Volcanic eruption in Indonesia closes three airports

SURABAYA: Volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia shrouded a large swath of the country’s most densely populated island on Friday and closed three international airports.

Local media reported two people were killed when parts of their homes collapsed after Mount Kelud’s explosive eruption overnight.

The initial blasts sent millions of cubic meters of dust and rocks into the atmosphere, according to the country’s disaster agency, and could be heard up to 200 kilometers away.

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Blast near Rangers’ vehicle in Karachi injures two

KARACHI: An explosion took place near a Rangers’ vehicle in Karachi’s Qayyumabad area injuring two personnel on Friday, DawnNews reported.

A rescue source said that one of the wounded persons was wearing the Rangers’ uniform whereas the other was dressed in plain clothes.

The wounded were shifted to PNS Shifa hospital for treatment.

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Truck crash kills 20 in northern Afghanistan

KABUL: Authorities say 20 people have died after a truck skidded out of control and crashed into a dam in northern Afghanistan.

Abdul Maman Yaqubi, chief of police for Khan Abad district in Kunduz province, says the truck was travelling on icy and snowy roads Thursday morning when it spun out of control and slipped off the road.

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Four suspected militants killed in Dera Bugti operation

DERA BUGTI: At least four suspected militants were killed during an operation conducted by security forces’ personnel in Balochistan’s Dera Bugti area on Thursday, DawnNews reported.

According to a Frontier Corps (FC) spokesman, security personnel were carrying out an operation in Chap Garh, which is 40 kilometres ahead of Dera Bugti.

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MP uses pepper spray, Speaker suspends 18 lawmakers

The Lok Sabha turned into a battlefield on Thursday with senior MPs scuffling as home minister Sushilkumar Shinde introduced the Telangana bill around noon.

The UPA government struggled to table the bill as expelled Congress MP Lagadapati   Rajagopal heightened the drama by spraying pepper spray in the air after being stopped from rushing to the Speaker’s chair.

The pepper spray left several parliamentarians, staff and journalists coughing and teary-eyed. Many MPs tried to rush outside to avoid the smell and chemical effects of the spray.

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Musharraf’s attorney offers himself for punishment

ISLAMABAD: The proceedings of treason trial took a dramatic turn on Wednesday when an attorney of retired Gen Pervez Musharraf offered himself for punishment in place of the former president even though the special court has yet to indict the former dictator for high treason.

Advocate Rana Ijaz Ahmed, who was law minister of Punjab in the Musharraf regime, asked the court to hang him or sentence him for life as envisaged in the High Treason Punishment Act 1973 for abrogating the Constitution.

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Afghanistan releases 65 Taliban prisoners despite US protests

KABUL: Afghanistan released 65 alleged Taliban fighters from jail on Thursday despite fierce condemnation from the United States, which says the men pose a threat to Nato and Afghan forces.

“The 65 prisoners were freed and walked out of the Bagram prison compound this morning,” Abdul Shukor Dadras, a member of the Afghan government body reviewing the detainees, told AFP.

“Their cases were reviewed and we have no reason to keep them in jail.” Dadras had also said.

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