05272016Fri
Last update: Fri, 27 May 2016 05am

South Asia

World - South Asia

Iran denies killed Taliban leader was in country TEHRAN: Iran on Monday denied reports that Afghan Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mansour entered Pakistan from the Islamic republic before being killed in a US drone strike, state media reported.Pakistani security officials told AFP on Sunday that the man killed on Saturday in the southwestern province of Balochistan, believed at the time to be Mansour, had just returned from Iran when his vehicle was attacked.US President Barack Obama on Monday confirmed that Mansour had been killed in a US air strike, hailing his death as an "important milestone" in efforts to bring peace to Afghanistan.Senior Taliban sources have also confirmed the killing to AFP, adding that a shura (council) was under way to select a new leader.Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari was quoted by the official IRNA news agency on Monday as denying Mansour had been in the country before the attack."The competent authorities of the Islamic republic ...

World - South Asia

India in deal to turn Iran port into trade hub TEHRAN: India is to open a $500-million line of credit to develop Iran's Chabahar port into a regional trading hub, visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monday in Tehran."The bilateral agreement to develop the Chabahar port and related infrastructure, and availability of about $500 million from India for this purpose, is an important milestone," Modi said."We are committed to take steps for early implementation of the agreements signed today," he said at a televised ...

World - South Asia

India bans nationals from travelling to Libya NEW DELHI: India on Monday banned its nationals from travelling to Libya for any reason, citing potentially deadly security threats. A foreign ministry statement announced the indefinite travel ban.Some 18,000 Indians worked in Libya before the country descended into chaos in 2011, in local hospitals, teaching institutions and construction.Thousands were evacuated after the conflict began.Monday's decision was apparently dictated by recent weeks of increased violence, with the Islamic State group looking to expand its footprint ...

World - South Asia

Sri Lanka floods expected to cost at least $1.5 billion COLOMBO: The cost of Sri Lanka's landslides and floods will be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion at the minimum, the government said on Monday, as the Indian Ocean island struggles to recover from its worst natural disaster since the 2004 Asia tsunami.The official death toll has risen to 92 but 109 people are feared to have been buried in landslides.Days of torrential rain forced more than 350,000 people from their homes, though many were ...

World - South Asia

India's budget mini space shuttle blasts off BANGALORE: India successfully launched its first mini space shuttle on Monday as New Delhi's famously frugal space agency joined the global race to make rockets as reusable as airplanes.The shuttle was reportedly developed on a budget of just one billion rupees ($14 million), a fraction of the billions of dollars spent by other nations' space programmes.The Reusable Launch Vehicle, or RLV-TD, which is around the size of a minibus, hurtled into a blue sky over ...

World - South Asia

Landslide kills 10 in India NEW DELHI: A landslide triggered by strong winds killed at least 10 construction workers in northern India on Monday, police said.Five more labourers were injured in the disaster in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand, where they were building a road."We have recovered 10 bodies and shifted injured to the hospital," said Sadanand Date, chief of police for state capital Dehradun.Landslides are common in the Himalayan region, mostly in the monsoon season, when heavy rains make ...

World - South Asia

Tajikistan votes in referendum to empower veteran president DUSHANBE: Ex-Soviet Tajikistan went to the polls Sunday in a referendum on constitutional changes almost certain to strengthen the hold of long-time President Emomali Rakhmon and his family over the impoverished Central Asian state.After an early morning rush to the polls, the country's electoral commission said the vote was valid, claiming that 80 percent of 4.3 million eligible voters had cast their ballots by 1000 GMT in a referendum on whether Rakhmon can run for ...