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17 killed in clashes near Yemeni-Saudi border

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Saudi-Yemeni border clash

Sanna, Aug 12: At least 17 fighters were killed from both pro and anti-government forces in a fierce battle that erupted on Friday evening in northern Yemen.

Around 10 Houthi rebels and seven government soldiers were killed in the clashes on a front line in Yemen’s northern border province of Jawf, Xinhua reported.

Four other soldiers were wounded and several military vehicles were also damaged in the fighting, which occurred after Houthi rebels launched a fierce attack on government military positions in Akabah and Mizlak areas.

“The soldiers managed to repel the rebels’ attack,” a source said on condition of anonymity.

The targeted government-held positions are located south of Sha’af district north of the province.

The district is the key front line between rival forces after the government forces, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, advanced last year from near Saudi southern border in an attempt to recapture the rebel-held province.

Tension remains high in this region, which witnesses deadly battles almost on a daily basis.

Yemen’s internationally-backed government has been battling Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels for more than two years over the control of the country.

The Saudi-led coalition began a military air campaign in March 2015 to roll back Houthi gains and reinstate exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government to the power.

The coalition also imposed air and sea blockade to prevent weapons from reaching Houthis, who had invaded the capital Sanaa militarily and seized most of the northern Yemeni provinces.

The war has killed more than 10,000 people, most of them civilians, and displaced around 3 million, according to UN agencies.

The impoverished Arab country is also suffering the world’s largest cholera epidemic since April, with about 5,000 cases reported every day.

IANS

World

Powerful Quake hits Japan: Three killed,over 50 injured

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Tokyo, June 18: At least three people were killed and over 50 others injured on Monday when an earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter scale jolted Japan’s Osaka city.

Railway services in Osaka, Shiga, Kyoto and Nara, both high speed bullet trains and local rail services, were halted.

The Osaka prefectural government’s disaster management department said two people were found dead, while the Ibaraki city official confirmed a third victim. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said more than 50 were injured in Osaka and nearby prefectures of Hyogo and Kyoto.

The victims comprised a nine-year-old girl and two men, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.

The earthquake was recorded at 7.58 a.m. and had its hypocenter at about 13 km depth in Osaka Prefecture on the island of Honshu, the largest in the Japanese archipelago, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA).

However, no tsunami warning was issued, reports Efe news.

Several buildings in Osaka and Takatsuki collapsed and were on fire.

Osaka’s Kansai Airport has been shut down while its runways were being checked for damage.

The authorities said that none of the 15 nuclear reactors in this region have been affected by the quake.

The Japanese government has set up a task force to gather information related to the strong earthquake and the Chief Cabinet Secretary, Yoshihide Suga, called on citizens to keep an eye on developments through the media.

Around 170,000 houses in Osaka prefecture are experiencing power outages following the quake, NHK reported.

According to the JMA, this is the first time that the Osaka prefecture has seen an earthquake of this intensity since 1923.

Japan sits on the so-called Ring of Fire, one of the most active seismic zones in the world, and experiences earthquakes frequently, which is why most infrastructure is specially designed to withstand earthquakes.

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Texas car chase: Five immigrants killed

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Washington, June 18 :Five undocumented immigrants in a speeding sport utility vehicle were killed Sunday when it crashed while being chased by border patrol agents and a sheriff’s deputy in a Texas town about 50 miles from the border with Mexico.

The fatal crash occurred around noon local time near Big Wells, which is about 100 miles southwest of San Antonio, Dimmit County Sheriff Marion Boyd told reporters.

Boyd said a total of 14 people were inside the SUV and several were ejected out of the vehicle when it rolled onto Highway 85.

“Border patrol was pursuing a vehicle, a Chevrolet Suburban, and one of my deputies assisted and took over the pursuit just west of Big Wells,” Boyd said.

“The vehicle was travelling at around 100 miles per hour and from what we could tell the vehicle ran off the road, caught gravel, then tried to recorrect and that caused the vehicle to turn over several times.”

He said four people died at the scene, and several were flown by emergency helicopter to a hospital in San Antonio. One person died upon arriving at the hospital, reports ABC News.

The driver of the SUV was taken into custody.

The sheriff said it was just the latest in a series of police chases involving human and drug smugglers in the Big Wells area.

Sunday’s crash comes amid widespread protests over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies that include separating undocumented children from parents caught sneaking them into the country.(IANS)

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FIFA World Cup: Spirited Switzerland hold off-colour Brazil

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Rostov (Russia), June 18: Switzerland came up with a gritty, fighting performance to hold title contenders Brazil 1-1 in a Group E match of the FIFA World Cup here on Sunday.

Both teams now have one point each.

Serbia are at the top of the group with three points, thanks to their victory over Costa Rica earlier in the day.

Brazil’s laboured efforts in their campaign opener continued this World Cup’s trend of big teams struggling to overcome lesser rated opponents.

Fellow title contenders Germany, Argentina and Spain have also failed to win their respective opening matches.

Even though former champions Uruguay and France enjoyed winning starts, they were forced to struggle before eking out narrow wins over relatively weaker opponents.

Brazil dominated the early stages of Sunday’s match but the talented Swiss team gradually found their rhythm and started to create moves off the counter.

Philippe Coutinho handed Brazil the lead with an in-swinging, dipping free-kick in the 20th minute.

Switzerland made a strong comeback after the break with Steven Zuber exploiting some loose marking to head in the equalizer off a corner in the 50th minute.

The goal seemed to rejuvenate the Europeans and they put the five-time world champions on to the back foot with some excellent attacking play.

The South Americans gradually regained their attacking rhythm but were repeatedly let down by the poor quality of their final pass.

The Swiss defence was extremely well organised and allowed very little space to the Brazil forwards.

The Europeans employed tight marking and some tough, physical defending to thwart the repeated Brazilian attacks.

The Swiss defenders were guilty of committing numerous cynical fouls on Brazil’s star forward Neymar throughout the game.

Brazil’s attacking talisman, who struggled to recover from a foot injury before the tournament, did his level best, but was left battered by repeated fouls.

The Swiss players tried everything — pulling Neymar’s jersey, body checks and even the good old boot to the leg — to stop the Brazil star.

The rest of the Brazil forward line also struggled to penetrate the well organised Swiss defence.

Although they did create several half chances, Brazil were let down by poor finishing on those occasions.

The Swiss were having finishing problems of their own at the other end of the pitch and failed to take advantage even though the Brazil defence allowed them time and space on several occasions.

One of Brazil’s best chances fell to Miranda a couple of minutes into second-half injury time.

But the defender fired his close range attempt narrowly wide of the post with Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer well and truly beaten.

Neymar had another chance to redeem a rather forgettable performance in the closing seconds when Brazil were awarded a free-kick just outside the Swiss penalty box.

But the former FC Barcelona star came up with yet another poor effort as the Swiss enjoyed an excellent start to their campaign.

IANS

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