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Russian missile strikes kill 18 in Ukraine's Odesa

Russian missile strikes residential areas in Ukrainian port city Odesa killing 18, including two children.

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Russian missile strikes kill 18 in Ukraine's Odesa
GNN Media: Representational Photo

Kyiv:  At least 18 people were killed while dozens others sustained injuries after Russian missiles struck an apartment building and two holiday camps near Ukraine's Black Sea port of Odesa early on Friday, said Ukrainian authorities.  

One missile struck the building in the village of Serhiivka in the Bilhorod-Dnistrovskyi district at about 1 am (2200 GMT Thursday), killing 16 people, Odesa region emergency official Ihor Budalenkotold local television, adding that 41 people had been rescued. 

Rescue work was still ongoing to find people who could still be trapped in the building where 152 lived.

A spokesman for the Odesa regional administration said missiles also hit two holiday camps nearby. 

Odesa region governor Maksym Marchenko put the total death toll at 18 and 31 hospitalised in a post on Telegram. He said Russia had used Soviet-era Kh-22 missiles, which all came from the direction of the Black Sea.

Russia has denied targeting civilians since it invaded Ukraine in late February in what it calls a "special operation" to demilitarise its neighbour.

Ukrainian officials have said a Kh-22 missile fired by a Russian bomber hit a crowded shopping mall in the central city of Kremenchuk on Monday, killing at least 19 people. 

That strike drew condemnation from Western leaders and the pope but Russia rejected Ukraine's account, saying the missile had struck a store of Western-supplied weapons next to the mall, causing it to catch fire. 

A Ukrainian army general on Thursday said Russia was trying to hit military and critical infrastructure with its missile strikes but that because it was often using inaccurate Soviet missiles it was causing significant loss of civilian life.

He said 202 missiles had been fired on Ukraine in the second half of June, an increase of 120 from the first half of the month. He estimated that 68 civilian sites had been hit in the second half of June.

SOURCE: REUTERS 

Pakistan

President urges youth to participate in monsoon plantation drive to cope with climate change

"Pakistan was the eighth country most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change"

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President urges youth to participate in monsoon plantation drive to cope with climate change

Islamabad: President Dr Arif Alvi on Thursday called for concerted efforts by all segments of society to carry out extensive plantations in a bid to save the country from the horrendous effects of climate change.

In his message on the launch of the national monsoon tree plantation drive, he urged every citizen, particularly youth, to actively participate in the campaign by planting trees in residential areas, on roadsides, and near industrial zones.

President Alvi said Pakistan was the eighth country most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change.

He mentioned that rising mercury levels were resulting in glacier melting and urban flooding.

During the last 19 years, he said, Pakistan suffered around 173 incidents related to climate change besides the massive destruction this year as well.

The president said as per international standards, a country required 25 percent forest cover, however, pointed out that Pakistan only had 4.8 percent of the green area according to a World Bank report.

He emphasized carrying out plantation at a large scale across the country and mentioned the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami as the largest such plantation project in the country’s history.

Under the project, he said, 1.81 billion trees had been planted by June 2022. By 2023, around 3.29 billion trees will be planted.

President Alvi said 10,000 saplings were planted in the premises of the Aiwan-e-Sadr in 2021, while a Miyawaki forest was also raised at an area of 1.5 acres under the Green Presidency Initiative.

He expressed confidence that an increase in forest cover would help mitigate the effects of climate change in the country and would also control urban flooding.

Also, the extensive plantation would result in the preservation of wildlife and flora and fauna in the country, he added.

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World

10 including prominent cleric killed in bombing at Kabul mosque

There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further.

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10 including prominent cleric killed in bombing at Kabul mosque

A bombing at a mosque in the Afghan capital of Kabul during evening prayers on Wednesday killed at least 10 people, including a prominent cleric, and wounded at least 27, an eyewitness and police said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, the latest to strike the country in the year since the Taliban seized power. Several children were reported to be among the wounded.

The Islamic State group’s local affiliate has stepped up attacks targeting the Taliban and civilians since the former insurgents’ takeover last August as U.S. and NATO troops were in the final stages of their withdrawal from the country. Last week, the IS claimed responsibility for killing a prominent Taliban cleric at his religious center in Kabul.

According to the eyewitness, a resident of the city’s Kher Khanna neighborhood where the Siddiquiya Mosque was targeted, the explosion was carried out by a suicide bomber. The slain cleric was Mullah Amir Mohammad Kabuli, the eyewitness said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media. 
 
He added that more than 30 other people were wounded. The Italian Emergency hospital in Kabul said that at least 27 wounded civilians, including five children, were brought there from the site of the bomb blast.

There were fears the casualty numbers could rise further.

Khalid Zadran, the Taliban-appointed spokesman for the Kabul police chief, confirmed an explosion inside a mosque in northern Kabul but would not provide a casualty toll or a breakdown of the dead and wounded.

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid also condemned the explosion and vowed that the “perpetrators of such crimes will soon be brought to justice and will be punished.”

A U.S.-led invasion toppled the previous Taliban government, which had hosted al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan, following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

Since regaining power, the former insurgents have faced a crippling economic crisis as the international community, which does not recognize the Taliban government, froze funding to the country.

Separately, the Taliban confirmed on Wednesday that they had captured and killed Mehdi Mujahid in western Herat province as he was trying to cross the border into Iran.

Mujahid was a former Taliban commander in the district of Balkhab in northern Sar-e-Pul province, and the only member of the minority Shiite Hazara community among the Taliban ranks.

Mujahid had turned against the Taliban over the past year, after opposing decisions made by Taliban leaders in Kabul.

SOURCE: AP NEWS

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Sports

2nd ODI: Pakistan to face Netherlands today

Pakistan is leading the series by 1-0.

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2nd ODI: Pakistan to face Netherlands today

Rotterdam: The second One-Day International of the three match series between Pakistan and Netherlands will be played on Thursday (today) at Rotterdam.

The match will start at 02:00 pm.

Pakistan is leading the series by 1-0.

Pakistan squad

Babar Azam (c), Shadab Khan, Abdullah Shafique, Fakhar Zaman, Haris Rauf, Imam-ul-Haq, Khushdil Shah, Mohammad Haris, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Salman Ali Agha, Shaheen Afridi, Shahnawaz Dahani, Zahid Mehmood

Netherlands squad

Scott Edwards (c), Musa Ahmad, Shariz Ahmad, Wesley Barresi, Logan van Beek, Tom Cooper, Aryan Dutt, Arnav Jain, Viv Kingma, Ryan Klein, Bas de Leede, Teja Nidamanuru, Tim Pringle, Max O'Dowd, Vikram Singh

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