militants in Peshawar on December 1. (AFP)
Updated 01 December 2017
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Pakistan attack: Taliban militants storm agricultural college in Peshawar

PESHAWAR: Taliban militants stormed a training institute in Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar Friday, injuring at least seven people.
Two to three gunmen entered the Agriculture Training Institute Friday morning, where they began firing indiscriminately, Peshawar police chief Muhammad Tahir Khan said.
“A number of people have been injured and the military and other law enforcement agencies are carrying out an operation to clear the area,” he said.
The militants are believed to remain inside the compound. An AFP reporter at the site saw a helicopter hovering over the area and heard gunshots from inside the building.
A residential area also within the training institute compound is being evacuated.
Wasim Riaz, a senior police official, said seven people injured so far have been shifted to the government-run Lady Reading Hospital.
A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Muhammad Khurasani, claimed responsibility for the attack in a telephone call to AFP.
“Our mujahids have attacked the building because it was used as office for ISI, God willing our fighters will fight till the last drop of blood,” he said, referring to Pakistan’s Inter Services Intelligence agency.
The area where the incident occurred is a hub for educational institutions in the city including the university of Peshawar.
An interior ministry official said that cellular networks have been suspended in various cities across the country for security reasons.
Security was also tight after weeks-long anti-blasphemy protests in Islamabad that saw seven killed and hundreds wounded in clashes with police.
Violence erupted over the weekend after police and paramilitary forces launched a bungled attempt to clear the sit-in, igniting fresh demonstrations in cities across the country, including in Lahore and Karachi.
The protests were finally ended just days ago under a military-brokered deal.
In December 2014, a Taliban attack on the army-run school in Peshawar killed 151 people, mostly schoolchildren.


Oman author Jokha Alharthi wins Booker International Prize

Arabic author Jokha Alharthi (L) and translator Marilyn Booth pose after winning the Man Booker International Prize for the book 'Celestial Bodies' in London on May 21, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 4 min 19 sec ago
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Oman author Jokha Alharthi wins Booker International Prize

  • The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English

LONDON: Omani author Jokha Alharthi won the prestigious Man Booker International Prize on Tuesday for “Celestial Bodies,” the story of three sisters in a desert country confronting its slave-owning past and a complex modern world.
Alharthi is the first Arabic-language writer to get the prize and the first female writer from Oman to be translated into English. She will split the 50,000 pound ($64,000) purse with her UK-based translator, Marilyn Booth.
Historian Bettany Hughes, who led the judging panel, said the “lyrical” winning novel was “a book to win over the head and the heart in equal measure.”
“Celestial Bodies” confronts Oman’s history of slavery, which was abolished in the country only in 1970.
“It’s a sensitive subject and kind of a taboo,” Alharthi said in onstage interview at the awards ceremony in London. “But I think literature is the best platform to discuss sensitive issues. And slavery is not exclusive to Oman — it’s part of human history.”
She said her victory meant “a window has been opened to Arabic literature.”
“Celestial Bodies” beat five other finalists from Europe and South America, including last year’s winner, Olga Tokarczuk of Poland.
The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English.
This is the final year of sponsorship by investment firm Man Group PLC, which is halting backing after 18 years. Starting next year the award will be known as the International Booker Prize.