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Coordinated Attacks on Israel take Middle East to the Brink

Bystanders tend to an Israeli diplomat (partially obscured, on ground) following a bomb blast near the Israeli embassy in New Delhi Monday. (AFP)

The Middle East may have taken another step towards war Monday as Israel blamed Iran and its terrorist ally Hezbollah for two apparently co-ordinated attacks on Israeli embassies in India and Georgia.

In the first attack, the wife of an Israeli diplomat was injured when a bomb exploded in or near her car in New Delhi.

The woman managed to make it back to the Israeli embassy and was rushed to hospital. Israel Radio reported the injured woman was the wife of the Israel’s military attache at the embassy in New Delhi.

Indian officials are said to be investigating the possibility the bomb was placed underneath the car or that an assassin on a motorcycle either attached a bomb to the car or threw it at the vehicle.

Indian television cited witnesses who claimed to have seen a motorcycle following the car and possibly throwing something moments before.

In the second attack, an embassy staffer in Tbilisi, Georgia discovered a bomb underneath his car as he was driving to the embassy Monday morning. He reportedly heard an unusual sound and discovered the bomb when he pulled over to inspect. Police managed to disarm the weapon before it exploded.

The attacks mirror similar assassination attempts against nuclear scientists in Iran, which Iranian officials have blamed on Israeli and U.S. agents. Monday’s attacks also occurred a day after the fourth anniversary of the assassination of Hezbollah commander Imad Mugniya in a car bombing in Damascus.

Israel’s Prime Minister immediately blamed Iran for the two terror attacks Monday saying that Iran, and its proxy Hezbollah, were responsible.

“In recent months we have witnessed several attempts to attack Israeli citizens and Jews in several countries, including Azerbaijan, Thailand and others,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “In each instance we succeeded in foiling the attacks in cooperation with local authorities. Iran and Hezbollah were behind all of these attempted attacks.”

“Iran, which is behind these attacks, is the greatest exporter of terrorism in the world,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “The Israeli government and its security forces will continue to work together with local security services against these terrorist actions.”

Monday’s attacks occurred as the Middle East faces increasing threats of a regional war, with Israel threatening to attack Iran’s secret nuclear installations to prevent Tehran getting nuclear weapons.

Iran has threatened to retaliate in the event of an attack, vowing to wipe Israel off the map, while also threatening to close the Straits of Hormuz to international oil shipments.

…(National Post)

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February 14, 2012 Posted by | Violence, War | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Nepal to Cull Thousands of Chickens Following Discovery of H151

Health workers in Nepal are to cull thousands of chickens following the discovery of the H5N1 strain of bird flu in the southeastern part of the Himalayan country.

“We sent samples for investigation to London after chickens started to die of a mysterious disease in commercial poultry farms,” said Ram Krishna Khatiwada, of the government’s Directorate of Animal Health. “We have received the test reports today that confirms infection of bird flu in poultry farms in Khanar and Ithari of the Sunsari district.”

Bird flu has also been confirmed in the eastern hills of Panchathar district and the tea-producing area of Ilam, Katiwada told AFP, adding that surveillance of farms was to be stepped up and 4000 chickens would be killed in the affected areas. “There has not been infection to humans in the area so far.

“Some have complained of itching and vomiting but that is only panic. We will get the situation under control in one or two days.”

Nepal’s first reported outbreak of bird flu in poultry was in January 2009 in the eastern part of the country.

The virus reached the capital Kathmandu for the first time in December last year, with health workers culling hundreds of chickens and ducks.

If it spreads to humans, bird flu can cause fever, cough, sore throat, pneumonia, respiratory disease and sometimes death.

…(News)

February 7, 2012 Posted by | Health Warning | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sweeping Cold Wave Over Northern India Kills 39

December 21, 2011 – NEW DELHI: The entire north India shivered on Monday as 11 more people succumbed to the cold sweeping the region pushing the death toll to 39. Dense fog and dipping temperatures threw normal life out of gear at several places as nine deaths occurred in Punjab and two in Uttar Pradesh since last evening. The death count from the harsh weather has risen to 30 in Uttar Pradesh where Fatehgarh with a minimum temperature of 3.9 degrees was the coldest place in the state. The national capital woke up to a thick blanket of fog which reduced the visibility to almost zero in some areas.

Cold conditions prevailed in Kashmir with the minimum temperatures dropping several degrees below freezing point as the weather department forecast light to moderate snowfall at many places. Sub-zero night temperatures have resulted in freezing of water supply lines in many areas. Mercury in the skiing resort of Gulmarg in north Kashmir plummeted to a minimum of minus 6.8 degrees Celsius.

Srinagar, the summer capital of Jammu and Kashmir, reeled at minus 3.4 degrees Celsius.

…(The Times Of India)

December 21, 2011 Posted by | Weather | , , | Leave a comment