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Gunmen attack Pakistan Stock Exchange in Karachi, 10 Killed

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant group working out of Afghanistan has claimed responsibility of the attack.

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Pakistan Stock Exchange Karachi

Karachi, June 29 : Terror gripped Pakistans economic hub Karachi on Monday when terrorists attempted to storm the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSE) building, which resulted in the deaths of 10 people, including the four militants who were gunned down by law enforcement agencies.

The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), a militant group working out of Afghanistan has claimed responsibility of the attack.

BLA said its Majeed Brigade, consisting of a suicide attacker, carried out the attack, on the first day of trading week.

The four terrorists, armed with explosives and ammunition, entered the parking area of the PSE building, located at I.I Chundrigar road, the business centre where important offices, including the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) are located.

According to witnesses, the terrorists threw grenades on security guards, followed by heavy firing at officials.

“The attackers came to the building in a silver Toyota corolla car, parked it close to the entrance gate and started throwing grenade bombs and kept shooting,” said an eyewitness.

Security forces were quick to respond to the attack as an instant operation was initiated that neutralized all the four terrorists.

The other victims comprised four security guards, two locals, while seven others were also injured and taken to the hospital.

“The terrorists were equipped with heavy ammunition and explosives. They were attempting to enter inside the stock exchange building. However, their intentions were blocked by our quick response teams, who neutralized all four terrorists,” said a police official.

As per the Pakistan Stock Exchange officials, the attack was carried out in the compound of the building, confirming that the one of the four terrorists was able to reach inside.

Pakistan Rangers cordoned off the area and secured the location, concluding the operation after declaring the area cleared of terrorists.

Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah condemned the incident, saying that the attack was “akin to an attack on national security and economy”, Dawn news reported.

“Anti-state elements want to take advantage of the virus situation,” he said in the statement.

Sindh Governor Imran Ismail condemned the incident, saying: “We shall protect Sindh at all costs.”

The attack has raised serious concerns over the re-emergence of terror outfits in the country.

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Afghanistan: President Ghani’s cousin has been shot dead in Kabul

A cousin of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani found shot to death inside his home in Kabul, Afghanistan Media informed.

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Ashraf Ghani

A cousin of Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani found shot to death inside his home in Kabul: Afghanistan Media

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Ex-French PM faces probe into COVID-19 response

Philippe’s future as Prime Minister had been in doubt for several weeks and he will now take up the post of mayor in Le Havre, after winning the local vote on Sunday.

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Edouard Philippe

Paris, July 4 : A French court has launched an inquiry into the government”s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, focusing mainly on three senior figures, including former Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, following complaints from unions and doctors.

On Friday, Philippe resigned amid a cabinet reshuffle, reports the BBC.

Hours after Philippe”s resignation, it was announced that the Law Court of the Republic, which deals with claims of ministerial misconduct, would open an inquiry into the way his government handled the pandemic.

Along with thilippe, those under investigation include Agnes Buzyn, who stepped down as health minister in February, and her successor Olivier Veran, senior public prosecutor Francois Molin said on Friday.

Philippe’s future as Prime Minister had been in doubt for several weeks and he will now take up the post of mayor in Le Havre, after winning the local vote on Sunday.

His successor, Jean Castex, 55, is little known in France, but he is a senior civil servant and has played a key role in the government”s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, said the BBC report.

On Friday evening, Castex warned in a speech that “the health crisis is, unfortunately, not over” and that “the economic and social crisis is already here”.

France has so far reported 202,673 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 29,875 deaths.

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WHO team to reach China next week to probe SARS-CoV-2 source

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said that the virus might have originated in a laboratory in China.

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Coronavirus Take precautions

New Delhi, July 4 : The World Health Organization is finally sending a team to China next week to prepare to investigate the source of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic.

The announcement made earlier this week came amid accusations from some quarters that the virus might have originated in a laboratory in China.

“WHO has been saying that knowing the source of the virus is very, very important. It”s science, it”s public health. We can fight the virus better when we know everything about the virus, including how it started,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a media briefing on June 29.

“We will be sending a team next week to China to prepare for that and we hope that that will lead into understanding how the virus started and what we can do for the future to prepare. So we”re planning to send a team next week,” he said.

US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier said that the virus might have originated in a laboratory in China.

With no evidence being presented to back the speculations, China has denied the allegations.

It has now been more than six months since WHO received the first reports of a cluster of cases of pneumonia of unknown cause in China.

A novel coronavirus was found out to be the cause of the disease, now known as Covid-19.

So far over 11 million people worldwide have tested positive for the disease which has led to over 5,25,000 deaths, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

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