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Indonesia: Three attackers shot dead in Riau police headquarters

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Jakarta, May 16:  Indonesian police shot dead three men on Wednesday after one attacked them with a samurai sword, wounding two officers, at Riau police headquarters in Sumatra, Reuters reported citing an internal police report.

This was the second attack on a police premise in the country since Monday.

The militants had arrived in a white minivan at the headquarters in Pekanbaru at 9 a.m. They sprayed a hail of bullets and used swords to stab police personnel, Xinhua news agency reported.

While the police managed to shoot four of the attackers, the remaining five escaped, said the police chief of Riau. A search is on to nab the rest.

The attack comes days after over two dozen people were killed in a series of terrorist strikes in Indonesia, including suicide bombings by a family of six in three churches on Sunday in the islands second largest city, Surabaya.

It is said to be the deadliest since the 2002 Bali attack. A suicide bombing was also reported at the city’s police headquarters on Monday when bike borne attackers blew themselves up at the check point to the precinct.

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US sanctions Myanmar military personnel, units over human rights abuse

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Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) The US Treasury Department on Friday announced to sanction four commanders and two military units in Myanmar, accusing them of being related with human rights abuse cases in the country.

In a statement, the Treasury said the targeted commanders were from Burmese military and Border Guard Police (BGP), Xinhua reported.

Together with the 33rd Light Infantry Division (LID) and the 99th LID, the commanders were punished over the alleged involvement in ethnic cleansing in Rakhine State and “other widespread human rights abuses” in Kachin and Shan States.

These individuals and entities were designated according to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act of 2016 that targeted “perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.”

Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, said in the statement that the US government “will continue to systematically expose and bring accountability to human rights abusers in this region.”

As a result of these actions, any property, or interest in property, of those designated within U.S. jurisdiction is blocked.

Additionally, US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with blocked persons, including entities 50 percent or more owned by designated persons.

Building upon the act, US President Donald Trump signed Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, or “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption.” To date, 84 individuals and entities have been sanctioned under the order.

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Imran Khan elected as Pakistan Prime Minister

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Islamabad, Aug 17: Cricketer-turned-politician PTI chief Imran Khan elected as Pakistan’s 22nd Prime Minister by the National Assembly on Friday. 

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief won with 176 seats while his opponent, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shehbaz Sharif, secured 96 votes , Dawn online reported.

Khan, whose party attained victory in the July 25 general election, will take the oath of office on Saturday.

According to the poll body’s figures, the PTI has 158 members in the National Assembly after the joining of nine Independents and bagging of 33 seats reserved for women and minorities.

With the support of the country’s smaller and regional parties, a total of 175 lawmakers backed Khan.

WeForNews 

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Flags in Mauritius at half mast in Vajpayee’s honour

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Port Louis, Aug 17: In an unprecedented gesture, the government of Mauritius will fly both the Mauritian and Indian national flags at half mast on Friday in honour of former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

“Following the passing away of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the government has decided that both the Mauritius and India flags will remain at half-mast from sunrise to sunset on Friday,” a directive issued by the office of Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Jugnauth said.

“An appeal is also being made to the private sector for ll flags to be flown at half-mast during the same period,” it said.

Vajpayee passed away in Delhi on Thursday at the age of 93 after prolonged illness.

Around 68 per cent of Mauritius’s population of nearly 1.3 million are of Indian descent. Many are descendants of Indian indentured labour brought to work on sugarcane plantations on the Indian Ocean island nation in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In a condolence message to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Jugnauth said that Vajpayee “shaped the destiny of India through his bold leadership and his deep-rooted empathy for the common man”.

“Today, as India shines as a beacon of progress and development on the global stage, we cannot forget the strong and able stewardship of Vajpayee,” Jugnauth stated.

“His was a leadership characterised by determination, perseverance, fairness and equity.”

Jugnauth also recalled Vajpayee’s deep affection for Mauritius and its people and said that “we were honoured to receive him in March 2000 as chief guest at the National Day celebrations and whenever he visited Mauritius”.

“Mauritius mourns the loss of a man who stood not only for India but also for Mauritius,” he said.

IANS

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