Showing posts with label International News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label International News. Show all posts

Thursday, 31 August 2017

US Increases The Number Of Troops In Afghanistan.

US troop strength in Afghanistan has reached about 11,000 soldiers, exceeding the previous official level of 8,400 US forces, the Pentagon said.

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, Pentagon joint staff director, confirmed the higher-than-previously disclosed force strength in a press conference on Wednesday.

The revelation was made in an effort by Defense Secretary James Mattis to promote transparency, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said.

President Donald Trump last week announced an expansion of US forces to hike operations against armed groups and to train and advise Afghan government security forces.

The undetermined troop increase is to be added to the existing 11,000.
Washington's involvement in Afghanistan since late 2001 is the longest war in US history.
US raids kill civilians

Afghan provincial authorities earlier on Wednesday blamed 12 civilian deaths on a US air strike, in what would be the second such incident this week of civilian casualties in a bombing raid.

Women and children were among the dead, Logar provincial council member Hasibullah Stanekzai told reporters. The air raid was conducted "by foreign forces" late Tuesday in Bari village near provincial capital Pul-e-Alam, he said.

US forces are the only foreign military conducting air raid in Afghanistan. The strike targeted two well-known Taliban commanders who at the time were hiding in a civilian house, Stanekzai said.

Both Mawlavi Ahmadullah, the Taliban's self-appointed governor for Khoshi district in Logar, and a deputy commander of Taliban forces in the region, Qari Naqibullah, were killed in the raid, along with several other fighters.

A spokesman for the provincial governor, Mohammad Salim Saleh, spoke of "civilian casualties in a foreign forces air strike," but provided no details.

US military spokesman John Ross said: "We are still not clear on what happened there. We are looking into it".
It is the second air raid this week against Taliban forces that also killed civilians.

On Monday, a raid left 13 civilians dead and seven wounded in western Herat province.
The rate of US and Afghan air raids against Taliban and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has soared recently.

With Afghan forces stretched thin and demoralized, the military is often relying on air strikes as a last resort to drive the fighters back.

According to the United Nations, the number of civilian casualties from US and Afghan air strikes in the first six months of 2017 increased by 43 percent compared to the same period in 2016.

Three Die And Dozens Trapped As Mumbai Building Crashes Due To Heavy Floods.

Not less than three people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in India's financial capital of Mumbai on Thursday, after days of heavy rain swamped the city.

Rescuers using diggers could be seen sifting through the remains of the four-storey residential building which gave way around 08:40 am (0310 GMT) in the densely populated area of Bhendi Bazaar.

It was the latest deadly housing collapse to strike the teeming metropolis - shining a spotlight on poor construction standards in the Asian country - and came after heavy rains and inundations in the city killed 10 people.

A spokesman for the Mumbai civic authority's disaster control team said three bodies had been pulled from the rubble.
"Three people are dead and thirteen injured have been rescued from the building collapse. Two firemen also have been injured during the rescue operations," Tanaji Kamble, told AFP.

An official in the control room of India's National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) said dozens more were thought to be trapped, he added.

"Forty people are believed to be stuck inside and a 43-member team is conducting rescue operations," the official told AFP.
He said eight or nine families were thought to have been living in the building.

Building collapses are common in Mumbai, especially during the monsoon season from late June to September, when heavy rains lash the western Indian city.

Severe downpours began on Tuesday and caused flooding across Mumbai and the neighbouring region of Thane.

The collapse came as officials said the death toll from the floods was expected to rise above 10, despite the waters receding after better weather.

"We are still on the lookout for more missing persons and the number may go up," Santosh Kadam, spokesman for disaster control in Thane, told AFP.

Bhendi Bazaar, a scruffy colonial-era market, is one of Mumbai's most historic districts.
It is currently undergoing a six-hundred-million-dollar redevelopment project that is set to replace hundreds of ramshackle, decades-old low-rise buildings with around a dozen glitzy new tower blocks.

Mumbai has been hit by several deadly building collapses in recent years, often caused by shoddy construction, poor quality materials or ageing buildings.

The city is particularly vulnerable to deadly collapse with millions forced to live in cramped, ramshackle properties because of rising real estate prices and a lack of housing for the poor.

Activists say housing societies, private owners and builders often cut corners to save on costs. They also claim that corruption plays a part with officials sometimes knowingly certifying dilapidated buildings in return for money.

In July, 17 people including a three-month-old baby, died when a four-storey building gave way in the northern suburb of Ghatkopar.
In 2013, 60 people were killed when a residential block came crashing down in one of Mumbai's worst housing disasters.