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Found 149 results

  1. Afghan security forces keep watch at a checkpoint near the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, February 24, 2018. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail KABUL: A suicide bomber detonated his explosives near the diplomatic area of the Afghan capital on Saturday, killing at least one person, officials said. "This morning a suicide bomber blew up his explosives in Shash Darak area of Kabul, killing one and wounding six others," interior ministry spokesman Najib Danish told AFP. A security source, who requested not to be named, said the explosion happened near a compound belonging to the National Directorate of Security (NDS), the Afghan intelligence agency. The NDS compound is located near to the headquarters of NATO and the US embassy. In December, a suicide attacker on foot blew himself up near the same compound, killing at least six civilians. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the latest attack in Kabul, which in recent months has become one of the deadliest places in war-torn Afghanistan for civilians. Since mid-January, militants have stormed a luxury hotel, bombed a crowded street, and raided a military compound in Kabul, killing more than 130 people.
  2. The ancient world has left many mysterious traces of its existence in our contemporary world. One such unexplained mystery so far has been the Gate To Hell. Also called the 'Gate of Death', it is located in Western Turkey, in the Denizli site that is home to ruins of the ancient Phrygian city of Hierapolis. For centuries, the Gate to Hell killed people and animals who ventured near it. There have been records from ancient times about humans, birds, and animals dropping dead upon coming close to the gate. For long, people have believed the Gate emits poisonous gases, which is essentially the breath of Hades, the god of the underworld. It is also believed that gate was a passage to the underworld. © The Sun Greek historians and geographers have documented the deaths around the Gate. In the old times, bulls were driven into the gate for sacrificial purposes and met with instant death. Now, scientists have backed the claim about the Gate of Death and discovered the truth behind the mysterious deaths. Led by Professor Hardy Pfanz, from the University of Duisburg-Essen, a team of researchers found out that the 'portal of hell' has been emitting concentrated levels of carbon dioxide. Since the cave is situated on the Badadag fault line, it is estimated that toxic gases have been leaking from the fissure in the ground and into the enclosure, thereby causing its air to become lethal. © Seeker According to the journal 'Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences', “They [carbon dioxide] reach concentrations during the night that would easily kill even a human being within a minute. These emissions are thought to reflect the Hadean breath and/or the breath of the hellhound Kerberos guarding the entrance to hell. Our measurements confirm the presence of geogenic CO2 in concentrations that explain ancient stories of killed bulls, rams, and songbirds during religious ceremonies. They also strongly corroborate that at least in the case of Hierapolis, ancient writers like Strabo or Plinius described a mystic phenomenon very exactly without much exaggeration. Two thousand years ago, only supernatural forces could explain these phenomena from Hadean depths.” More often than not, there is a scientific explanation behind the eerie supernatural phenomena in our world. The Gate to Death might have been the entry of Hades' underworld, but today, it's the toxic gas killing any life around it. What is the most eerie phenomena you've heard of? H/t - Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences
  3. RAWALPINDI: An eight-year-old boy Ayan was killed in Indian firing along the Line of Control, said the Inter-Services Public Relations statement on Monday. The eight-year-old boy belonged to Jajot village, said the ISPR. Pakistan army?s media cell denounced Indian brutality, condemning the use of pellet guns in Indian-occupied Kashmir. DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said that the blatant targeting of innocent unarmed civilians across the LoC ?exposes the true Indian face?. Government forces in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) have been using pellet guns since 2010 as a "non-lethal" weapon following widescale civilian protests against Indian rule. After a spate of gruesome injuries last year that earned the title "epidemic of dead eyes", Amnesty and other rights groups called for a complete ban on the use of the shotguns. A single cartridge fired releases at least 500 high-speed metal pellets. These lodge in any available body part and are difficult to remove.
  4. Jonathone Sangma, 43, was returning after campaigning for the upcoming assembly polls. Photo: Facebook GUWAHATI: A landmine explosion killed four people, including an election candidate, in India?s northeastern state of Meghalaya in an area where four militant groups are seeking independence, police said on Monday. The attack occurred on Sunday night in Meghalaya?s East Garo Hills district, about 250 km (150 miles) from the state capital, Shillong. The candidate for the Nationalist Congress Party from the Williamnagar assembly constituency, Jonathone Sangma, was killed along with his driver and two policemen. ?The vehicle in which Sangma was traveling bore the maximum impact of the explosion. Everyone in the car died on the spot,? said Ringrang Momin, a senior state police officer. Police officials said there were four active militant groups in the area demanding secession from India for tens of thousands of Garo tribals living in the state bordering Bangladesh. ?This is the handiwork of the militant groups... We have yet to identify the outfit involved in the landmine explosion,? Momin said. Elections for the 60-member house in Meghalaya state are scheduled for Feb 27.
  5. NORTH WAZIRISTAN: At least two people died, including a banned outfit's deputy commander, in an American drone strike Thursday night near the Pak-Afghan border, Geo News learnt. Among those killed is Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) deputy leader Sajna Mehsud, sources said. Last month, on January 24, a drone strike conducted by coalition forces close to the Orakzai Agency and Kurram Agency border killed two people, including a commander of the Haqqani Network. Pakistan had susbequently condemned the drone strike and called the unilateral action detrimental to the spirit of cooperation with the US in the fight against terrorism. The US, through a statement by the US Embassy, had denied Islamabad's claim that the drone strike struck an Afghan refugee camp, with its spokesperson saying, ?The claim in an MFA [Ministry of Foreign Affairs] statement yesterday that US forces struck an Afghan refugee camp in Kurram Agency yesterday is false.?
  6. Rescue workers block off the area outside a building which tilted to one side after its foundation collapsed in Hualien after a strong 6.4-magnitude quake rocked eastern Taiwan. -AFP HUALIEN: Rescue workers pulled survivors and bodies from buildings tilting precariously in the Taiwanese city of Hualien Wednesday after an overnight earthquake killed at least seven people, injured more than 250 and left dozens missing. Emergency responders were focusing on a 12-storey apartment block and a nearby hotel, both of which were leaning dangerously with their lower floors pancaked after the 6.4-magnitude quake hit the popular tourist city late Tuesday. The national fire agency said seven people had been killed across the city, and 260 were injured. Some 67 people remained unaccounted for late Wednesday evening. There were grave concerns for the badly leaning Yun Tsui residential building, which also housed a restaurant, shops and a hostel. Dozens of residents - and several pets - were rescued with ropes, ladders and cranes. But fire department staff at the site told AFP at least four bodies had been pulled out of the building in the day. Of those still missing, the Hualien disaster relief centre said, 39 are residents at the apartment block and 13 are guests at the Beauty Stay Hotel - which is on the bottom floors of the Yun Tsui building. One of the people killed at the apartment block was a woman from mainland China, authorities said. Officials temporarily suspended rescue efforts over fears the building might slip further as engineers raced to push large concrete blocks and steel bars to support the leaning side. Rescue efforts began again as night fell, with emergency responders wielding crowbars and torches to search the lower floors for survivors. Continual aftershocks forced rescuers searching the apartment block to run for safety every time they struck. The rescuers went back inside when the tremors stopped. One resident who lives nearby told AFP how he watched the tower block partially collapse. "I saw the first floor sink into the ground. Then it sank and tilted further and the fourth floor became the first floor," said Lu Chih-son, 35, who saw 20 people rescued from the building. "My family were unhurt but a neighbour was injured in their head and is bleeding. We dare not go back home now. There are many aftershocks and we are worried the house is damaged," he told AFP. Chen Chih-wei, 80, said he was sleeping in his apartment on the top floor of the building when the quake struck. "My bed turned completely vertical. I was sleeping and suddenly I was standing," he told AFP. Chen said he managed to crawl to a balcony to wait for rescue, adding that the quake was the strongest he had felt in more than five decades of living in Hualien. Tourists rescued At the Marshal Hotel, which was also leaning and badly damaged, at least two people were killed when the lower floors collapsed. But most residents got out and authorities said they believed no more people were trapped inside. President Tsai Ing-wen visited the apartment block Wednesday morning. "Now is the prime time for our rescue efforts, our first priority is to save people," she said in a Facebook post. Hualien is one of Taiwan's most popular tourist hubs as it lies on the picturesque east coast rail line and near the popular Taroko Gorge. The government said 17 foreigners sought medical treatment for minor injuries. Local resident Blue Hsu said some of those carried out of the hotel were foreigners. "The lower floors sunk into the ground and I saw panicked tourists being rescued from the hotel," Hsu told AFP. Some 830 people were in shelters, officials said, while 1,900 houses were without power. Quake anniversary The quake hit just before midnight around 21 kilometres northeast of Hualien, according to the US Geological Survey. It followed almost 100 smaller tremors to have hit the area in the last three days and comes exactly two years since a quake of the same magnitude struck the southern Taiwanese city of Tainan, killing more than 100 people. Most of the deaths from the February 2016 earthquake were from the 16-storey Wei-kuan apartment complex, which toppled on its side and buried many residents in the rubble. The safety of the building was called into question immediately after the disaster when metal cans and foam were found to have been used as fillers in the concrete and residents said there had been cracks in the structure. Five people were found guilty over the disaster, including the developer and two architects. Taiwan lies near the junction of two tectonic plates and is regularly hit by earthquakes. The island´s worst tremor in recent decades was a 7.6-magnitude quake in September 1999 that killed around 2,400 people.
  7. A man carries a boy as he shouts for an ambulance after gunmen attacked the Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta, Pakistan, December 17, 2017. REUTERS/Naseer Ahmed/Files QUETTA: An explosion in southwest Pakistan left at least one person dead and seven others wounded on Monday, officials said. A remote control bomb, targeting civilians, was planted in a motorcycle that went off in Panjgur city of the restive Baluchistan province, according to authorities. "It was an improvised explosive device [IED] planted in the motorcycle parked in a busy area of the Panjgur city and was detonated through a remote control," Ghulam Ali ? the provincial home secretary ? told AFP. Bashir Bangulzai ? the commissioner of Makran region, of which Panjgur is a part ? confirmed the details and said two of those wounded were in critical condition. On Sunday, a six-year-old girl and her mother were also killed in the outskirts of Panjgur when the child was playing with a hand grenade found near her house. China is investing in the area under a $54-billion project known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), upgrading infrastructure, power, and transport links between its far-western Xinjiang region and Pakistan?s Gwadar port. Pakistan accuses arch-rival India for the unrest in the province in order to hurt the CPEC and destabilise the country.
  8. Several Sri Lankan Buddhist temples have pet elephants, which are considered sacred animals and are paraded at annual pageants. Photo: AFP file A senior Buddhist monk died in hospital Saturday, a day after being attacked by an elephant at his own temple near the capital, police said. Bellanwila Wimalarathana, 77, was violently pushed to the ground by the tusker, but the mahout managed to prevent the monk from being gored, police said. The monk was rushed to hospital but died a day later. He was also a vice chancellor of a state-run university and becomes the first high profile monk to be killed by a tamed elephant in the country. The elephant was a gift to the temple by the government of Myanmar in mid-2013 and it had been named "Myan Kumara." Elephants are considered sacred animals protected by law in Sri Lanka. Several Buddhist temples have pet elephants which are paraded at annual pageants. Despite laws protecting them, about 200 elephants are killed annually by farmers who say they stray onto their land and destroy crops. About 50 people are killed in wild-elephant attacks annually. Sri Lanka's elephant population has dwindled to just over 7,000, according to the latest census, down from an estimated 12,000 in 1900.
  9. A firefighter inspects a facility to support senior people on welfare, where a fire occurred, in Sapporo, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo on February 1, 2018. Photo: Reuters TOKYO: Eleven people died after a fire broke out at a residence for elderly people with financial difficulties in northern Japan, police said on Thursday. Television footage showed the three-storey building engulfed in flames and dozens of firefighters battling the blaze in snowy conditions. Pictures of the aftermath showed the blackened husk of the building, whose roof had apparently collapsed due to the fire. The victims -- eight men and three women -- were among 16 residents of the facility in Sapporo, Hokkaido, run by a local organisation. The other five residents escaped with minor injuries, a police spokesman told AFP, adding that authorities were investigating the victims´ identities. Police said they had launched a probe into the cause of the fire first alerted at 11:42 pm (1442 GMT) Wednesday via an emergency call, the spokesman said. The facility is aimed at supporting elderly people with financial difficulties by offering low-cost accommodation and helping them find work, public broadcaster NHK reported. It is usually unstaffed overnight, according to local media. The accommodation was originally a Japanese inn built around 50 years ago that was later turned into the welfare facility. "As there were many oil tanks (for kerosene stoves) there, I heard a number of small explosions," a 67-year-old woman in the neighbourhood told Jiji Press. "Luckily, the only damage to our house was some cracks on the window," she was quoted as saying. After dawn, police and firefighters were combing the black remains of furniture in freezing temperatures. Another woman in the neighbourhood, 65, said when she spotted smoke and flames while she was watching the total lunar eclipse from the window of her house, Jiji Press said. "The smoke and flames were rising vertically. If there had been wind, the damage would have been bigger," she told Jiji. "The surrounding area was bright as if it were a day because of efforts to extinguish fire, and smoke lasted until near the dawn," she said. Others saw ash falling like snow in the vicinity of the fire, local media reported. The fire sparked memories of a similar incident in Sapporo in 2010 when seven residents of a private nursing home for the elderly were killed in a pre-dawn fire. Four women and three men aged in their 60s to their 80s died when the blaze swept through the two-storey wooden house. In that case, all the residents were believed to suffer from dementia.
  10. A number of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in IED blasts in the agency. Photo: File KURRAM AGENCY: Six people, including three women, lost their lives when a roadside bomb blew off near their car in the Maqbal area of Kurram Agency, political administration said. Another person was injured in the explosion near the Pak-Afghan border, the political administration said. A number of soldiers and civilians have lost their lives in IED blasts in the agency. Three reported dead in drone strike in Kurram Agency The strike targetted a local Taliban commander: sources Four security officials, including a captain, were martyred and three injured in an IED blast in Kharlachi, Kurram Agency, in October last year. Three officials were killed instantly while three were injured, according to the political administration of the agency.
  11. ADEN: A drone strike early Saturday killed seven suspected Al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen, a security official said. The US military is the only force known to operate armed drones over Yemen. The official said the strike happened after midnight and targeted a car in Shabwa province. "All seven passengers, who were Al-Qaeda members, were killed," said the security source. The United States considers the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to be the radical group's most dangerous branch. A long-running drone war against AQAP has intensified since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017. AQAP has flourished in the chaos of the country´s civil war, which pits the Saudi-backed government against Houthi rebels.
  12. A Japanese soldier was killed on Tuesday after a volcano erupted near a popular Japanese ski resort, sparking an avalanche that left several injured and scores stranded up a mountain. photo: BBC TOKYO: A Japanese soldier was killed on Tuesday after a volcano erupted near a popular Japanese ski resort, sparking an avalanche that left several injured and scores stranded up a mountain, officials said. Footage broadcast on Japanese television showed thick black smoke interspersed with falling rocks sliding down the snow-covered side of the volcano towards a ski slope. "One of the six members of the Self Defence Forces [injured in the incident] has died after being caught up in an avalanche," a defence ministry spokesman told AFP. The ministry had earlier said that six infantry personnel who had been on a training mission on the mountain were hit by the avalanche but had been rescued. The falling rocks kicked clouds of snow into the air as they made impact. "Black smoke rose from the top of the mountain and we were told to evacuate inside 30 minutes later," a man who was at the ski resort told public broadcaster NHK. "About 100 people have evacuated," he said. Japan´s Meteorological Agency urged nearby residents to stay away from Mt. Kusatsu Shirane, northwest of Tokyo, after it detected what it said was "slight volcanic activity." "Today an eruption occurred" at the mountain, agency official Makoto Saito told reporters. He warned that the volcano could still spew more rocks and ash, and that there was a risk of further avalanches. A local fire department official told AFP that 10 people had been injured in the incident. "Five of them were seriously injured. We began sending the injured to a hospital," he said. Stranded in gondola Among the injured were four people hurt by the shattered glass while on a ropeway gondola at the ski resort in Gunma. The official said an earlier report that one person was missing in the avalanche was not accurate. A local town official said that a total of 78 people, some of them suffering injuries, were stranded at a gondola station at the top of the mountain. The gondola has been stopped because of a power outage. "We´re now discussing how we can evacuate them," the official said. NHK said that eight of those stranded had already been rescued. Japan, with scores of active volcanoes, sits on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire" where a large proportion of the world´s quakes and volcanic eruptions are recorded. On September 27, 2014, Japan suffered its deadliest eruption in almost 90 years when Mount Ontake, in central Nagano prefecture, burst unexpectedly to life. An estimated 63 people were killed in the shock eruption which occurred as the peak was packed with hikers out to see the region´s spectacular autumn colours.
  13. Members of a Thai army explosive ordinance disposal team walk toward the site where a motorcycle bomb killed three civilians and injured others at a market in Yala in Thailand´s insurgency-hit south on January 22, 2018 / AFP BANGKOK: motorcycle bomb exploded in a market in Thailand?s southern Yala province on Monday, killing three people and wounding 22, a spokesman for the Internal Security Operations Command (ISOC) said, the first such attack in the region in months. The mostly Muslim provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala in Thailand?s far south are home to a long-running insurgency by ethnic Malay fighting for autonomy in which more than 6,000 people have been killed since 2004. ?The criminals put a bomb in a motorcycle and placed it next to a market cart. The force of the explosion caused three people to lose their lives,? said ISOC spokesman Pramote Prom-in. The ISOC is a government security force that operates in the region. No group claimed immediate responsibility for the attack on Monday, which took place at a morning market. Police said the motorcycle was placed near a stall selling pork. It was not immediately clear whether the bomb was placed at the pork stall in a deliberate attempt to target Thai Buddhists. The stall?s female owner and a male customer were among the three people killed, police said. The bomb blew off chunks of the market?s corrugated tin roof and wrecked nearby stalls. The southern provinces have seen hundreds of attacks since 2004, many of them deadly, but there had been fewer violent incidents of late. Analysts who monitor the conflict say violence from the insurgency fell to an historic low in 2017 despite the fact that talks aimed at bringing peace gained little traction. Thailand?s military government has tried to revive talks with rebel groups initiated by the previous civilian government, but they have gone almost nowhere. Resistance to Buddhist rule from Bangkok has existed for decades in the southern provinces, waning briefly in the 1990s before resurfacing violently in 2004.
  14. KARACHI: A suspect was killed and his three accomplices were critically injured in an alleged police shootout on Saturday morning near Faisal Base at Shahra-e-Faisal, informed hospital sources. The deceased identified as Maqsood died in hospital during treatment. According to the police authorities, the suspects were involved in looting people coming from the airport on the particular route. Police fired back on the suspects when they fired on the law enforcement authorities after they were told to stop their car.
  15. Rescue personnel and an ambulance are seen behind yellow tape in Bogota, Colombia, June 17, 2017. REUTERS/Jaime Saldarriaga/Files BOGOTA: At least nine construction workers were killed and five injured when a partially-constructed bridge collapsed in central Colombia on Monday, an official from the disaster response agency said. The bridge ? located in Chirajara on the border of Cundinamarca and Meta provinces ? was to be part of the highway that connects the capital Bogota and the city of Villavicencio and was not yet in public use. The cause of the collapse, which sent pieces of the bridge down into a canyon below, is under investigation, Reinaldo Romero ? the head of disaster response for Meta province ? told Reuters. "Up to now there are nine dead and five injured," Romero said. "We are doing a check to rule out other victims."
  16. FAISALABAD: A man shot dead his wife and mother-in-law when a domestic dispute turned ugly in the Ashrafabad area of Faisalabad on Sunday. According to police, the suspect Iftikhar Rasool came to visit his wife at his in-laws? house, where she was living after a quarrel with her husband. When his wife refused to go with him, he started shooting, killing her and her mother while injuring his sister-in-law. The suspect fled after the incident. A hunt to locate him is under way, DSP Sargodha Road Circle said. The bodies of the deceased were shifted to Allied Hospital for post-mortem. The injured sister-in-law was sent home after medical treatment.
  17. [embed_video1 url=http://stream.jeem.tv/vod/445360ec78d22064c206d0cf00fee436.mp4/playlist.m3u8?wmsAuthSign=c2VydmVyX3RpbWU9MS82LzIwMTggODowMjo0MSBBTSZoYXNoX3ZhbHVlPTJoenE2RExyNXhpbThjaWFZbVVSS1E9PSZ2YWxpZG1pbnV0ZXM9NjAmaWQ9MQ== style=center] LAHORE: Rescue services have recovered bodies of two teenage brothers after the roof of their house collapsed. A 15-year-old and a 12-year old and their parents were trapped after their worn-out two-storey house, located near the Wazir Khan mosque, collapsed. Parents of the teenagers are still trapped and efforts are under way to rescue them, rescue sources said. In October, one woman was killed after the roof of a two-storey building collapsed in Lahore's Sanda area. The roof was extremely worn-out and had collapsed as a result of being unable to sustain any further, added rescue sources.
  18. The accident took place on a coastal highway about 45 kilometers north of the capital Lima. Photo: AFP LIMA: A bus plunged over a seaside cliff in Peru on Tuesday, killing at least 48 people after a collision with a truck on a precarious stretch known as the "devil´s curve," officials said. The bus was travelling from Huacho, 130 kilometers (81 miles) north of the capital, to Lima with 55 passengers and two crew on board when it went off the road about midday. It plunged 100 meters (330 feet) and landed upside down on rocks at the edge of the sea. The incident "left at least 48 victims" dead, the statement posted on the Interior Ministry´s website said, revising an earlier toll of 36. Efforts to recover bodies from the overturned vehicle were suspended at nightfall because the tide had risen and reached the bus, the police said. A police helicopter had winched some rescue workers to the wreck of the blue bus while others made the precarious journey down on foot with the assistance of ropes. The navy sent a patrol boat to assist the rescuers trying to get everyone out before the tide came in. There were several survivors, although most on board the bus perished. Maria Elena Aguilar, director of Alcides Carrion Hospital in El Callao, said her facility received five patients with multiple injuries. One other survivor was taken to a different hospital. The accident took place on a coastal highway about 45 kilometers north of the capital Lima, said Colonel Dino Escudero, head of the police highway patrol division. The Pasamayo highway on which the tragedy occurred is only used by trucks and buses, as cars travel a different route. It is a dangerous sea-hugging road where fog is frequent and high humidity can make the roadway slippery. The bus driver had a lot of experience and was working with an assistant, said Luis Martinez, a representative of Transportes San Martin de Porres, which owned the bus. Martinez could not confirm whether the driver had been killed or injured, but added that the bus underwent a mechanical check before leaving Huacho. More than 2,500 people died in traffic accidents in Peru in 2016, according to official figures.
  19. NEW DELHI: A former army lieutenant bludgeoned six people to death with an iron rod Tuesday in a killing spree that sparked panic in a northern Indian city. Naresh Dhankar, 45, began his murderous rampage in a hospital in Palwal then walked the city's streets picking victims at random, police said. Three watchmen were among those who died in the attacks. "He attacked a woman at a hospital first. We rushed there and as we were scanning the CCTV footage we got to know that more bodies had been found," said police spokesman Sanjay Kumar. "The accused has been arrested and is currently undergoing treatment at a hospital," the spokesman told AFP. A TV grab showed Dhankar, wearing a blue pullover, walking with an iron rod in his hands. As news of the attacks spread on social media, police appealed to residents of the city in Haryana state not to panic. Kumar quoted Dhankar's wife as saying he had been "mentally disturbed" for the past few days. "We are investigating to find out the exact motive behind the killings," the spokesman said.
  20. SAN JOSE: A Costa Rican plane crashed into woodland off a popular tourist beach on Sunday, killing 10 US citizens and two local pilots, the Costa Rican government said. The accident occurred in the mountainous area off the Punta Islita beach town in the province of Guanacaste, about 230 km (140 miles) west of the capital of San Jose. Enio Cubillo, director of Costa Rica?s civil aviation agency, said the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan aircraft operated by local company Nature Air had crashed minutes after take-off, but that officials had not yet determined the cause of the crash. The plane had passed a safety inspection about a month ago and was authorized to fly, Cubillo said. Although strong winds in the morning had forced the pilots to alter their itinerary, they had flown safely to Punto Islita to pick up passengers headed to San Jose. Nature Air said in a statement that it lamented the accident, without explaining the cause. The flight was part of a special charter service for 20 people, relying on two planes. The first plane, carrying 10 passengers, arrived safely in San Jose at 11:40 a.m. The second, with 10 passengers and two pilots, departed 20 minutes later. ?Regrettably this plane crashed a few minutes after taking off,? Nature Air said. A video of the crash site obtained from Costa Rica?s Security Ministry shows orange flames consuming a pile of blackened ruins, with plane parts scattered in an area thick with trees. Laura Chinchilla, who was president of Costa Rica from 2010 to 2014, said on Twitter that her cousin, one of the pilots, had died in the accident. A US State Department official confirmed that multiple U.S. citizens had died, but said the agency would not provide further details out of respect for the affected families. ?There are no people alive,? Costa Rica?s Security Minister Gustavo Mata said, adding that autopsies would be needed to confirm the total number and identities of victims because their remains were badly burned. Punta Islita, on Costa Rica?s Pacific Coast, is popular among North American and European tourists for its pristine beaches and lush landscape.
  21. Scene of the shooting AUSTIN: A former worker at a Houston auto repair shop fatally shot two employees on Friday and then committed suicide, Houston police said. "The two people he shot were found dead on the scene," Houston homicide Detective D. Crowder said by telephone. The gunmen fired on the two employees, exited the shop and killed himself in a nearby yard. The incident unfolded in a manner of minutes, police said. The identities of the victims and the shooter have not been released.
  22. Security forces stand guard at the site of attack on a church in the Helwan district south of Cairo. -Reuters. CAIRO: A gunman opened fire on a church south of Cairo on Friday, killing at least nine people in the latest apparent militant attack on the country's Christian minority. Health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed told state television that the gunman was shot dead after killing nine people and wounding others, including a police officer. But the interior ministry said in a statement that the assailant, a wanted militant implicated in attacks on police, had been wounded and arrested. The militant had been armed with an assault rifle, 150 rounds of ammunition and a bomb he intended to set off at the church, the ministry said. The ministry said he killed two people when he opened fire on a store before heading to the church where he shot dead seven people including an officer. Cellphone footage posted on social media appeared to show the bearded gunman wearing a bulky ammunition vest sprawled on a street, barely conscious, as people restrained his arms and then handcuffed him. Police later cordoned off the crime scene as onlookers crowded around the church, while a forensics team combed the area. Congealing blood could be seen at a guard post in front of the church. Daesh's affiliate in Egypt has killed dozens of Christians in church bombings and shootings over the past year, and has threatened further attacks against the minority. Friday's attack came ahead of Christmas for the Copts, who celebrate it on January 7. Series of attacks on Christians Egypt's Coptic Christians make up about 10 percent of the country's 93 million people, and are the largest religious minority in the region. Daesh claimed a suicide bombing of a Cairo church in December 2016 followed by bombings of two churches north of the capital in April. A month later, Daesh gunmen shot dead about 30 Christians south of Cairo as they travelled to a monastery. An Egyptian woman stands next to a cordoned off bullet-riddled wall at the site of a gun attack at a church. -AFP. The militants are believed to have also carried out a massacre of Muslim worshippers in Sinai last month, killing more than 300 in an attack on a mosque. Egypt imposed a state of emergency following the church attacks and shootings, and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi demanded the army confront the militants with "brutal force" following the mosque massacre. The presidency said in a statement on Friday's church attack that it would increase the "resolve to continue the path of cleansing the country of terrorism and extremism." Daesh has been waging a deadly insurgency based in the Sinai Peninsula bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip that has killed hundreds of policemen and soldiers. The militants have increasingly targeted civilians as attacks on the security forces have become more difficult. The army has poured in thousands of troops backed with armour and jets in a bid to crush the Sinai-based militants, but attacks have continued. The attack on the church came a day after six Egyptian soldiers were killed in a roadside bombing in the Sinai. Last week, Daesh claimed responsibility for firing an anti-tank missile at a helicopter in a North Sinai airport as the defence and interior ministers were visiting. The attack killed an aide to the defence minister and a helicopter pilot, but both ministers returned to Cairo unscathed.
  23. Fire Department of New York (FDNY) personnel work on the scene of an apartment fire in Bronx NEW YORK: A fire tore through a Bronx apartment building on Thursday, killing at least 12 people and leaving four others fighting for their lives in New York´s deadliest fire in decades, officials said. The devastating blaze broke out shortly before 7:00pm (0000 GMT Friday) in the 25-apartment building opposite the Bronx Zoo, one of the most popular tourist attractions in the US financial capital. A one-year-old child was among those killed in the fire on a bitterly cold night with temperatures well below zero, as Red Cross volunteers handed out blankets and set up makeshift shelter in a nearby school. "This will rank as one of the worst losses of life to a fire in many, many years," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. "This is the worst fire tragedy we have seen in this city in at least a quarter century," he added. The fire began on the first floor and spread rapidly to all floors of the five-floor building on Prospect Avenue, officials said. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear. "I am sorry to report 12 New Yorkers are dead, including one child as young as one year old," de Blasio told reporters after fire fighters extinguished the flames. "There are four people critically injured who are fighting for their lives, other serious injuries as well," he added. Television footage showed fire fighters plucking panicked residents to safety from a fire escape. Two of the dead were discovered in a bath tub full of water, where they had apparently sheltered from the blaze, US media reported. Fire fighters rescued at least 12 people who will survive but the search of the building continues, and the death toll could rise further, the mayor warned. "This tragedy is, without question, historic in its magnitude. Our hearts go out to every family who lost a loved one here and everyone fighting for their lives," said Fire Department chief Daniel Nigro. "People died on various floors, they range in ages from one to over 50," he added. "In a department that´s certainly no stranger to tragedy, we´re shocked at this loss." It was the second deadly New York residential blaze in less than two weeks. A mother and three children were killed in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn when a fire tore through their home on December 18. In March 2007, 10 people were killed in another fire in the Bronx that tore through a house that was home to two immigrant families, which had been the worst fire in the city since 1990 apart from the September 11, 2001 attacks that brought down the Twin Towers.
  24. BUENOS AIRES: An explosion at a port operated by Chinese export company COFCO in Argentina?s grains hub of Rosario on Wednesday killed one person, injured others and affected shipping activities, local authorities said. Television images showed thick black clouds of smoke billowing from a grains processing plant at the port of General San Martin, which is part of the Rosario shipping complex. ?There was an explosion at a plant operated by Nidera, which now belongs to COFCO,? Andres Alcaraz, spokesman for the CIARA-CEC chamber of export companies, told Reuters by telephone. A spokesman for COFCO, reached by telephone, declined to comment pending confirmation of the facts. ?The explosion caused one fatality,? Marcos Escajadillo, head of the civil protection service of Santa Fe province, told local television. Local hospital Sanatorio Britanico said by telephone that seven burn victims were admitted to the facility while other victims of the blast were being treated at other clinics. Local police and firefighters could not confirm the overall number of injured or the cause of the explosion. China?s COFCO agreed in 2014 to buy Dutch grain trader Nidera. This and other deals gave COFCO assets in some of the world?s top grain, vegetable oil, sugar and coffee producing regions. Argentina is the world?s top exporter of soymeal livestock feed as well as a major global supplier of corn and raw soybeans. Some 80 percent of Argentina?s agricultural exports are shipped from Rosario. The hub is situated along the Parana River, which leads to the shipping lanes of the South Atlantic.
  25. Two species of crocodile are found in the Philippines, including the freshwater Philippine crocodile, pictured here in 2012 at the Manila Zoo. MANILA: A crocodile killed a Philippine man who was securing his boat as a tropical storm bore down on the western island of Palawan, police said Saturday. Abdulsalam Binang Amerhasan, 53, went to the river in driving rain on Thursday to tie up his boat, with waters rising as Tropical Storm Tembin closed in, a police report said. When Amerhasan failed to return home after an hour, his worried wife sought help from neighbours who launched an overnight search, believing he had had an accident, it added. "The community responded and conduct(ed a) search along the river until they found out that the lifeless body of the victim was still (being) tumultuously bitten by a crocodile," it added. Police did not say what happened to the crocodile. The attack in the fishing town of Bataraza was the third reported since October in Palawan, often called the Philippines´ "last frontier", and one of the few areas in the country where crocodiles are still common. Hunting and habitat loss have seen crocodile numbers plummet in other parts of the archipelago. Last month a 12-year-old girl was fetching water in a forested area elsewhere on the island when she was dragged away by a crocodile in front of her horrified siblings. Police said the girl has not been found. In October a Palawan woman also fetching water was bitten by a crocodile but survived when her niece threw rocks at the huge reptile, successfully driving it away, police said. The state weather service said Tembin was expected to hit Balabac and Bataraza late Saturday after killing more than 100 people on the main southern island of Mindanao.