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The world in brief: Bomb kills 3 people in Pakistani city

by Compiled by Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports | January 21, 2022 at 3:52 a.m.
Police officials work Thursday at the site of an explosion in Lahore, Pakistan. (AP/K.M. Chaudary)


Bomb kills 3 people in Pakistani city

LAHORE, Pakistan -- A powerful bombing struck a crowded bazar Thursday in Pakistan's second largest city, Lahore, killing at least three people and wounding 28, police and rescue officials said.

The blast was so powerful that it damaged several shops at the famous Anarkali bazar, two witnesses, Mohammad Hafeez and Abdul Majeed, told reporters.

Some of the wounded were listed as being in critical condition and Abid Khan, a senior police official, said there were fears the death toll could climb further.

Police were still trying to determine what kind of device was used in the attack, Khan added. An investigation was underway.

Hours after the attack, the newly formed Baluchistan Nationalist Army said it was behind the bombing. The group was established earlier this month, when two minor separatist groups -- the Baluchistan Republican Army and the United Baluch Army -- merged and appointed Mureed Baloch as their spokesman.

Baloch claimed responsibility for the Lahore attack in a posting on Twitter. He did not reveal the motives for the attack, saying only that a statement will be issued later.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the bombing and in a statement urged local authorities to provide the best possible medical facilities for the wounded.

NATO begins Albanian base upgrades

TIRANA, Albania -- NATO started work Thursday to upgrade Albania's communist-era Kucova Air Base, which will allow it to be used for alliance operations.

The $52 million upgrade will include renovating the runway, taxiways, and storage facilities and is designed to increase NATO interoperability and support airborne early warning missions over the western Balkan country.

The base in Kucova, 50 miles south of the capital Tirana, will serve Albania and also support NATO air supply operations, logistics support, air policing, training and exercises.

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said NATO's choice to use the facility as a tactical base "confirms the fact that tiny Albania is, nevertheless, an added value to this alliance."

The upgrade is expected be complete by autumn 2023, according to the Defense Ministry.

Kucova air base was built in the 1950s when Albania was a close ally of the Soviet Union. The first Soviet Ilyushin Il-28 bomber landed there in 1957, and Mig-17 jets were deployed later. Albania's communist regime collapsed in 1990.

Kucova remained a military air base, though its old Russian and Chinese-made jets stopped flying in the late 1990s.

Liberian church stampede toll at 29

MONROVIA, Liberia -- At least 29 people in Liberia, including 11 children and a pregnant woman, have died in a stampede of worshippers at a Christian ceremony in a densely populated area of the capital, Monrovia, officials said Thursday.

The stampede occurred when a gang armed with knives attacked some of the hundreds attending the ceremony about 9 p.m. Wednesday, police spokesman Moses Carter told The Associated Press.

One person has been arrested, he said. The Rev. Abraham Kromah who was holding the ceremony and who runs a church in the New Georgia township of Monrovia was also brought in for questioning about the incident, police said.

The bodies have been taken to the morgue of Redemption Hospital, close to where the incident occurred in a beach area called New Kru Town.

The Red Cross has erected tents near the site for families to come in with photos to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

Liberian President George Weah visited the scene Thursday and declared three days of national mourning.

Syrian Kurds blamed for rocket attack

BEIRUT -- A rocket attack on a northern Syrian town controlled by Turkey-backed opposition fighters killed six civilians and wounded over a dozen people on Thursday, Syrian rescuers and a war monitor said. Both blamed U.S-backed Syrian Kurdish forces for the attack.

The White Helmets, a Syrian civil defense group operating in opposition-held areas, said the rockets also caused a fire in a residential area of Afrin which its volunteers put out. In a White Helmet video, rescuers are seen pulling a burned body from a damaged building as others are putting out a raging fire that also left a couple of vehicles charred.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a war-monitoring group, also put the death toll at six, saying two children were among the killed and 30 people were wounded.

Also Thursday, the Kurdish-led forces reported an attempted escape from a prison in northeastern Syria that holds Islamic State militants. According to the report, militants first started to riot inside Gerwan Prison in the city of Hassakeh but the Kurdish forces subdued the riots.

This was followed by a car bomb, which was detonated in a facility for storing and distributing petroleum products close to the prison. After this, clashes ensued with security forces in the area.

It was not immediately clear if any prisoners had managed to escape as the situation continued to develop.

  photo  Police officers stand guard as ambulances prepare to transport any injured people from the site of a bomb explosion, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Police said the powerful bomb exploded in a crowded bazar in Pakistan's second largest city of Lahore, killing several people and wounding dozens of others. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
 
 
  photo  Rescue workers evacuate an injured woman from the site of a bomb explosion, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Police said the powerful bomb exploded in a crowded bazar in Pakistan's second largest city of Lahore, killing several people and wounding dozens of others. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
 
 
  photo  Investigators gather evidence as they examine the site of a bomb explosion, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Police said the powerful bomb exploded in a crowded bazar in Pakistan's second largest city of Lahore, killing several people and wounding dozens of others. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
 
 
  photo  Police officials examine the site of bomb explosion, in Lahore, Pakistan, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022. Police said the powerful bomb exploded in a crowded bazar in Pakistan’s second largest city of Lahore, killing several people and wounding dozens of others. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
 
 


  photo  A White Helmet civil defense worker extinguishes flames on a burning car Thursday after a rocket attack in Afrin, Syria. (AP/Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets)
 
 


Print Headline: Bomb kills 3 people in Pakistani city

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