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Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons
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Over 70 dead in ISIS suicide attack on shrine of Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan, Pakistan

Over 70 people were killed and nearly 150 others injured on Thursday night when an Islamic State suicide bomber blew himself up inside the crowded shrine of revered Sufi saint Lal Shahbaz Qalandar in Sehwan town, some 200 km northeast of Karachi, in a string of deadly blasts this week in Pakistan. Sufi philosopher-poet Lal Shahbaz Qalandar, who lived in the 12th century CE, is revered by millions across faith in Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.


The attacker first threw a grenade, to cause panic and then blew himself up, police said. Hundreds of devotees were present inside the premises of the vast mausoleum of the saint at the time of blast. Inspector General of Police for Sindh province AD Khawaja confirmed to media that police had counted 70 dead bodies so far. The deceased included 12 women and four children. More than 150 are wounded.


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the attack and urged Pakistan to "stand united". "The Sufi people predate Pakistan's history, and played an important part in the struggle for its formation. An attack on them is a direct threat to Jinnah's Pakistan and will be dealt as such," said Sharif.


Supreme Court gets five more judges, strength now 28

Five new Supreme Court judges were today sworn in, taking the apex court's strength to 28, including the Chief Justice of India. Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Navin Sinha, Mohan M Shantanagoudar, Deepak Gupta and S Abdul Nazeer were administered the oath of office by CJI JS Khehar on Friday morning. Justice Kaul was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court while Justice Sinha was the Chief Justice of Rajasthan High Court. Justices Shantanagoudar and Gupta were the chief justices of Kerala and Chhattisgarh high courts respectively and Justice Nazeer was a judge in the Karnataka High Court. The sanctioned strength of judges in the apex court is 31, including the CJI.


Trump promises new executive order on immigration next week

President Donald Trump today said that he would issue a new executive order next week that would address the concerns raised by the court on his previous order that temporarily suspended entry of Syrian refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries into the US. Soon thereafter the Justice Department approached a federal court in San Francisco for a pause in the proceedings. The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in its order late Thursday put the proceedings of the case on hold. Last week, the court had refused to lift the hold on Trump's executive order by a federal court in Seattle.


In Trump's January 27 executive order, there was a ban on people from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the US for 90 days. Refugees were banned for 120 days, except those from Syria, who were banned indefinitely.


Man declared 'dead' in revenue records files poll nomination to prove he is alive

Santosh Murat Singh, resident of Chitauni village in Chaubeypur police station area of Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh who was declared dead in revenue records, has filed his nomination from the Shivpur assembly seat to "prove" he is alive and also with an aim to help all "who are dead like me". Singh, resident of Chitauni village in Chaubeypur police station area of Varanasi, is fighting a legal battle to prove he is "officially alive" and get his name back on his 12.5 acres of ancestral land, which he lost to his cousins. Santosh wishes to be the Chief Minister for a day so that he could help all those who are declared dead on land and revenue records on the basis of forged papers and make them "officially alive". He wants to help them get their land back.


Army jawan commits suicide with his service rifle in Samba

Army jawan Havildar Krishen Singh has committed suicide by shooting himself with his service rifle in Jammu and Kashmir's Samba district prompting the Army to order a Court of Inquiry. Singh shot himself with his INSAS rifle at army unit in Maheswar area in Samba district this morning and died, army officials said. Police have registered a case and post-mortem has been conducted, they said. Singh was from Rajasthan and had joined the army in 1997.


Former Nepal PM accuses India of weakening SAARC process

Nepal has not taken any steps to stop India's move to "weaken" SAARC process, former prime minister KP Oli said today as he stepped up his anti-India rhetoric. Oli in his political document presented during the CPN-UML's politburo meeting, which concluded here today, claimed that India is giving more importance to sub-regional groupings such as BIMSTEC (Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation) and BBIN (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal Initiative), but “it is effortful in not allowing SAARC Summit to take place," Oli said. "SAARC is weak due to Indo-Pak standoff and India’s policy towards Bangladesh. Nepal has not taken any measure to stop India's move to weaken SAARC process," he said in his political document.

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