Tue, Jul 09, 2019 - Page 6 News List

World News Quick Take



Bus crash kills 29

At least 29 people were killed yesterday after a bus careered off one of India’s busiest roads, which has become known as the “highway to hell” because of its poor safety record. The driver was suspected to have fallen asleep before the bus crashed into a railing and fell into a drain between two flyovers on the Yamuna expressway, which connects New Delhi with Agra, the city famed for the Taj Mahal. Eighteen people were injured, some critically, police said. The 165km expressway was India’s longest six-lane highway when it opened in 2012, but about 900 people been killed on the road since, according to authorities. The state-run bus was taking more than 50 people from Lucknow in northern Uttar Pradesh to Delhi when the accident happened at about 4.15am about 20km outside of Agra. It fell more than 12m into a drain below the road, crushing the roof of the bus. Running water in the drain complicated rescue efforts, police said. “Twenty nine persons have died and 18 others are injured,” Agra district magistrate N.G. Ravi Kumar said.


Prisoner poisoning probed

The nation has opened a criminal investigation after 14 prisoners were fatally poisoned while they were being transported between jails, the Ministry of Justice said yesterday, suggesting that another inmate might have given them contaminated bread. The incident happened on Sunday as more than 100 prisoners, including eight women, were being transferred in a convoy from prisons in the north of the Central Asian country to jails in the south. The ministry said in a statement that a prisoner handed around bread to a group of 16 inmates traveling in one of the vehicles during a stop on the journey. It said that “16 prisoners, who were in the back of one of the cars, experienced nausea, dizziness, vomiting” half an hour after consuming the bread. Medical staff were only able to save the lives of two of the prisoners, according to the statement, which was relayed by the Khovar state information agency. The state prosecutor had opened a criminal case into the incident, the ministry said.


More US forces sought

President Mahamadou Issoufou called for greater US involvement in the fight against Islamist insurgencies in west Africa — at a time when US President Donald Trump is scaling back the US’ military presence on the continent. Too little is being done to combat the fighters, Issoufou said on Saturday in an interview in the capital, Niamey. Militants have carried out attacks in Mali, Nigeria, Chad, Burkina Faso and Niger. Other countries in the region, including Ivory Coast and Ghana, have stepped up security in the face of the growing threat. Niger is already at the center of an international effort to fight the insurgencies in the Sahel, an arid area on the southern fringe of the Sahara. France and the US have a military presence in Niger — the US built a US$110 million drone base in northern Niger and has deployed special forces on the ground. “I propose an international coalition, like you see in Syria or Iraq, to fight terrorism in the Sahel and the Lake Chad basin,” Issoufou said. “When I say an international force, this also includes the US.” The extent of US involvement in Niger was unclear until four US soldiers were killed in an ambush by more than 100 Islamist militants in the southwest of the country in 2017. Their deaths prompted an investigation by the Pentagon and a fierce debate about US military involvement in Africa.

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