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International

Nigeria twin blasts toll rises to 110

Lagos : The toll from the twin bomb attacks in Nigeria's Kaduna State Wednesday has risen to 110, with more injured victims being rushed to hospital for treatment, a humanitarian aid official said Thursday.

Abubakar Zakari Adamu, a spokesperson for the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) told reporters that 13 out of the severely injured victims succumbed in the hospitals.

A Xinhua reporter in the state learned that hundreds of people travelling through the north central state have been stranded following the 24-hour curfew imposed Kaduna city.

Norway on alert over terrorist threat

Oslo : The Norwegian anti-terror police Thursday said they had been informed of a planned terrorist attack against the country.

At a hastily-convened press conference, Alana Bjoernland, chief of Norway's anti-terror police agency PST, announced that suspects associated with a terrorist organisation in Syria plan to launch an attack in Norway in a few days.

The PST received the information from usually reliable sources, but is uncertain about where and when an attack would take place, Xinhua reported citing Norwegian news agency NTB.

UN to probe human rights violations by Israel

Geneva : A special session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution Wednesday to launch an inquiry into human rights violations from Israel's latest military offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The one-day special session, requested by 22 members of the council and 16 Observer States, backed a Palestinian-drafted resolution by 29 votes in favour, 17 abstentions, and one against. The US was the sole member that cast the no ballot, Xinhua reported.

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World War II bomb defused in Germany

Berlin : Task forces Wednesday succeeded in defusing a World War II bomb in a district of Germany's Cologne, media reports said.

The bomb was discovered Tuesday during construction work on the site of the largest nursing home in Cologne.

A total of 7,800 people can now return to their homes, including some 1,300 residents of senior facilities, who were also temporarily evacuated from their homes.

Last Tuesday, another bomb was defused near the present location, which led to a evacuation of 10,000 people.

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Bulgarian government resigns ahead of early elections

Sofia : Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski submitted the resignation of his government to the National Assembly Wednesday ahead of early parliamentary elections already agreed to between the main political forces.

The resignation will be voted in parliament Thursday or Friday, and under the agreement reached in late June, Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev will Aug 6 dissolve the National Assembly and appoint a caretaker government, Xinhua reported.

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Netherlands observes day of national mourning for MH17 victims

The Hague : The Netherlands observed a day of national mourning Wednesday for the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine.

This was the first time the country had observed a day of national mourning since 1962.

Flags flew at half-mast on all main buildings of the central government, municipalities and provinces, and at Dutch diplomatic missions abroad, Xinhua reported.

Church bells will ring at different times of the day and for five minutes before the first aircraft with the bodies of the victims arrives in Eindhoven around 4 p.m.

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22 Russians booked for working as illegal guides

Panaji : Twenty seven foreigners, including 22 Russians, were booked in the past one-and-a-half-years for working illegally as guides in Goa's tourism-oriented coastal belt, according to Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.

Two independent flying squads, comprising police, traffic, tourism and transport department officials had also been set up to crack down on foreigners on tourist visas who were either working or conducting businesses illegally, according to documents tabled by the home ministry in the assembly Wednesday.

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Australian PM fears MH17 bodies will never return

Canberra : Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Wednesday said that the crash site of downed Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was still not secure and feared that the bodies of some Australian victims will never return.

Abbott said in a press conference that this situation would "be completely unacceptable for bereaved families in Australia and around the world" and called for a full forensic search of the site, Xinhua reported.

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Indonesian presidential candidate withdraws from poll process

Jakarta : Indonesian presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto and his running mate Hatta Radjasa Tuesday announced their withdrawal from the election process alleging fraud in the July 9 election.

The pair ordered their team taking part in the vote recapitulation process being held in the General Election Commission (KPU) to walk out, rejecting any legal decision issued by the KPU related to the election, Xinhua reported.

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Australia sends plane to bring back MH17 victims

Canberra : Australia Tuesday sent a C-17 military plane to the Netherlands to bring back the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 which crashed in Ukraine last Thursday.

The heavy-lift transport plane took off from its base in the Middle East and is heading for the Dutch city of Eindhoven, where the Netherlands' second-largest airport is located, Xinhua reported.

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