Connect with us

World

Bodies of 16 killed in Channel boat disaster repatriated to Iraqi Kurdistan

Published

on

The bodies of 16 people killed when their boat sank in the Channel while trying to reach England were repatriated early Sunday to Iraqi Kurdistan where their families were awaiting them, an AFP photographer saw.

The plane carrying them arrived around 2:00 am at Arbil, capital of the autonomous region in northern Iraq.

The remains were transferred to ambulances to transport them to their hometowns of Darbandikhan, Ranya, Soran, and Qadrawa.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

At least 27 people perished in the November 24 tragedy, the deadliest disaster since the Channel became a hub for clandestine migrant crossings from France to England.

At the terminal at Arbil airport, emotional families waited for the arrival of the remains of their loved ones, some hugging each other or showing photos of their late relatives.

Originally scheduled for Friday, the repatriation had been postponed twice.

The 27 victims were mostly men but also included seven women, a 16-year-old and a seven-year-old child.

Besides the 16 Iraqi Kurds, the 26 identified included an Iranian Kurd, four Afghan men, three Ethiopians, a Somali and an Egyptian.

Only two people were rescued after their inflatable boat capsized, an Iraqi Kurd and a Sudanese national, according to the French interior ministry.

According to the Iraqi survivor there had been a total of 33 people aboard.
French investigators are still trying to establish a clearer picture of what happened during the disaster.

They have been investigating reports the passengers had telephoned both French and British emergency services, appealing for help when the vessel began sinking.

The disaster also caused major diplomatic tensions between London and Paris.

Within 48 hours of the accident, French President Emmanuel Macron accused British Prime Minister Boris Johnson of being “not serious” in his approach to stopping the crossings.

Paris was irked by Johnson's initial reaction, which was seen as deflecting blame onto France.

Read more: NGO files manslaughter charges over drowned migrants in English Channel

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

World

Saudi tourist killed by elephant in Uganda park

Published

on

A Saudi tourist was trampled to death by an elephant during a game drive at a popular park in Uganda, a wildlife official said Wednesday.

The attack happened on Tuesday at the Murchison Falls National Park when the man left the vehicle he was travelling in with friends, said Uganda Wildlife Authority spokesman Bashir Hangi.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“They stopped along the way and the deceased went out of the car, an elephant charged at him, killed him on the spot,” Hangi said in a statement.

The victim was identified as Ayman Sayed Elshahany.

Park officials said police will investigate Elshahany’s death as they review security protocols to “avoid repeat of such incidents.”

Animal attacks are not unheard of in the East African country.

In 2018, a leopard snatched and ate the three-year-old son of a female game ranger at another park in the west of the country.

Continue Reading

World

US responds to Russia’s security demands in Ukraine crisis

Published

on

The US delivered its response to Russia’s security demands, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, the latest step in the high-stakes diplomacy over Moscow’s buildup of troops on Ukraine’s border.

The response delivered by Ambassador John Sullivan on Wednesday sets out “a serious diplomatic path forward, Blinken told reporters in Washington. “We are open to dialogue, we prefer diplomacy. It remains up to Russia to decide how to respond. We are ready either way.

The report delivered to officials in Moscow largely sticks to points made by Blinken and other US officials: It rejects Russia’s demand that NATO close its door to potential Ukraine membership in the future, but offers suggestions for areas of mutual interest, such as arms control talks and greater transparency over troop movements and military exercises, Blinken said.

For the latest headlines, follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“We will uphold the principle of NATO’s open door, Blinken said, repeating the US and European position that Russia shouldn’t get to dictate which nations join the military alliance.

“We also do lay out areas where we believe that together we could actually advance security for everyone, including for Russia, Blinken said.

The top US diplomat said he expects to speak with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the “coming days, adding that the US response won’t be released publicly.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is expected to speak to reporters soon on the alliance’s response to Russia.

Tensions have soared as Russia masses more than 100,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, though officials in Moscow have repeatedly said they have no intention of invading the country.

Nevertheless, a top official of the pro-Kremlin ruling party who’s also a senior member of the Senate, Andrey Turchak, suggested it could send “certain weapons to the separatists it backs in Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. Openly arming the separatists would undermine Russia’s claims — rejected by Ukraine and the West — that it’s not a party to the conflict.

Russia has said it will decide on whether to continue diplomatic efforts with the US and its allies based on the written answers.

The Kremlin has said it wants the US to respond to its key demands — no further expansion of NATO to the east, no deployments of weapons there that can strike Russia and a pullback of alliance forces in the region — even though Washington has made clear those are non-starters.

Moscow has said previously that the talks the US did offer publicly on limiting missiles and reducing risks around military maneuvers were positive, but not sufficient to address its security concerns.

Even as talks continued and Russia awaited the replies in recent days, the Kremlin continued its buildup of troops, tanks and equipment near Ukraine’s borders, with a major deployment to Belarus for exercises. Russia has said the forces aren’t a threat to anyone, but has refused Western calls to reverse the buildup.

Read more:

Biden says Putin could face sanctions if Russia invaded Ukraine

Putin will pay ‘dear price’ if Russia invades Ukraine: US President Biden

US puts 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid Russia-Ukraine heightened tensions

Continue Reading

World

US to shut down Afghan embassy, strip diplomats of immunity: Sources

Published

on

The US government has informed Afghanistan’s diplomats that they will shut down the embassy in Washington and the consulate missions in Los Angeles and New York, sources familiar with the matter tell Al Arabiya English.

The Afghan diplomats will also be stripped of their diplomatic immunity, according to a memo sent to the Afghan diplomats at the beginning of the week.

– Developing

Read more: Once-bustling Afghan Embassy in US down to few diplomats

Continue Reading

Trending