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NATO forces rescue four aid workers in north Afghanistan  KUNDUZ: A NATO rescue team dropped by helicopter in the remote mountains of northern Afghanistan early on Saturday freed four aid workers, including two foreigners, who had been seized by the Taliban last month, the alliance said. The aid workers, employed by Swiss-based Medair, were en route to flood-stricken parts of Badakhshan province when they were kidnapped. NATO forces entered the area under cover of darkness and after confirming the presence of the hostages, carried out a successful raid to free them, Lieutenant Commander Brian Badura, a spokesman for the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) told Reuters. The rescue team suffered no casualties in the operation, Badura said. The kidnappers were armed with heavy machine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, and rocket-propelled grenades. The two foreigners were identified as Helen Johnston, a Briton, and Moragwa Oirere from Kenya. British Prime Minister David Cameron, welcoming the freeing of the hostages, said their lives were increasingly in ...

Myanmar has stopped nuclear research: defence chief SINGAPORE: Myanmar's government has halted fledgling research on the peaceful use of nuclear power, the country's defence minister said Saturday. Lieutenant General Hla Min told an Asia security conference in Singapore that the academic research had not progressed much because of what he called practical constraints. "In this new government, we have already given up all activities of nuclear issues. We have no future plans to extend on this," he said through an interpreter. Hla Min acknowledged that ...
Special force free aid workers in Afghanistan KABUL: NATO special force rescued two foreign women hostages and killed five kidnappers in a daring night raid on a cave in Afghanistan's remote Badakhshan province, the military said Saturday. The women, who worked for Swiss-based charity Medair, were named as Helen Johnston and Moragwe Oirere. Two Afghan colleagues kidnapped with them on May 22 were also freed unharmed. All are well and in good condition, Afghan officials told AFP. "The mission to rescue the hostages was launched ...
Five aid workers freed in operation in Afghanistan KABUL: Five aid workers, including two Western women doctors, seized by gunmen last month in northeastern Afghanistan, were freed in an operation, an Afghan official said on Saturday. The aid workers employed by Swiss-based Medair were making their way to flood stricken parts of Badakhshan province last month when they were taken away. "It was a successful operation conducted by troops and all five aid workers have been released," said Shamul Rahman Shams, the deputy governor of ...
MELBOURNE: Three members of an Indian family are believed to have died after a fire tore through a Melbourne house Friday, with police saying murder-suicide was one avenue of investigation. Detectives said a family of four from southern India lived at the property and remains had been found, but the damage was so great it would take time to confirm how many people died. Reports said a mother and her two young boys perished while the father ...
NEW DELHI: India's opposition parties held a nationwide strike on Thursday, vowing to shut down the country in protest against steep petrol price rises announced last week. Political parties and trade unions planned anti-government marches, roadblocks and pickets outside government offices to focus anger on the administration of embattled Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "We will lodge a strong democratic protest over the petrol price hike," Prakash Javdekar, spokesman of the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), told ...
TOKYO: Japan has told the Syrian ambassador in Tokyo to leave the country, the foreign ministry said Wednesday. The move lines Tokyo up with many of its Western allies who have kicked out diplomats after expressing disgust over the massacre of civilians in Houla. Copyright AFP (Agence France-Presse), 2012 ...


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln