JERUSALEM: An Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip destroyed a Hamas tunnel giving frogmen unseen access to the sea from their base, the Israeli army claimed.
Army spokesman Jonathan Conricus told reporters that the tunnel was hit on June 3 in the north of the strip as Israeli aircraft pounded over a dozen militant targets in Gaza.
He said it was probable there were more like it not yet located by Israel. “We continue to monitor using all our operational, technical and intelligence capabilities that we have at our disposal,” he added.
Last week’s strikes were launched in retaliation for rockets fired at Israel by Palestinians in Gaza.
Conricus alleged that the tunnel ran from a military facility of Gaza’s Islamist rulers Hamas into the Mediterranean sea, “a few dozen metres away” at a depth underwater of two to three metres.
“It could have facilitated hostile activity against the state of Israel,” he said, adding that the tunnel’s underwater exit was about three kilometres from Israel’s border.
He said that the tunnel had been used in Hamas training and was “operational”.
Clashes with troops on Gaza’s land border have seen least 129 Palestinians killed since protests broke out along the Gaza border on March 30.
There have been no Israeli fatalities.
Protests peaked on May 14 when at least 61 Palestinians were killed in demonstrations to coincide with the controversial opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
Pakistan Taliban chief targeted in US drone strike in Afghanistan
New York: A senior United States military official has confirmed that a drone strike conducted by American forces has targeted terrorist Mullah Fazalullah, the leader of the Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan, in Afghanistan’s Kunar province near the border with Pakistan.
”The drone strike was conducted in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, targeting Maulana Fazlullah’s hideout,” Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell told Voice of America (VOA).
The US military also later confirmed that it carried out a strike targeting Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province, where Pakistani Taliban chief Maulana Fazlullah is believed to be hiding.
“US forces conducted a counter-terrorism strike on June 13 in Kunar province, close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan, which targeted a senior leader of a designated terrorist organisation,” Lieutenant Colonel Martin O’Donnell said in a statement.
It added that US forces were continuing to “adhere to a ceasefire” which Kabul has entered into with the Afghan Taliban, the country’s main insurgents, seemingly ruling out that group, amid US media reports the attack had targeted Fazlullah.
The US State Department in March announced a USD 5 million reward for help locating the militant leader, who has been linked to bloody attacks in Pakistan and 2010 attempted Times Square car bombing in New York.
It said the group, also known by its Urdu name Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) has “demonstrated a close alliance with al Qaeda” and said it had given explosives training to Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square bomber.
The group was behind the massacre of more than 150 people at a Peshawar school in December 2014, and nine dead in another attack in December 2017 in the same city.
It was also responsible for the October 2012 shooting of Malala Yousafzai, who became a global symbol of the fight for girls’ rights to schooling.
According to Pakistani officials, Fazlullah, who is believed to be in his forties, took refuge in Afghanistan after the TTP was pushed out of Pakistan following multiple offensives by the military on its safe havens.
Toll in Nicaragua protests reaches 155
Managua:The death toll in Nicaragua from protests against President Daniel Ortega’s rule has increased to 155 after a 15-year-old boy was shot dead, authorities said.
The Catholic Church on Thursday mourned the death of the young altar boy, who fell victim to a surprise attack by “paramilitaries” of the government, reports Efe news.
“The message that has just arrived has made me cry, God has welcomed Sandor Dolmus, an altar boy murdered today by paramilitaries in Leon, to the altar of heaven,” said Bishop Silvio Baez.
The altar boy was with other children and neighbours, when the paramilitary group left the headquarters of the ruling Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) and sprayed bullets at them, priest Victor Morales of the diocese of Leon told reporters.
The young man was shot in the chest with a high-caliber firearm and died a few minutes later, the priest said.
Dolmus was an altar boy at the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary in Leon, classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site.
In addition to the deaths, some 1,000 people had been injured during the civil unrest which began on April 18.
Ortega’s government, which has ruled for the past 11 years, blames opposition political groups for the “criminal violence” and denied reports of “riot squads or paramilitary groups linked to the government” who protesters blame for the deaths.
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