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8 killed, more than 20 injured in Kabul bomb blast

Video footage posted online showed ambulances rushing to the scene, which is also near bus stations

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8 killed, more than 20 injured in Kabul bomb blast
GNN Media: Representational Photo

A bomb blast in a busy shopping street in Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Saturday killed at least eight people and injured 22, hospital officials and witnesses said.

The bomb exploded in a western district of the city where members of the minority Shi'ite Muslim community regularly meet. Islamic State, a Sunni Muslim militant group, claimed responsibility for the attack, the group said on its Telegram channel.

A senior medical officer at a private hospital said at least eight people died and 22 were wounded.

An Interior Ministry spokesman said an investigation team was at the blast site to help the wounded and assess casualties.

Video footage posted online showed ambulances rushing to the scene, which is also near bus stations.

The attack came ahead of Ashura, a commemoration of the martyrdom of Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, which is marked mainly by Shi'ite Muslims.

On Friday, at least eight people were killed and 18 injured in a blast in Kabul carried out by Islamic State. read more

Islamic State does not control any territory in Afghanistan but it has sleeper cells that have been attacking religious minorities in the country as well as patrols by the ruling Taliban.

The Sunni Muslim Taliban authorities, who took over Afghanistan in August last year after a two-decade insurgency, have said they will provide more protection for Shi'ite mosques and other facilities.

Sayed Kazum Hojat, a Shi'ite religious scholar in Kabul, said the Taliban government had ramped up security ahead of Ashura but should improve vigilance.

No up-to-date census data exists, but estimates put the size of the Shi'ite community at between 10-20% of the population of 39 million, including Persian-speaking Tajiks and Pashtuns as well as Hazaras.

SOURCE: REUTERS

Pakistan

Remembering doctor Ruth Pfau on her death anniversary

Dr. Pfau wrote four books about her work in Pakistan, including “To Light a Candle” (1987), which was translated into English. 

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Remembering doctor Ruth Pfau on her death anniversary

Lahore: The fifth death anniversary of Dr. Ruth Katherina Martha Pfau, who devoted more than 55 years of her life to fighting leprosy in Pakistan, is being observed today.

Although born in Germany, Dr. Ruth came looking to make lives better for those afflicted by leprosy, and in doing so, found her a home.

Leprosy, a disfiguring and stigmatizing ailment also known as Hansen’s disease, can now be prevented and even cured after early diagnosis.

Less than four decades after Dr. Pfau began her campaign to contain leprosy, a mildly contagious bacterial infection, the World Health Organization declared it under control in Pakistan in 1996, ahead of most other Asian countries (although several hundred new cases are still reported there annually).

In 1960, due to a passport foul-up, fate landed Dr. Ruth in Pakistan where she visited a leper colony in Karachi and met one of the thousands of Pakistani patients afflicted with the disease.

“He must have been my age — I was at this time not yet 30 — and he crawled on hands and feet into this dispensary, acting as if this was quite normal,” she told the BBC in 2010, “as if someone has to crawl there through that slime and dirt on hands and feet, like a dog.”

That one visit enabled her to make decision that changed not only her but thousands of lives. 

In 1956, Dr. Pfau joined the Marie Adelaide Leprosy Center, opened in Karachi slums, and soon transformed it into the hub of a network of 157 medical centers that treated tens of thousands of Pakistanis infected with leprosy.

The center was funded mostly by German, Austrian and Pakistani donors, and also treated victims of the 2000 drought in Baluchistan, the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, and devastating floods in 2010.

Once leprosy was declared under control, the center also focused on tuberculosis, blindness, and other diseases and on disabilities, some caused by land mines in war-torn Afghanistan.

For her immense contributions to Pakistani society, Dr. Pfau was often compared to Mother Teresa.

 “When you receive such a calling, you cannot turn it down, for it is not you who has made the choice,” she said. “For it is not you who has made the choice. God has chosen you for himself.”

Dr. Pfau wrote four books about her work in Pakistan, including “To Light a Candle” (1987), which was translated into English. 

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Pakistan

PTI’s Shahbaz Gill arrested in Islamabad

The news was confirmed by the former Federal Minister Murad Saeed on his official Twitter handle.

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PTI’s Shahbaz Gill arrested in Islamabad

Islamabad: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Dr Shahbaz Gill has been arrested from Islamabad on Tuesday, GNN reported.  

According to details, Special Assistant to the former Prime Minister Shahbaz Gill was taken into custody outside the residence of party chairman Imran Khan, while a case of 'incitement to rebellion' has been registered against him in the Bani Gala police station. 

Besides other charges, clauses relating to inciting people against the state institutions and their heads were added to the FIR

The news was confirmed by the former Federal Minister Murad Saeed on his official Twitter handle.

"The imported government is in panic," he tweeted.

He added that Shehbaz Gill's assistant was also subjected to physical assault, claiming that Gill has been 'abducted'. 

In the meantime, PTI leader Fawad Chaudhry said that Shahbaz Gill was 'kidnapped' from Banigala chowk by men who came in vehicles without number plates. 

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Pakistan

Court grants two-day physical remand of Shebaz Gill

The case hearing took place amid strict security arrangements. 

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Court grants two-day physical remand of Shebaz Gill

Islamabad: A court in the federal capital Wednesday granted a two-day physical remand of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) senior leader Shahbaz Gill, who was arrested on charges of alleged sedition and inciting the public against the state institutions.

In a sedition case, Gill was produced before the court today where the Islamabad Police sought his physical remand to recover the mobile phone and the device which he used to make statements. 

Judicial magistrate Omar Bashir reserved his verdict, after hearing the petition, before granting a two-day physical remand. 

The case hearing took place amid strict security arrangements. 

It is pertinent to mention here that Shahbaz Gill was arrested by Islamabad police on Tuesday over a case of incitement to rebellion registered against him in the Bani Gala police station. 

The FIR was registered under sections 34 (common intention), 109 (abetment), 120 (concealing design to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 121 (waging war against state), 124-A (sedition), 131 (abetting mutiny, or attempt to seduce a soldier, sailor or airman from his duty), 153 (provoking to cause riot), 153-A (promoting enmity between different groups),  505 (statement conducing to public mischief),  and 506 (punishment for criminal intimidation) of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC). 

Besides other charges, clauses related to spreading anarchy and hatred were added to the FIR. 

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