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28 killed in twin suicide bombings in Baghdad

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Baghdad, Dec 31, 2016: Twenty-Eight people were killed and 53 wounded in twin suicide bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Saturday, a source said.

A suspect blew up his explosive vest at the crowded car spare parts market in Sinak area and another suicide bomber detonated himself near a post office in the same area, the Interior Ministry source told media.

Earlier in the day, the source said the attacks were carried out by roadside bombs and put the toll at 19 dead and 45 injured.

The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Terrorist acts, violence and armed conflicts killed 2,885 Iraqis and wounded 1,380 others in November across Iraq, the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq said.

The attacks came as the Iraqi security forces backed by an anti-IS international coalition are carrying out a major offensive to drive out the IS from its last major stronghold in and around Mosul.

Many blame the current chronic instability, the cycle of violence and the emergence of extremist groups such as the IS on the US, which invaded and occupied Iraq in March 2003.

Wefornews Bureau

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Amid political crisis Maldives to hold presidential poll in September

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Male, Feb 23: The first round of presidential elections in the Maldives will be held in early September and preparations for the polls have already begun, the Elections Commission has announced.

It said on Thursday that a second round, if necessary, would be held within 21 days from the election day.

The President’s Office in a statement said it welcomed the announcement and encouraged all relevant stakeholders to offer the Elections Commission their full, unreserved support for the conduct of their work.

“Free, fair and credible elections are the foundation of our democracy and it is essential for continuity of our nation’s growth, stability and prosperity,” the statement said.

“The government of the Maldives extends its invitation to all international stakeholders to observe the electoral process and… urges the international community to provide support in bringing back normalcy in the Maldives.

“It also requests the international community to refrain from any actions that could hinder resolving the situation the country is facing,” the President’s Office said.

It further said that the government recommended all political parties and politicians alike to work towards, making the upcoming elections free and fair, rather than engage in a battle to topple the government and to destabilize the nation.

The Maldivian Parliament earlier this week approved extending the state of Emergency in the country by 30 days following a request by President Abdulla Yameen.

Yameen had requested for an extension “as the threat to national security had not diminished” following the Supreme Court ruling on February 1 ordering the release of detained opposition leaders, including self-exiled former President Mohamed Nasheed.

The President had first declared a 15-day state of emergency on February 5 after the Supreme Court ruling, which was, however, rescinded shortly after the declaration of the state of Emergency.

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UK violates women’s rights by unduly restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland

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Geneva, Feb 23:  The United Kingdom violates women’s rights by unduly restricting access to abortion in Northern Ireland, a report by the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women stated on Friday.

“Denial of abortion and criminalization of abortion amounts to discrimination against women because it is a denial of a service that only women need. And it puts women in horrific situations,” Reuters quoted citing the committee’s vice-chairwoman, Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, said in a statement.

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Financial Action Task Force to put Pakistan on grey list for terror financing: Sources

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Financial Action Task Force(FATF) has taken the decision to put Pakistan on the grey list for terror financing, Reported ANI Sources. 

The motion brought forth by the United States (US) was backed by the countries like the United Kingdom (UK), France, and India.

The insiders revealed that Pakistan’s traditional friend China withdrew its objections in putting Islamabad on the grey list.

The move will make it difficult for international financial institutions and banks to do business in Pakistan and it will also make it difficult for Pakistani businesses to raise money overseas.

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