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Iran attacks leave 12 dead at parliament and Khomeini mausoleum

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  •  As Pakistan rejects allegations of role in Kabul bombing

Twin attacks on the Iranian parliament and Ayatollah Khomeini’s mausoleum in the capital, Tehran, have killed at least 12 people and injured many more.

The assault on the parliament building appears to be over, after hours of intermittent, audible gunfire there. A suicide bomber died at the mausoleum.

Iranian officials say they managed to foil a third attack.

The so-called Islamic State group (IS) has claimed it carried out the attacks, which would be a first in Iran.

IS later posted a video which showed what it claimed was footage from inside the parliament building.

Iranian media reported that four attackers inside the parliament building had been killed by security forces.

It is not clear whether the death toll of 12 includes the attackers, or whether the victims were killed at both incidents or solely at the parliament.

About 40 people were injured in the two attacks, according to emergency services chief Pir Hossein Kolivand.

Gunmen armed with Kalashnikovs entered the parliament on Wednesday morning. Images from the scene showed a major security operation as forces surrounded the building.

Heavy gunfire could be heard.

Iranian authorities denied that there had been a hostage situation inside the parliament building.

Speaker Ali Larijani downplayed the events, describing it as a “minor issue”.

Reports said the gunmen had entered parliament via a public entrance, dressed as women.

At about 10:40 (06:10 GMT) attackers at the mausoleum in southern Tehran, which is dedicated to the Islamic Republic’s founder Ayatollah Khomeini, opened fire.

The governor of Tehran said one attacker there had detonated a suicide vest and another had been killed by security forces, state broadcaster Irib reports.

Images from the scene showed grenades and magazines for automatic weapons, apparently recovered from the body of an attacker.

The suicide attacker was a woman, reports suggested.

Several members of the public, visiting the shrine, have been injured.

In the meantime,  Pakistan’s top civilian and military leadership on Wednesday expressed concern over the “deteriorating” security situation in Afghanistan and rejected as “baseless” allegations that it had any hand in last week’s bombing in the war-torn country’s capital.

The assertion by Pakistan came as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired a special meeting of the National Security Committee of the Cabinet to review issues of national and regional security.

The forum strongly condemned the recent incident of terrorism in Kabul and resolved to remain steadfast and resolute in support of the Afghan people, according to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office.

“The participants expressed concern on the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and strongly rejected the baseless allegations on Pakistan in that context,” the statement said.

Pakistan had last week also strongly rejected as “baseless” the Afghan allegations that the Taliban-linked militants with the help of Pakistani spy agency ISI carried out the bombing in Kabul that killed at least 150 people.

The Afghan intelligence service, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), had said early findings showed that the Haqqani network with the assistance of the ISI carried out the attack yesterday in Kabul.

The meeting today highlighted that Pakistan was the only country in the Afghan equation which has achieved clear and measurable success against terrorism despite limited capacity and huge human and economic costs.

“Pakistan has not only remained committed to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan but also worked with all regional and global initiatives to that end. At the same time Pakistan has shown exceptional restraint even when Afghan territory was used for terrorist acts in Pakistan which resulted in massive human losses,” the statement said.

It said that Pakistan was fully cognizant of institutional collaboration by elements hostile to Pakistan and will defend itself resolutely against manifest and future threats.

The statement said Pakistan remains committed to continue its ongoing efforts for local, regional and global peace.

The meeting was attended by Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif, Minister for Finance Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Interior Chaudhry Nisar, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Zubair Mahmood Hayat, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Director General ISI Lt Gen Naveed Mukhtar and other top senior civil and military officials.

BBC with additional report from Zee

Accidents

Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

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Tanker Tyre Explosion Sparks Chaos In Surulere

 Pandemonium engulfed Ekololu, a community in the Surulere area of Lagos, on Monday night when the back tyres of a tanker transporting fuel to a Conoil filling station burst into flames near the station.

The News Correspondent who resides in the area reports that the explosion of the tyres and the ensuing billows of smoke made residents living near the filling station flee for safety.

Observations by the newsmen revealed that staff from the filling station hurried out with fire extinguishers to combat the fire, which erupted around 9:00 p.m., just a few meters from the station’s entrance.

Emergency responders, including Federal and State Fire Services, as well as the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA), swiftly arrived at the scene following distress calls from the community.

The ill-fated tanker that caused the pandemonium

Upon arrival, the emergency teams assessed the unregistered truck carrying the petrol and raised concerns about safety measures while questioning the driver and filling station management.

They provided guidance and oversaw the safe discharge of the fuel using a long hose to transfer the petroleum product from the stranded tanker into the filling station’s reservoirs.

The Station Manager of the Conoil filling station, Mr Kunle Oniya, informed the emergency responders that the station possessed 20 fire extinguishers, which were promptly utilised to contain the fire and prevent its spread.

The incident led to a traffic gridlock, with vehicles unable to move in the area for nearly an hour.

Some residents shared their experiences of the ordeal with the newsmen.

A resident, Malam Shehu, recounted abandoning his dinner upon witnessing the fiery explosion.

He expressed gratitude that the fire was contained before causing further damage.

Another resident, known as Iya Abigail, described hearing people shouting while she was playing games, prompting her to flee in confusion wearing her nightclothes.

She prayed for continued safety in the community.

An elderly resident, who preferred anonymity, urged filling stations in the area to prioritise safety and the welfare of residents.

She noted that filling stations typically had insurance against fire and other disasters and suggested extending such coverage to vulnerable buildings in their host communities.

Recalling the chaotic events, she said that she heard the sound of an emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood before hastily evacuating her home.

“I was watching TV and when the incident occurred, I had to blow the emergency whistle to alert the neighbourhood but I quickly dressed up before running out of the house,” she said. 

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

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Overspeeding Claims 7 Lives In Ibadan- Iseyin Road Crash- FRSC

…As 15 people sustain varying degrees of injuries

Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has confirmed the death of seven persons in a road accident that occurred on Ibadan-Iseyin road on Thursday.

The Public Relations Officer, FRSC, Oyo Sector Command, Mr Mayowa Odewo, said in a statement that the deceased were five male adults, one female adult and one female child.

Odewo said that 15 people also sustained varying degrees of injuries out of the 22 people involved in the crash.

He attributed the accident, involving a Nissan Urvan commercial bus, with registration number: SEY 254 ZY and a Mazda commercial bus, with registration number LGB 343 XA, to speed violations and fatigue.

Odewo stated that the 13 injured victims, including three male adults, nine female adults and one female child, had been taken to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

He said that four of the seven corpses of the victims had been claimed by their families, while the remaining three had been deposited at a morgue.

“The police from Motor Traffic Division (MTD) Police Division, Moniya, Ibadan, have taken possession of the two crashed vehicles, including bags and other valuables recovered from the scene,” he said.

The FRSC spokesperson noted that no victim was saved by the seat belt or other defensive gadgets.

He urged motorists to always obey traffic rules and regulations as well as adhere to all traffic cautions on the road to prevent avoidable crashes. 

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

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Man Dies After Falling Off Cruise Ship in Australia

Australian police had found a man’s body off Sydney’s coast while searching for a cruise ship passenger who went overboard on Monday.
The man fell overboard before dawn near Sydney Heads, about 18 kilometers from the shore, with police and other emergency services launching a search, New South Wales police said.

At about 10.30 a.m. (0030 GMT), officers located the body and retrieved it, police said.

Police would now prepare a report for the Coroner and have launched an investigation into how the incident unfolded.

P&O Cruises’ ship Pacific Adventure was due to arrive in Sydney Harbour on Monday.

“We thank guests for their care, understanding, and patience on what’s been a distressing day for guests and crew,’’
a statement from the company said, as quoted by local media.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the guest at this difficult time.’’

The ship was returning to Sydney from a three-day trip to Queensland’s Morton Island.

– dpa

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