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Dozens of people killed by Cyclone Phet

Cyclone Phet is the second-strongest tropical cyclone on record to develop within the Arabian Sea; only Cyclone Gonu in 2007 was more intense.

Cyclone Phet on June 1

It initially moved to the northwest direction near Oman but later turned more towards the North before reaching the Arabian Peninsula and later to a northeastern track onto Pakistan.

Cyclone Phet made landfall near the coast of Karachi on June 6 at about 16:30 GMT. “Phet” (Thai: เพชร) is a Thai word, meaning Diamond.

On June 4 in Oman, first report came that Cyclone Phet killed two persons including a Bangladeshi woman. Heavy rains drenched Oman’s east coast as strong winds uprooted trees and signboards.

By June 6, a official report further increased the death toll to 24, including 21 Omanis and 3 from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh).

Phet arrived in Pakistan which saw 133 millimetres of rainfall on June 4. Authorities evacuated tens of thousands of people to safe areas and the country’s army and navy were put on alert.Under the influence of the cyclone, disrupting the city’s railways and electricity transmission systems. Read More…

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Two mosques under attack in Lahore, Pakistan

Nearly 100 people are killed and 120 more injured in two attacks in Lahore, Pakistan. Two mosques, Dar-ul-Zikr and Bait-ul-Noor, of the minority Ahmadiyya Muslim Community came under attack in a hostage situation after firing and grenades.

At least 98 people were killed and more than 120 were injured in the two attacks which occurred nearly simultaneously. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, as well as their Punjab wing, claimed responsibility for the attacks and were also blamed by the Pakistani Police.

The perpetrators lobbed grenades and started firing as they attacked two mosques of the minority Ahmadi sect in different residential neighbourhoods. Security officers were then involved in a gun battle with fighters ouside one of the mosques in Garhi Shahu district. The near simultaneous attacks were at Darul Zikr, Garhi Shahu and Bait-al Noor Lahore Model Town, 15 km apart. Read More…

Pakistan blocks access to YouTube and Facebook

The Pakistani government has blocked access to YouTube, the popular video-sharing website, citing “growing sacrilegious” content.

The move comes after a Pakistani court ordered a temporary block of social networking site Facebook on Wednesday, after a row unfolded concerning a group on Facebook urging users on the popular social networking site to draw pictures of the Prophet Mohammed.

The Pakistan Telecommunication Authority, the government agency responsible for the operation and maintenance of Pakistani telecommunications, ordered all internet service providers to “completely shut-down” all access to Facebook and YouTube from the interior of Pakistan. According to a spokesman, the agency only did so after “all possible” options had been exhausted. Read More…

Suicide bomb blast hits Pakistani city

A bomb explosion in Dera Ismail Khan in the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan killed at least twelve people, officials said.

Dera Īsmāil Khān, Pakistan

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Iqbal Khan was said to be the target by other policemen. The bomb, which was planted on a bicycle, killed the former along with the driver and guard of his convoy.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. The DSP’s car had been badly damaged. Officials stated the bomb was detonated when Khan had been leaving his house situated in the Kutchi Painda Khan region of the town and entering his car. “It was a remote control bomb and was planted in a bicycle,” Riaz Khan, a police spokesperson for the province, said to Agence France-Presse news agency. Read More…

US drones’ kill Pakistan fighters

At least fourteen people in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region have been killed in drone strikes earlier today by suspected US unmanned aircraft.

The attacks happened in the Dattakhel village, located near the Afghanistan border; as many as eighteen missiles were fired at targets, according to security authorities. A local intelligence official said that “Three missiles hit a vehicle and three militants sitting in it were killed.”

A nearby compound used by rebels was also attacked; around a dozen missiles were fired by drones. The dead in that attack are alleged to have been fighters. A reporter for Al Jazeera says the strikes lasted from twenty to 25 minutes.

“The militants have cordoned off the area. So far they’ve retrieved 11 bodies from the debris. The death toll may rise because the militants are still searching for bodies,” an unnamed security official commented.

On this day May 11, 1995

In New York City, more than 170 countries decide to extend the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty indefinitely and without conditions.

Participation in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty

The Treaty to limit the spread of nuclear weapons, was opened for signature on July 1, 1968.

There are currently 189 countries party to the treaty, five of which have nuclear weapons: the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Russia, and the People’s Republic of China (the permanent members of the UN Security Council). Read More…

Taliban commander reportedly alive

According to Pakistani intelligence, the leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, Hakimullah Mehsud, is still alive, contradicting claims by US and Pakistani officials that he was killed in a January drone attack.

At the time of the attack, officials reported that Mehsud was killed along with ten other rebels, but Pakistani sources now say he was only wounded in the attack. According to unidentified sources, his authority within the Taliban had significantly diminished after the attack, and is now overshadowed by other commanders such as Waliur Rehman.

Four officers from Pakistan’s main spy agency said that they believed Mehsud was alive, citing both surveillance of the Taliban, as well as reports from sources within the Taliban. Read More…