The Northern Territory news Wed 01 Feb 2023
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12 WORLD Wednesday February 1 2023 NTNEWS.COM.AU NTNE01Z01MA - V1 R1 Bomb slaughters 60 during prayers peshawar: More than 60 people, most of them police, have been killed in a blast at a mosque inside a highly sensitive Pakistan police headquarters, prompting the government to put the entire country on high alert. The attack happened during afternoon worship in the northern provincial capital of Peshawar, close to former tribal areas along the Afghan border where militancy has been steadily rising. A frantic rescue mission was under way at the mosque, which had an entire wall and some of its roof blown out by the suspected suicide attack. Many policemen are buried under the rubble, said Peshawar police chief Muhammad Ijaz Khan, who esti mated between 300 and 400 officers usually attended prayers at the mosque. Efforts are being made to get them out safely, he added. Bloodied survivors emerged limping from the wreckage, while bodies were ferried away in ambulances. Its an emergency situation, said Muhammad Asim Khan, a spokesman for the main hospital in Peshawar. The death toll continued to rise as more bodies were pulled from the debris, rising to 61 killed with more than 150 wounded, many critically, prompting fears the toll would worsen. As darkness fell on Monday night, several men were still trapped in the wreckage, visible through cracks in the concrete. We have given them oxygen so that they dont have problems in breathing, said Bilal Ahmad Faizi, a spokesperson for the rescue organisation 1122. At least 20 of the killed police officers were later buried after a ceremony, their coffins lined up in rows and draped in the Pakistani flag. They were laid to rest with a guard of honour. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, amid a worsening security situation in the country. The police headquarters in Peshawar is in one of the most tightly controlled areas of the city, housing intelligence and counter-terrorism bureaus, and is next door to the regional secretariat. Provinces around the country announced they were on high alert after the blast, with checkpoints ramped up and extra security forces deployed, while in the capital Islamabad snipers were deployed on buildings and at city entrance points. Terrorists want to create fear by targeting those who perform the duty of defending Pakistan, said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Officers said the blast came from the second row of worshippers, leading police to believe it was a suicide attack. Shahid Ali, a policeman who survived, said the explosion took place seconds after the imam started prayers. I saw black smoke rising to the sky. I ran out to save my life, the 47-year-old said. The screams of the people are still echoing in my mind. The security breach came on the day United Arab Emirates President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan had been due to visit Islamabad, although the trip was cancelled at the last minute due to bad weather. Pakistan is also preparing to host an International Monetary Fund delegation on Tuesday as it works towards unlocking a vital bailout loan to prevent a looming default. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday condemned the blast as abhorrent and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken extended his condolences for the horrific attack. Security officials inspect the site of the mosque blast inside the police headquarters in Peshawar in northern Pakistan. Picture: AFP Wifes fury at jail sex tape La Paz: The wife of a jailed Bolivian opposition leader has accused the government of using a hidden video camera to film her and her husband having sex on a prison visit. Fatima Jordan, wife of Luis Fernando Camacho, claimed serious abuse committed against her by the government of leftist President Luis Arce. The 30-year-old claimed that with hidden cameras, the government recorded our intimacy as a couple. Camacho was arrested in December on terrorism charges, including an alleged role in the 2019 resignation of president Evo Morales. washington: The boss of TikTok will testify before the US congress as the Chineseowned video-sharing app faces a ban in America over mounting questions about security and its relationship with the Chinese Communist Party. Shou Zi Chew will make his first appearance before a congressional committee in March amid growing hostility to TikTok in Washington and scrutiny of its use of its customers data. Next month the House foreign affairs c o m m i t t e e will vote on a bill designed to block the use of the app in the US. Big Tech has increasingly become a destructive force in American society, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the commerce committees chair, said. The ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data. Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security, as well as what actions TikTok is taking to keep our kids safe from online and offline harms, she said. Weve made our concerns clear with TikTok. It is now time to continue the committees efforts to hold Big Tech accountable by bringing TikTok before the committee to provide complete and honest answers. The London Times The clock is ticking for TikTok Shou Zi Chew Eight killed in party massacre CAPE TOWN: Eight people were killed and several others injured when gunmen opened fire at a birthday party in South Africa, the latest in a spate of mass shootings that have been linked to organised crime. Witnesses described seeing a bloodied yard piled with bodies after two attackers stormed the gathering in Kwazakhele, a township in the Eastern Cape city of Gqeberha. Police said they fired indis criminately at the guests before fleeing. The partys host, whose birthday was being celebrated, was among the dead. There was a birthday celebration at the house and, the next minute, people from outside came in and there was shooting, Colonel Priscilla Naidu said. The shooting is the latest in an alarming increase of deadly gun violence in South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa has resisted calls to sack police minister Bheki Cele, on whose watch crime has worsened. South Africas murder rate, already one of the highest in the world, rose by 11 per cent in the past year, with a staggering 70 homicides every day. In July last year, 25 people were shot dead in four separate incidents in taverns, including one attack in Soweto in which 16 people were killed. The London Times Partygoers after the attack. Sick beheader fesses up BAMAKO: A suspect has confessed to a spate of grisly beheadings that has rocked the west African nation of Mali over the past five years. Ten people in the cottongrowing town of Fana have been decapitated since 2018, sparking fears of ritual killings. A 42-year-old unemployed man was arrested a year ago but confessed only last week to the horrific murders. The details he gave of the crimes correspond to the nature of the murders, local prosecutor Boubacar Moussa Diarra said. The victims included a former soldier, a housewife, a five-year-old albino child and a two-year-old girl. They had nothing in common and the killers motive is unknown. In most cases, their heads were found, but their blood had been collected, sparking fears of ritual murders.