BBC News – Kabul bombings: Journalists targeted in blast which killed 25

At least 25 people have been killed in two bombings in the Afghan capital Kabul, including several journalists documenting the scene.

AFP chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, is among the victims.

The first explosion was carried out by an attacker on a motorbike. A second followed about 15 minutes later after a crowd, including several reporters, had gathered at the scene.

The Islamic State group (IS) said it had carried out the attack.

It was one of several fatal incidents on Monday.

BBC reporter Ahmad Shah was also killed in a separate attack in the Khost region.

And in a third attack, 11 children were killed in a suicide bombing intended to target Nato troops in Kandahar province.

Bomber ‘disguised himself”

In the Kabul attack, the AFP news agency said the second blast had deliberately targeted the group of journalists, including its photographer Shah Marai.

“The bomber disguised himself as a journalist and detonated himself among the crowd,” AFP quoted a police spokesman as saying.

At least eight journalists and four police officers were among the dead, interior minister spokesperson Najib Danish told the BBC. So far, 45 people have been reported injured.

– Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty confirmed that three of its journalists were killed in the attack. Abadullah Hananzai, a journalist and cameraman, had been working on a story about narcotics, while Maharram Durrani worked on the weekly women’s programme. Sabawoon Kakar had earlier been listed as injured, but died later in hospital.
– Tolo News said its cameraman Yar Mohammad Tokhi was among the victims
– Afghanistan’s 1TV said reporter Ghazi Rasooli and cameraman Nowroz Ali Rajabi had been killed

The intelligence services headquarters had been the target, IS said in a statement released through its self-styled news outlet Amaq.

The Shashdarak district also houses the defence ministry and a Nato compound.

“This is the deadliest day for Afghan media in the past 15 years,” the head of Tolo News TV, Lotfullah Najafizada, told the BBC.

“We went, all of us, to the blast site. We said: ‘If you killed an entire line of journalists reporting here, in five hours time we’re back here; the line is longer; the queue is longer and the resolve is greater.”

Bombings in the Afghan capital are not uncommon.

Earlier in April, a suicide bomb at a voter registration killed almost 60 people and injured 119, in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group.

The Taliban also remain active in the country, only 30% of which is under full government control, according to BBC research published earlier this year.

AFP paid tribute to Shah Marai, who it said had six children, including a newborn baby.

“This is a devastating blow,” global news director Michele Leridon said.

“We can only honour the extraordinary strength, courage and generosity of a photographer who covered often traumatic, horrific events with sensitivity and consummate professionalism.”

Who was the BBC’s Ahmad Shah?

A shooting in Khost province resulted in the death of a BBC reporter.

“It is with great sadness that the BBC can confirm the death of BBC Afghan reporter Ahmad Shah following an attack earlier today,” said Jamie Angus, director of the BBC World Service.

“Ahmad Shah was 29. He had worked for the BBC Afghan service for more than a year and had already established himself as a highly capable journalist who was a respected and popular member of the team.

“This is a devastating loss and I send my sincere condolences to Ahmad Shah’s friends and family and the whole BBC Afghan team.

“We are doing all we can to support his family at this very difficult time.”

Local police are investigating a motive.

What happened in the Kandahar attack?

Also on Monday, a suicide bomb attack in the Kandahar region killed 11 schoolchildren and injured many more.

The bomber appeared to have been targeting a military vehicle convoy in Daman district, but the explosion struck a nearby religious school. In addition to the dead, more than a dozen children were reported injured in the blast.

Nato forces operate from a base in the area, and Nato officials confirmed that some of its people had been injured, as had Afghan police.

Eight of the injured were of Romanian nationality, Nato said, but all were in stable condition.

No group has yet said it carried out the Kandahar attack.

The Tribune – Sikh pride sweeps Manhattan

Sea of turbans: Thousands of Sikhs take part in the 31st Sikh Day Parade at Madison Avenue in New York on Saturday.

New York – State of New York – USA, 30 April 2018. Thousands of Sikhs in the US participated in the annual “Sikh Day Parade” in the heart of Manhattan here, spreading awareness about the faith amid incidents of hate crimes against the minority community.

Men, women and children, dressed in their traditional finery, turned out in large numbers for the 31st “Sikh Day Parade” on Saturday, inundating Manhattan with a sea of turbans.

The parade included live music, dance, performances by children, marching bands, display of Sikh martial arts, decorated floats as well as culinary offerings as participants marched down several blocks along Manhattan’s Madison Avenue.

New York City Police Commissioner James O’Neill and Hoboken Mayor Ravinder S Bhalla attended the parade. (PTI)

Gent: Rozemarijnbrug and Sint-Pieters – Leuven NMBS

01 March 2018

Noord Braband ?

03 March 2018

Track 11: IC to Brussel Airport

Track 12 IC to Brugge / Oostende

Track 11 IC to Brussel Eupen

Leuven NMBS
03 March 2018

Track 3 IC to Brussel / Blankenberge

EMU’s to Mechelen and Ottignies

To see all my pictures:

More Belgian pictures to be published
Harjinder Singh
Man in Blue

FirstPost – Subramanian Swamy says Operation Bluestar was mischievous blunder, describes 1984 anti-Sikh riots as genocide

Amritsar – Panjab- India, 30 April 2018. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Subramanian Swamy on Sunday said Operation Bluestar, carried out by the Indian Army in 1984, was a “mischievous blunder”.

Talking to reporters in Amritsar, Swamy said, “Operation Bluestar was a mischievous blunder and it should not have been done…” Operation Bluestar was carried out in June 1984 to flush out militants, who were hiding inside the Golden Temple complex.

The Congress was in power in 1984.

Swami also described the November 1984 anti-Sikh riots as a “genocide”.

He said the Goods and Services Tax (GST) applied on the purchase of cooking material for the community kitchen at the Golden Temple should be withdrawn immediately.

Asked about the incidents of rape in various parts of the country, including the ones in which minor girls were the victims, Swamy said, “Capital punishment is not enough…rapists also deserve surgery (castration) so that in future, they dare not even think of committing such a heinous crime.”

Asserting that the BJP would win the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Swamy said, “Corrupt people are being sent to jail and the people of the country are happy with this action of the government”.

Dawn – Special Branch asked to vacate gurdwara

Aamir Yasin

Rawalpindi – Panjab – Pakistan, 30 April 2018. The Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) has asked the Special Branch of the police to vacate the gurdwara at Bagh Sardaran where it has established its offices.

Constructed by Sardar Sujan Singh Rai Bahadur before the partition of the subcontinent, the gurdwara building also used to house a library and a school.

The main building was given to the Special Branch on a lease.

“In 1992, the Special Branch informed the ETPB that it was shifting to Adiala Road and would vacate the gurdwara. However, it failed to do so,” said ETPB Deputy Administrator Mohammad Asif.

He said the Special Branch was given four kanal on a lease for which it was paying the rent. But actually it is using an additional eight kanal for parking. He said a letter had been written to the police department to vacate the property.

“The Special Branch is paying Rs 1,500 per month rent for the building and is using the adjacent land of the gurdwara which used to be a garden of the worship place in the past.” He said when the tenant was asked to vacate the gurdwara it agreed to increase the rent but the ETPB wanted to get back the possession of the land.

Mr Asif said the ETPB planned a reassessment of the land after vacating it from the Special Branch. He said on the direction of former ETPB chairman Siddiqul Farooq notices had been sent to the tenant.

“The ETPB plans to give the extra land of the gurdwara to the special children’s school as the gurdwara has not been used for worship for over 70 years.” He said the main building of the worship place would remain vacant.

On the other hand, the local Sikh community has demanded that the government should open the gurdwara for worship purposes. “There is no gurdwara open for the community in Rawalpindi and adjoining areas,” said Amarjeet Singh, who owns a shop near Banni.

Another Sikh community member, Sardar Heera Lal, told Dawn that a gurdwara in Hassanabdal was available for worship but it was difficult for the residents of the garrison city to go there even twice a week.

He said a large number of people belonging to the Sikh community visited the city and there was a need to open a worship place for them.