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Amid border standoff, Bhutan accuses China of constructing road in its territory

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India-China, Sikkim Border
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New Delhi, June 30, 2017: While the government of India is yet to make any comment on the stand-off with Chinese troops along the border in Sikkim, the External Affairs Ministry on Thursday circulated a statement from the Bhutan government that accused China of not respecting border agreements and constructing a road on the Bhutanese territory.

In a strongly worded statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Bhutan asked China to stop constructing the motorable road from Dokola in Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri, which it says affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.

“Bhutan has conveyed to the Chinese side, both on the ground and through the diplomatic channel, that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between our two countries. Bhutan hopes that the status quo in the Doklam area will be maintained as before 16 June 2017,” the statement read.

“Boundary talks are ongoing between Bhutan and China and we have written agreements of 1988 and 1998 stating that the two sides agree to maintain peace and tranquility in their border areas pending a final settlement on the boundary question, and to maintain status quo on the boundary as before March 1959,” it said.

The agreement also states that the two sides would refrain from taking unilateral action, or use force, to change the status quo of the boundary, it said.

 Wefornews Bureau

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Trump not considering firing special counsel Mueller

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Donald Trump

Washington, Dec 18: US President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller.

Mueller is investigating allegations of Russian interference in the last year’s US presidential election and collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow, Xinhua news agency reported.

When asked if he was considering dismissing Mueller, Trump responded, “No, I’m not,” and did not elaborate on the issue.

Democratic lawmakers have raised concern that Trump might fire Mueller.

The President, however, criticised the fact that Mueller’s team had gained access to tens of thousands of emails sent and received by officials from Trump’s transition team before the start of the presidency.

Trump said it was “not looking good.”

Mueller’s team received those emails from the General Services Administration that had housed Trump’s transition team.

In a letter to several congressional panels on Saturday, a lawyer for the transition accused Mueller of illegally obtaining the emails.

In response, a spokesman for Mueller said the emails were obtained appropriately.

IANS

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Car bomb hits NATO convoy in Kandahar, kills civilian

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Kandahar (Afghanistan) Dec 17: An Afghan woman was killed and four civilians wounded when a suicide car bomb struck a NATO-led coalition forces’ convoy in Kandahar city on Sunday, an official said.

The blast occurred around 2 p.m. local time in Police District 5 of Kandahar city, capital of southern province of Kandahar, along a road which connects the city to the international airport, the official, who did not want to be named, told Xinhua news agency.

“The initial information found a woman was killed and four civilians were wounded by the blast. But no foreigner from the convoy was hurt as they were sitting in bomb proof vehicles,” he said.

“We heard a huge blast when a convoy of international forces was passing our neighbourhood. The whole place has now been sealed off, and no one knows what happened to residents near the blast site,” witness Ahmad told Xinhua.

Several vehicles and nearby houses were also damaged by the blast, he said.

No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the Taliban insurgent group routinely claims responsibility for such attacks.

More than 2,640 civilians were killed and over 5,370 others injured in conflict-related incidents in first nine months of the year in Afghanistan, according to figures released by the United Nations mission in the country.
IANS

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Balochistan: 8 killed, several injured in Quetta Church blast

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Quetta Blast (Photo- Dawn)

A blast in Bethel Memorial Methodist Church in Quetta of Balochistan claimed 8 lives. Meanwhile almost 44 people are injured.

According to pakistani media Gunshots were also heard at the site, where the explosion took place.

All casualties were shifted to Civil Hospital Quetta.

Pakistani news paper Dawn confirmed that Four suicide attackers struck while church service was ongoing. Initial reports suggested an explosion took place, which was followed by a sustained gunfight.

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