KUNDUZ: At least nine people, including children, were wounded in a bomb blast at a wedding party in northern Afghanistan, officials said yesterday. “Last night a wedding party was under way in Baghlan-e-Markazi of Baghlan province, and an improvised explosive device under the tent exploded,” Gawhar Khan Babur, District Governor of Baghlan-e-Markazi, said, adding two people were a critical condition. Baghlan provincial police chief Asadullah Shirzad said all the wounded were elderly men and children. No local government officials were present, he said.
Japan aid for airports security
ISLAMABAD: Japan will provide a grant of $20m to Pakistan for improving security at its three international airports by installing the latest scanning systems. The high-tech systems will be installed to scan explosives, vehicles and cargo at Quaid-i-Azam International Airport, Karachi, Allama Iqbal International Airport, Lahore, and Benazir International Airport, Islamabad. The project is the first since Japan began to give development assistance in 1954. Japan International Cooperation Agency will undertake the project with Civil Aviation Authority. It is expected to contribute to the government’s counter-terrorism efforts.
six in Quetta
QUETTA: Gunmen shot dead six Shias yesterday, officials said, in what appears to be the latest in a wave of sectarian attacks in Pakistan’s troubled southwest. The incident took place on a road in Muchh town, southeast of Quetta, the capital of the oil and gas rich Baluchistan province, which borders Iran and Afghanistan. “The gunmen attacked a vehicle carrying eight Shias, who were returning to work in coal mines. One was wounded,” officials said. The gunmen who were hiding along the roadside fled after the attack.
Industry seeks LNG import
ISLAMABAD: The compressed natural gas (CNG) industry has urged the government to allow it to purchase liquefied natural gas (LNG), which could be imported either by the government or the industry, in a bid to continue to run outlets and save Rs450bn ($4.28bn) worth of investment, which is at stake because of persistent gas outages. The All Pakistan CNG Association has suggested doing away with natural gas and buying 400m cubic feet of LNG per day to run 3,600 outlets so that the industry could cope with challenges, according to a letter sent to Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. Agencies