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IRAQ

32 die in rare suicide attack in Baghdad

A rare twin suicide bombing killed at least 28 people on a bustling commercial street in the heart of Baghdad on Thursday, the military said, rupturing months of relative calm. Iraq’s joint operations command said another 110 people were also wounded. Military spokesman Yahya Rasool said two suicide bombers detonated their explosives as they were being pursued by security forces. No one immediately took responsibility for the attack. In recent years, suicide bombings have become relatively rare in the capital. The last such attack took place in June and left several people dead.

LIBYA

43 Europe-bound migrants drown at sea

A boat carrying migrants bound for Europe capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Libya, drowning at least 43 people, the United Nations’ migration agency said on Wednesday. The International Organization for Migration said the “tragic” shipwreck that took place a day earlier was the first maritime disaster in 2021 involving migrants seeking better lives in Europe. The organization said 48 illegal migrants were rescued. Among the migrants are 11 children and a woman, the IOM said, stressing that Libya is not a safe port for disembarkation. Thousands of illegal immigrants choose to cross the Mediterranean from Libya toward Europe, as the North African country has been mired in insecurity and turmoil since 2011.

PAKISTAN

Military test-fires medium-range missile

Pakistan on Wednesday successfully test-fired a surface-to-surface ballistic missile with a range of 2,750 kilometers, the military said. In a statement, it said the launch of the medium-range Shaheen-III missile was aimed at “re-validating various design and technical parameters of the weapon system”. It didn’t say whether the missile was capable of carrying nuclear warheads. The military did not say where the missile was fired from, but such tests are often conducted by Pakistan in the Arabian Sea. President Asrif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated scientists and the military over the test.

UNITED KINGDOM

Govt knocking on door of CPTPP pact

Britain will soon apply to join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, or CPTPP, trade bloc, Trade Minister Liz Truss said on Wednesday. Since leaving the European Union, a process it completed at the end of 2020, Britain has been seeking out new trading arrangements around the world and sees the CPTPP as an important pillar of its new independent trade policy. The CPTPP is a trade agreement involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. The agreement removes most tariffs. Truss described the bloc as “one of the world’s most dynamic trading areas”.

Agencies – Xinhua

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