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At least 45 people have been killed and more than 70 injured in a suspected suicide bombing at a Pakistan-India border town near the city of Lahore. A senior security official in Punjab province said that the dead included three members of the border force. The explosion happened on the Pakistan side near the famous Wagah crossing between the two countries. Crowds gather every day at the crossing to watch soldiers conduct a “lowering of the flags” ceremony. Police told the BBC at least 15 of those injured were seriously wounded. Mushtaq Sukhera, the Punjab police chief, said the blast

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Heavily armed gunmen have attacked Karachi’s international airport, killing at least five people and hurling grenades. Pakistani media reported between four and 10 gunmen had attacked Jinnah International Airport’s old terminal. Security personnel have sealed off the airport and army commandos have been called in, with gunfire continuing. All operations at the terminal have been suspended and all flights to the airport are being diverted. Staff are being evacuated. Billowing smoke The dead were said to be security guards from the Airport Security Force (ASF) and airline workers. A doctor at Jinnah Hospital told Associated Press five bodies had been

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  Poet, author and activist Maya Angelou has died at the age of 86. One of America’s leading literary voices of the last 50 years, Angelou was best-known for her 1969 memoir I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It was the first of seven volumes of autobiography that traced her life from a childhood of abuse and oppression in the Deep South in the 1930s. The news was confirmed to the BBC by the mayor’s office in her home town of Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Mayor Allen Joines said he was “very sad of her passing”. Her poetry collections included

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One of India’s best known authors and journalists, Khushwant Singh, has died aged 99, his family says. A prolific writer, he wrote dozens of novels and short story collections. He also edited several magazines and newspapers in the 1970s and 80s. Khushwant Singh’s novel, Train to Pakistan, based on the bloody partition of India in 1947, was made into a film. He also served a term as an MP and was given the Padma Vibhushan, a civilian award, by the government. Mr Singh, died at his home in the Indian capital, Delhi, after suffering from respiratory trouble, his family said

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South Africa’s first black president and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela has died, South Africa’s president says. Mr Mandela, 95, led South Africa’s transition from white-minority rule in the 1990s, after 27 years in prison. He had been receiving intense home-based medical care for a lung infection after three months in hospital. In a statement on South African national TV, Mr Zuma said Mr Mandela had “departed” and was at peace. “Our nation has lost its greatest son,” Mr Zuma said. The Nobel Peace Prize laureate was one of the world’s most revered statesmen after preaching reconciliation despite being imprisoned for

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[Syndicated from: BBC South Asia] The International Committee of the Red Cross sent evidence to US diplomats about widespread torture by Indian security forces in Kashmir, according to cables obtained by Wikileaks. Visits to detention centres in the region in 2002-04 revealed cases of beatings, electric shocks, sexual abuse and other types of ill-treatment. The organisation concluded that India condoned torture in the region. There has been no comment from the US. The ICRC said it was investigating. The chief minister of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, Omar Abdullah, told India’s NDTV channel that the allegations related to a

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