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Militants gun down Pakistani soldier in attack on army post near Afghan border

Militants targeted an army post in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal belt near the Afghan border, killing a soldier in a firefight overnight, Pakistan's military said.

The attack took place in the Shewa area of the district of North Waziristan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, the army said in a statement on Saturday.

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No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.

The military said that during an intense exchange of gunfire a soldier was killed. It said a search of the area was being carried out to find the militants. No additional details were released.

North Waziristan served as a militant stronghold for decades. The military carried out a full-fledged offensive in the region after an army run school was attacked in December 2014 in the provincial capital of Peshawar. The attack killed more than 150 people, mostly schoolchildren.

Read more: Pakistan reopens Chaman border crossing to Afghanistan

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UN peacekeeper killed, another injured in attack on helicopter in DR Congo: UN


A United Nations peacekeeper from South Africa was killed and another wounded in an attack on their helicopter in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo on Sunday, the organization said.

The aircraft came under fire at around 3:00 p.m. (1200 GMT) during a flight to Goma, the provincial capital of Nord-Kivu province, where it was able to land, a spokesman told AFP.

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Militias have plagued the mineral-rich eastern DRC for decades, many of them a legacy of regional wars that flared during the 1990s and the early 2000s.

Since November 2021, the M23 rebel group has seized chunks of territory and come within miles of the east’s main commercial hub Goma.

East African leaders called Saturday for an immediate ceasefire in eastern DRC, at an extraordinary summit called to find ways of calming the raging conflict.

The talks were hosted in Burundi by the seven-nation East African Community (EAC), which is leading mediation efforts to end the fighting in the vast central African nation.

The resurgent M23 has taken control of swathes of land in the mineral-rich east and fighting is continuing despite a peace roadmap hammered out in Angola last July, and the deployment of an East African Community force in November.

The DRC is awash with minerals and precious stones, but the decades of war and chronic mismanagement mean that little of the vast wealth trickles down to the population of some 100 million.

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Colombian military confirms possible balloon flying over its airspace


A day before a US military jet shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the country’s Atlantic Coast on Saturday, Colombia’s military confirmed a sighting of an airborne object similar to a balloon flying over its territory.

Colombia’s air force issued a statement on Saturday providing limited details concerning a possible balloon its air defense system had located Friday morning.

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US military officials on Friday said another Chinese balloon was spotted somewhere over Latin America but did not specify its location.

According to the Colombian air force statement, an “object” was detected over its territory at an altitude of 55,000 feet that had entered the South American country’s airspace to the north moving at an average speed of 25 knots, or roughly 29 miles per hour.

The statement added that the object exhibited “characteristics similar to those of a balloon,” and that the air force monitored it until if left the country’s airspace.

“It was determined that it did not represent a threat to national security,” the statement added.

No other official confirmation of unidentified balloons flying over other Latin American countries has been issued as of Sunday.

In recent days, however, balloon sightings have been made in Venezuela and Costa Rica by multiple social media users.

The saga of the downed Chinese spy balloon off the US coast captivated public attention for days, and was widely seen as worsening US-Chinese relations.

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South Africa records two imported cholera cases


South Africa has recorded two confirmed imported cases of cholera, the health department said on Sunday, as it called for vigilance.

The cases were of sisters who had in January travelled to Malawi, where a cholera outbreak since last year has claimed more than 1,000 lives as of January, the highest on record in the country.

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“Both patients had developed symptoms on their return to Johannesburg,” the health department said in a statement.

“A close contact (household family member) of one of the patients was admitted to hospital on 4 February with diarrhea and dehydration, and is considered a possible case,” it said, adding laboratory test results were pending.

Cholera is an acute diarrheal infection caused by the bacteria Vibrio cholerae and can be deadly if left untreated. It is mainly spread by contaminated food and water.

Cholera is not endemic in South Africa, the health department said. The last outbreak in the country was in 2008/2009 when about 12,000 cases were reported following an outbreak in neighboring Zimbabwe which led to a surge of imported cases and subsequent local transmission.

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Kuwaiti citizen tests positive for cholera after visit to neighboring country

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