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14 injured as blast targeted Judge Zahoor Shahwani in Quetta

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Fourteen people were injured in the blast when a vehicle belonging to the Anti Terrorism Force  accompanying Justice Shahwani’s vehicle was hit at Quetta’s Zarghon road.

“Balochistan Federal Shariat Court Judge Zahoor Shahwani was the target in the attack,” the Nation daily quoted Balochistan Home Minister Sarfaraz Bugti as saying.

Civilians and security officials were injured in the attack that took place near Al Khair Hospital in Zarghon road.

The explosion comes just after a suicide bombing at the emergency ward of Quetta’s Civil Hospital on Monday that killed over 70 people, mostly lawyers and journalists.

The bomb was planted along the side of the road and exploded as the Anti Terrorism Force’s (ATF) vehicle passed by.

“This is a busy road and the terrorists take advantage of this, planting bombs and fleeing on motorcycles,” Dawn online quoted Bugti as saying.

“These blasts are aimed at sabotaging Independence Day (August 14) activities in Balochistan. I believe these cowardly acts will not bring down our morale. We are in a conflict zone and we will fight with renewed resolve,” the Home Minister said.

Bugti added that three to four kilograms of explosive material was used in the blast.

A combing operation is ongoing throughout Quetta following Monday’s blast.

Another National Action Plan meeting has been by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday to discuss the security conditions of Quetta. The meeting will be attended by Chief of Pakistan Army Raheel Shareef, Interior Minister Chaudary Nisar and other senior police and security officials, the Nation daily added.

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US to revoke visas of Saudi officials implicated in death of Jamal Khashoggi

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journalist Jamal Khashoggi

BREAKING: The United State to revoke visas of some Saudi officials implicated in death of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo also said during a press conference that the State and Treasury departments are looking at the possibility of sanctions meant to target those responsible for human rights violations.

The announcement comes after President Trump called the kingdom’s efforts to hide Khashoggi’s killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul the “worst cover-up ever,” stepping up his rhetoric as frustrations directed at Riyadh grow.

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US slaps sanctions on Taliban, Iranian supporters

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

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Washington, Oct 24 : The US Treasury announced on Tuesday that it has imposed sanctions on eight individuals, including two associated with Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps — Qods Force (IRGC-QF), in an effort to hit Afghanistan’s Taliban militants.

The Treasury accused the designated Taliban members of engaging in suicide attacks and other activities in Afghanistan and blamed the Iranians for providing financial and material support for the Taliban, Xinhau reported.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed in a statement that Iran was “exploiting Afghanistan to further their destabilizing behaviour”.

Mnuchin is on a week-long trip to the Middle East with talks on combating terrorist financing and looming Iran sanctions.

Also on Tuesday, the other member nations of the Terrorist Financing Targeting Centre (TFTC), all US Gulf allies, also imposed Taliban-related sanctions.

Saudi Arabia and Bahrain announced Tuesday to add Iran’s IRGC to the list of terror-related individuals and organisations, Saudi Press Agency reported.

Washington has intensified its sanctions against Iranian entities and individuals after President Donald Trump’s decision to exit the Iran nuclear deal in May, a move that has been widely criticized by the international community.

New US sanctions on Iran’s oil exports are set to kick in on November 4.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said his country will manage to abort anti-Iran sanctions by the United States, Press TV reported on Monday.

The TFTC, including the United States, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar, was formed in May 2017 and inaugurated by the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Trump on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit last year.

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UN calls for probe into Pakistani reporter’s murder

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Paris, Oct 23 The head of the United Nations cultural organisation UNESCO on Tuesday deplored the slaying of journalist Sohail Khan in northwest Pakistan last week and urged the country’s authorities to bring his killers to justice.

“I condemn the killing of Sohail Khan,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “I trust the authorities will spare no effort in investigating this crime, which undermines the fundamental human right of freedom of expression as well as the right to access information,” he said.

“A free press plays an essential role in combating organized crime and upholding the rule of law,” Azoulay added.

Sohail Khan, a reporter for local Urdu daily, which also operates a local television channel, was gunned down on October 16 in the Haripur district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, which borders Afghanistan.

Khan, 28, was murdered days after a report on drug trafficking, the Freedom Network watchdog organization said. He was the third journalist killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa this year. His killing sparked protests by journalists across Pakistan.

Four reporters have been murdered in Pakistan since January, the watchdog said.(IANS/AKI)

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