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Death toll rises in Afghanistan classroom attack

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  • Suicide bombers attacked Afghan education centre last week
  • United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan raises death toll to 53.
  • No group has so far claimed responsibility for attack.

KABUL: Forty-six girls and young women were among those killed in a suicide bombing on an Afghan education centre last week, the UN said Monday as it announced the total death toll had risen to 53.

A suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday next to women at a gender-segregated study hall packed with hundreds of students sitting a practice test for university admissions.

The attack happened in a Kabul neighbourhood home to the Shiite Muslim Hazara community, which has been subjected to some of the worst violence in the country’s recent history.

“Our human rights team continues documenting the crime: verifying facts & establishing reliable data to counter denial & revisionism,” the United Nations assistance mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) tweeted.

It raised the death toll from 43 to 53, adding that a further 110 had been wounded.

Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities, which have often tried to play down attacks challenging their regime, have said 25 people were killed and 33 others wounded.

No group has so far claimed responsibility, but the Daesh group has carried out several deadly attacks in the same area targeting girls, schools and mosques.

Education is a flashpoint issue in Afghanistan, with the Taliban blocking many girls from returning to secondary education, while Daesh also stands against the education of women and girls.

The Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan last year brought an end to a two-decade war against a Western-backed government, leading to a significant reduction in violence, but security has begun to deteriorate in recent months.

Friday’s attack has triggered sporadic women-led protests in Kabul and some other cities.

Around 50 women chanted: “Stop Hazara genocide, it’s not a crime to be a Shiite”, as they marched on Saturday in the Dasht-e-Barchi neighbourhood where the attack happened.

The rallies have been dispersed by Taliban forces often firing shots into the air and beating protesters.

Afghanistan’s Hazaras have regularly faced attacks in the majority Sunni Muslim country.

They have been persecuted for decades, targeted by the Taliban during their insurgency against the former US-backed government as well as by Daesh.

In May last year, before the Taliban’s return to power, at least 85 people — mainly girls — were killed and about 300 were wounded when three bombs exploded near their school in Dasht-e-Barchi.

Again, no group claimed responsibility, but a year earlier Daesh claimed a suicide attack on an educational centre in the same area that killed 24.

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The year’s longest day and shortest night are both today.

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The nation is experiencing an increase in oppressive heat. The longest day and shortest night of the year are respectively observed on this Friday.

Summer solstice is the name given to this event.

Because of the tilt of the Earth, the Summer Solstice happens twice a year when one of the poles is at its greatest degree towards the sun.

While the winter solstice occurs in December in the Southern Hemisphere, the summer solstice occurs in June in the Northern Hemisphere.

It is the longest day of the year, June 21st.

The shortest night of the year, nevertheless, will occur today.

14 hours will pass during the day and 10 hours during the night, according to the report.

Beginning on July 1, the day will progressively get shorter as June draws to a close.

The event known as equinox occurs on September 22, when day and night have equal lengths.

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Authorities report that during the Hajj, 35 Pakistani pilgrims perished from the intense heat.

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Thirty-five Pakistani pilgrims have died, according to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Abdul Wahab Soomro, the DG of the Hajj Mission, claims that nine Pakistanis perished in Mashair, four in Mina, three in Arafat, and two in Muzdalifah.

According to the Hajj DG, six pilgrims from Pakistan died in Medina and twenty died in Makkah.

According to the DG, the extreme 50 degree Celsius heat was the reason for the deaths. According to him, there was no basis for the claim that the pilgrims were neglected.

According to him, the Saudi government was informed of the remains, and the funeral plans were set up in compliance with the families’ desires. According to Soomro, plans had also been made to transfer the bodies to Pakistan.

He claimed that in these kinds of situations, the Saudi and Pakistani governments have always worked together.

Over 1,000 people have died.

According to AFP, more over 1,000 people have died during this year’s Hajj. According to the report, over 50% of them were unregistered worshippers who underwent the sweltering Saudi Arabian journey.

An Arab ambassador gave a breakdown of the 658 Egyptians who died, indicating that 630 were unregistered pilgrims. Of the additional deaths announced on Thursday, 58 came from Egypt.

One of the five pillars of Islam, which all Muslims who have the means to do so must at least once, the annual pilgrimage, has resulted in 1,081 deaths overall, according to reports from about ten different countries.

Official announcements or diplomats working on their countries’ responses have provided the data.

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Pakistan

As PM Shehbaz creates committees to address the PPP’s issues, a thaw is evident.

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In response to the issues brought up by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari during their meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has established committees.

The PPP heavyweights and PML-N leaders met after Bilawal did not attend the June 12 National Assembly session when the budget for the upcoming fiscal year 2024–25 was unveiled.

The PPP chief’s concerns were mostly addressed by the prime minister at the meeting, when he also ordered committees to look into his grievances.

Sources claim that on Friday, the committees would undertake discussions to settle the differences between the ruling parties.

Bilawal once voiced concern over the PPP’s lack of faith in the budget. He emphasised that the PML-N is not carrying out the arrangement that the PPP had made to support the government.

Additionally, he charged that the Punjabi government was erecting obstacles in the way of the PPP’s advancement in the region.

For the welfare of the people as well as the growth and prosperity of the nation, Prime Minister Shehbaz urged all political parties to cooperate.

Yousuf Raza Gilani, the Senate Chairman, Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah, Syed Naveed Qamar, and Sherry Rehman were among the PPP delegation members.

Speaking at the event, the premier stated that additional talks over the budget for 2024–2025 were held with the Pakistan Peoples Party. He claimed that although the stock market had seen an unprecedented boom, the economy was exhibiting encouraging signs.

He claimed that the new fiscal year’s budget included measures to help the average person. He promised that committees will continue to be used for further consultation.

Afterwards, the prime minister hosted a dinner reception in honour of the PPP delegation.

In attendance were Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Deputy Prime Minister Ishaq Dar, Federal Ministers for Planning and Finance and Revenue Muhammad Aurangzeb and Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar, Prime Minister’s Advisor on Political Affairs Rana Sanaullah, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Ali Pervez Malik, and former federal minister Khawaja Saad Rafique.

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