Kabul: A powerful early morning suicide truck bomb devastated a hospital in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing as many as 20 people and wounding more than 90 others, an official said. The Taliban, who claimed responsibility for the bombing, have carried out nearly daily attacks since peace talks with the United States collapsed earlier this month. Thursday’s massive explosion destroyed part of the hospital in Qalat, the capital of southern Zabul province, and left a fleet of ambulances broken and battered. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from US Residents, many of whom had come to see their sick family members, used shawls and blankets to carry the wounded inside the destroyed building, while authorities scrambled to take the worst of the wounded to hospitals in nearby Kandahar. In the hours immediately after the explosion, there were contradictory figures of the dead and wounded. The provincial governor’s spokesman Gul Islam Seyal put the death toll at 12 but said authorities were on the scene sifting through the debris. Atta Jan Haqbayan, head of the provincial council, put the death toll at 20. Also Read – Record number of 35 candidates in fray for SL Presidential polls Morning prayers had just finished when worshippers were stunned by the ear-splitting blast that destroyed parts of a mosque adjacent to the hospital and the hospital building, said Mahboob Hakimi, a resident of Qalat. Windows in his home nearly two kilometers (over one mile) away were shattered by the blast, he said. A Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said in a tweet said the target was a nearby intelligence office, which he claimed was destroyed and “tens of intelligence operatives killed/wounded.” Haqbayan said the wall of the National Security Department (NDS) building was damaged. He couldn’t say whether any personnel were among the casualties. The provincial governor, Rahmatullah Yarmal, said many of the dead and wounded were women and children. On Twitter, an Afghan National Security Forces personnel posted a picture of a six-month-old child saying they were searching through the rubble for the parents and sought the public’s help. President Ashraf Ghani’s spokesman, Sediq Sediqqi, condemned the attack in Zabul, tweeting that the Taliban “continue to target civilians while their leaders travel to Iran and Russia,” a reference to the Taliban negotiators recent forays seeking support abroad. The violence has further rattled the country as it prepares for national elections later this month. Two separate bombings on Tuesday, including one that targeted Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s election rally, killed 48 people, mostly civilians. The Taliban took responsibility for both attacks. Suhail Shaheen, the Taliban’s spokesman for their political office in the Middle Eastern state of Qatar, said in a tweet that a cease fire had been part of a U.S.-Taliban deal before President Trump declared it “dead.” He did not elaborate and earlier defended Taliban attacks prior to an agreement signing, saying both sides in the conflict had carried out attacks
Changzhou (China): Reigning world champion PV Sindhu made an early exit from the China Open after losing a three-game thriller against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals here on Thursday. Sindhu, an Olympic silver medallist, squandered a first-game advantage to go down 12-21 21-13 21-19 to Pornpawee in a match that lasted 58 minutes here. Doubles specialist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also had a dismal day as he suffered twin defeats, losing both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals. Also Read – Puducherry on top after 8-wkt win over Chandigarh In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, ranked 15th in the world, ran out of steam after a decent start against fourth-seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda and went down 19-21 8-21 in the second-round match that lasted 33 minutes. This is the second time Satwik and Chirag have lost to the combination of Kamura and Sonoda this year. They had lost to the world no.4 pair at the Japan Open in July. Satwik then paired up with his mixed doubles partner Ashwini Ponanappa but the duo couldn’t get past Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo, losing 11-21 21-16 12-21 to the Japanese pair. Also Read – Vijender’s next fight on Nov 22, opponent to be announced later Sindhu, who came into the match with a 3-0 lead against Pornpawee, dominated the first game as she lead 7-1 early on but the Thai shuttler reduced the deficit to 10-11 at the break. However, Sindhu reeled off eight straight points after the interval to jump to 19-10 and eventually sealed the first game comfortably. In the second game, Pornpawee changed gears and moved to a 5-1 advantage initially. Sindhu clawed back to 7-9 before the Thai youngster jumped to 15-7 with six straight points and held her fort to roar back into the contest. The decider started on an even note as the duo fought hard, moving together till 6-6 when Sindhu surged ahead to enjoy a 11-7 cushion at the break. However, Pornpawee kept breathing down Sindhu’s neck and slowly moved to 15-19. From there, the Thai shuttler blasted six points to leave the Indian shocked. Among other Indians in fray, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth will also be in action, while Ponnappa and N Siki Reddy will take on the second seeded Japanese duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the second round of the women’s doubles competition.
Etah (UP): The owner of a firecracker factory along with five others died in a blast after a stash of crackers stored in her house caught fire on Saturday morning here, officials said. The blast occurred at 35-year-old Munni Devi’s house in Takia locality under Mirhachi Police Station area, police said, adding that she was the co-owner of the factory along with one Giriraj who lives in the same neighbourhood. Devi along with Anjali (8), Radha (12), Khushi (6), Sheetal (18) and Rajni (14) perished in the explosion, District Magistrate Sukhlal Bharti said. Around eight persons including Devi’s daughters- Pooja and Madhuri sustained injuries and were referred to Saifai for treatment, he added.
Dhaka: At least 10 people, including seven children, were killed when their boat capsized in Bangladesh’s Sunamganj district, police said on Wednesday. The engine-run boat, carrying 30 passengers, capsized around 7 pm on Tuesday in Kaliakotha Haor of the district’s Derai upazila due to strong winds, Derai police station Officer-in-Charge KM Nazrul Islam was quoted as saying by the Dhaka Tribune. Seven children are among the dead after the boat bound for Perua village from Masimpur capsized, police said, adding that some of the passengers were rescued while others swam ashore when strong winds tipped the boat over. Derai upazila Chairman Manjurul Alam Chowdhury said the families of the deceased will receive 10,000 taka each from the administration.