Tue, 26 Jan 2021

PUL-E-KHUMRI, Afghanistan -- Four security forces members and 10 Taliban militants were killed in armed clashes in Afghanistan's northern Baghlan province on Monday night, local police said on Tuesday.

There were also three security forces members and 12 militants wounded in the clashes.

"The clashes erupted in Hadbakhshi and Baghlan-e-Markazi localities after militants attacked security forces' positions. The security personnel deployed at the targeted check posts retaliated effectively, forcing them to flee from the scenes," Ahmad Jawid Basharat, provincial police spokesman, said in a statement. (Afghanistan-Baghlan-Clashes)

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HONG KONG -- The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Tuesday objected to sweeping attacks and groundless accusations by Britain in a six-monthly report on Hong Kong.

In recent years, social unrest that featured advocating "Hong Kong independence" and "self-determination," posed challenges to the "one country, two systems" principle, and acts and activities undermining social order and endangering Hong Kong's stability were on the rise, especially those in the latter part of 2019, the government said in a statement.

Hong Kong, which used to be one of the safest places in the world, was besieged by escalating violence, the government said.

At the same time, external forces had intensified their interference and flagrantly glorified the illegal acts of radicals using the excuse of freedom and democracy, the government said, condemning overseas politicians for turning a blind eye to such violence, which seriously jeopardized China's sovereignty, security and development interests, as well as the HKSAR's prosperity and stability.((Hong Kong-Government)

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PHNOM PENH -- Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen said Tuesday that the kingdom will provide 2 million face masks and other medical supplies to Myanmar to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On behalf of the Government of the Kingdom of Cambodia, I would like to provide a donation of 2 million masks and other medical facilities ... to the Government and the people of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar," Hun Sen said in a letter to Myanmar's State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

The donation includes 2 million face masks, 100,000 fabric face masks, 20,000 N-95 masks, 20,000 goggles, 20,000 sets of personal protective equipment, 500 hand-held temperature scanners, and 20 sets of ventilator machines for the use in intensive care units, among others.(Cambodia-Myanmar-Assistance)

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DHAKA -- A massive fire tore through one of the largest slums in Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka early Tuesday, destroying around 100 shanties and leaving hundreds of people homeless.

A total of 12 fire units battled hard for hours to extinguish the blaze at about 4:00 a.m. local time Tuesday, Fire Service Headquarters Duty Officer Lima Khanom told Xinhua.

The slum, called Saat Tola, in Dhaka's Mohakhali area, is a densely populated residential complex, home to thousands of poor residents.

No casualty has been reported so far. (Bangladesh-Slum fire)

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