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Pakistan Conducts Sweeping Raids After Lahore Bombing

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Pakistan rounded up more than 5,000 suspects, then released most of them, in the two days since a suicide bomber killed at least 72 people celebrating Easter, an official said on Tuesday. Investigators kept 216 suspects in custody pending further investigation, said Rana Sanaullah, a state minister for Punjab province from Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s ruling party.

Details of the sweeping raids aimed at anyone suspected of armed violence came as the Taliban faction claiming responsibility for the Lahore attack issued a new threat, singling out the media. Sanaullah said 5,221 people were detained and 5,005 released after verifying their identities. Army spokesman General Asim Bajwa said the military and paramilitary Rangers were conducting raids across Punjab, Pakistan’s richest and most populous province, in rapid response to the Easter bombing.

“Right now in Rawalpindi, Multan and elsewhere, operations are ongoing, intelligence agencies and Rangers and army troops are carrying out operations,” he said. Jamaat-ur-Ahrar, the Taliban faction that claimed responsibility for the blast, warned Pakistani media it could be the next target. “Everyone will get their turn in this war, especially the slave Pakistani media,” Ehsanullah Ehsan, spokesman for the group, tweeted. “We are just waiting for the appropriate time.”

As authorities pursued those responsible, hundreds of ultra-conservative Muslim protesters remained camped out in front of parliament on Tuesday in the capital, Islamabad, days after clashing with police. Mobile phone networks in the capital were blocked for security purposes for a second day in a row.  While not directly connected, the two events both demonstrate “intolerance”, said Moeed Yusuf, a South Asia analyst at the United States Institute of Peace. “The ultimate solution does not lie in fighting guns and bullets. It lies in fighting mindsets,” he told Al Jazeera. “The number of attacks has gone down but the mindset of intolerance remains.”

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JUST IN: ECOWAS Lifts Sanctions On Mali

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ECOWAS countries
ECOWAS Countries

ECOWAS Countries

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US President, Donald Trump, Wife Test Positive For Covid-19

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Donald Trump and Melania
Donald Trump and Melania

Donald Trump and wife, Melania Trump

President of the United States, Donald Trump, and his wife, Melania Trump have both tested positive for COVID-19.

The President took to his official Twitter handle on Friday to make this announcement.

Trump was last seen in public on Thursday afternoon, returning to the White House after a fundraising trip to New Jersey.

Also Read: What I Told Trump When He Accused Me Of Killing Christians – Buhari

On Thursday, he announced that his aide, Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus which has killed over 1 million people around the world.

He further revealed that he and the first lady had taken the test and waiting for the results before announcing the outcome on Friday.

 

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Mali: N’Daw, Coup Leader Goita Sworn In As President, VP

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President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita
President of Mali, N'Daw, coup leader, Goita

President of Mali, N’Daw, coup leader, Goita

Retired Army Colonel, Bah N’Daw has been sworn in on Friday as the interim president of Mali and he is to head a transitional government following last month’s military coup in the country.

The swearing-in ceremony held in the country’s capital city of Bamako, where Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

This administration is to lead the government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Also Read: Buhari Attends Virtual ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit Over Mali Crisis

It will be recalled that the country’s military executed a coup last month (August 18) which successfully removed the nation’s president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita from office.

Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, attended the ceremony alongside other members of the ECOWAS mediation team.

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