Bomb Attacks Kill Four Policemen In Northern Iraq

At least four policemen were killed and 11 wounded by two roadside bombs that targeted police convoys in separate attacks in northern Iraq on Sunday, the service and medical sources said.

Two died and eight were wounded when a bomb hit a bus carrying police on their way to work near the town of Shirqat, its police chief colonel Majeed Ghatran said.

Another bomb struck a second group of officers that was heading to the location of the first explosion, killing two and wounding three, he said.

No organization claimed responsibility for the bombings.

Islamic State militants have carried out guerrilla-style attacks in the area since their military defeat in Iraq in December 2017

 

AFP

An explosion and fire has killed at least 66 people who were collecting fuel gushing from a leaking pipeline in central Mexico, the Hidalgo state governor said on Saturday

The toll that we have until a few minutes ago… is 66 dead, while 76 are injured,” said the governor, Omar Fayad.

Forensic specialists on Saturday worked among the charred corpses at the scene, which was guarded by soldiers as a smell of fuel still hung in the air.

Scores of locals with jerrycans and buckets had been collecting gasoline that was gushing from the pipeline when the blast occurred on Friday, according to witnesses.

Video taken in the aftermath showed people fleeing the scene, screaming for help, as an enormous fire lit up the night sky in Tlahuelilpan, Hidalgo state, 65 miles (105 kilometres) north of Mexico City.

The tragedy comes as the federal government wages a highly publicized war on fuel theft, a problem that cost Mexico an estimated $3 billion in 2017.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador travelled to the scene in the early hours of Saturday.

AFP

massive fire broke out at an illegal pipeline tap in central Mexico on Friday, killing at least 21 people and injuring 71 more, just as the government wages a major crack-down on fuel theft

Scores of locals with jerry cans and buckets had been collecting gasoline that was gushing from a leaking pipeline when an explosion occurred, according to witnesses.

Video taken in the aftermath showed desperate people fleeing the scene, screaming for help, as the enormous fire lit up the night sky in Tlahuelilpan, in Hidalgo state, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) north of Mexico City.

“I went just to see what was happening, and then the explosion happened. I rushed to help people,” said Fernando Garcia, 47. “I had to claw through pieces of people who had already been burned to bits,” he told AFP.

The tragedy comes as the federal government is waging a highly publicized war on fuel theft, a problem that cost Mexico an estimated $3 billion in 2017.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador traveled to the scene in the early hours of Saturday.

“I am deeply saddened by the suffering in Tlahuelilpan caused by the explosion of a pipeline,” the leftist leader earlier wrote on Twitter.

“I call on the whole government to assist people there.”

Federal and state firefighters and ambulances run by state oil company Pemex rushed to help victims with burns and take the wounded to hospitals.

The flood of patients overflowed local clinics and hospitals, said AFP correspondents at the scene.

Security Minister Alfonso said around midnight that the fire had been brought under control.

Pemex said it was also responding to another fire at a botched pipeline tap in the central state of Queretaro, though in that case there were no victims.

Mexico is regularly rocked by deadly explosions at illegal pipeline taps, a dangerous but lucrative business whose players include powerful drug cartels and corrupt Pemex insiders.

Rampant fuel theft

The tragedy comes as anti-corruption crusader Lopez Obrador presses implementation of a controversial fuel theft prevention plan.

The government has shut off key pipelines until they can be fully secured and deployed the army to guard Pemex production facilities.

But the strategy to fight the problem led to severe gasoline and diesel shortages across much of the country, including Mexico City, forcing people to queue for hours — sometimes days — to fill up their vehicles.

The president, who took office on December 1, has vowed to keep up the fight and asked Mexicans to be patient.

At the scene, some locals blamed the shortages for the tragedy.

“A lot of people arrived with their jerry cans, because of the gasoline shortages we’ve had,” said Martin Trejo, 55, who was desperately searching for his son, one of those who had gone to collect the leaking fuel.

Under Lopez Obrador’s crackdown, authorities have opened 1,700 individual investigations for fuel theft and related money laundering.

Tanker trucks are being used to deliver fuel, but experts say there are not nearly enough of them.

Mexico City residents faced a second week of fuel shortages this week, though lines at service stations were shorter than the previous week.

Mexican bank Citibanamex estimated Wednesday that the shortages would cost Latin America’s second-largest economy around $2 billion, “if conditions return to normal in the coming days.”

The roots of the fuel theft problem run deep in Mexico, where the practice — known locally as “huachicoleo,” or moonshining — is big business for some communities.

Lopez Obrador so far retains broad support: 89 percent of Mexicans back his crackdown, and his approval rating has even ticked up slightly, to 76 percent, according to a poll published Monday by newspaper El Financiero.

Below are some more photos from the incident.

The death toll in a coal mine roof collapse in northern China has risen to 21 after rescuers found two more miners dead on Sunday, state media reported

A total of 87 people were working underground in the Shaanxi province mine at the time of the accident on Saturday afternoon, according to official news agency Xinhua, citing local authorities.

Rescuers had been searching for two remaining trapped miners but found them dead Sunday morning, Xinhua reported. Another 66 miners were safely evacuated from the mine.

The cause of the accident at the site, run by privately owned Baiji Mining, is still under investigation.

Private coal mines in China typically take fewer safety precautions than larger state-owned mines.

Information about the accident cannot be disclosed, a driver at the company said who answered Baiji’s registered phone number.

The mine is a small scale operation, he said, declining to give his name.

Deadly mining accidents are common in China, where the industry has a poor safety record despite efforts to improve coal production conditions and crack down on illegal mines.

In December last year, seven miners were killed and three others injured in an accident at a coal mine in China’s southwest.

In October, 21 miners died in eastern Shandong province after pressure inside a mine caused rocks to fracture and break, blocking the tunnel and trapping workers. Only one miner was rescued alive.

According to China’s National Coal Mine Safety Administration, the country saw 375 coal mining related deaths in 2017, down 28.7 percent year-on-year.

But despite improvements, “the situation of coal mine safety production is still grim,” the bureau said in a statement following a coal mine safety conference last January.

AFP

powerful explosion badly damaged a bakery in central Paris on Saturday, injuring several people and smashing nearby windows after a suspected gas leak, police and AFP journalists said

A fire broke out after the blast at around 9:00 am (0800 GMT) in the city’s 9th district, a residential and shopping area.

Images posted on Twitter showed debris covering the street and the lower part of the building blown out and in flames. Parked cars were also damaged in the blast.

An AFP photographer saw at least one person being carried away on a stretcher from the building by firefighters.

Firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze and evacuate some people from the building using ladders while emergency workers treated some of the injured at the scene

AFP

There are fears that many people have lost their lives after a petroleum tanker burst into flames at the Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River state

Channels Television gathered that some of the residents were scooping fuel from a fallen petroleum tanker when the explosion occurred.

The tanker laden with PMS was reportedly heading outside the state capital when it suddenly lost balance towards the Federal Housing Estate along the Odukpani axis of the highway and fell off.

Dozens were said to have rushed down to scoop the spilled product which later resulted in an explosion leaving many burnt beyond recognition.

Majority of the victims are said to have sustained third-degree injuries and are currently at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.

As of the time of filing this report, the number of casualties recorded could not be ascertained.

Attempts are being made to reach relevant authorities to get a clearer insight into the unfortunate incident.

Below are some more photos from the scene, some pictures have been purposely left out because of their graphic nature.

More details later coming up with the update soon by ((Lagmen Net News))

Source channels.