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Ukraine says it blew up railway in eastern Russia

Ukraine says it blew up railway in Eastern Russia

Ukraine's security service has blown up a rail connection deep inside Russia, a senior official has told the BBC.

Successive explosions are said to have happened on trains running first through a tunnel and then on a bridge in Russia's far east.

Russia has reportedly begun an inquiry into a "criminal case of terrorism" after the attacks on the Baikal Amur line running to the border with China.

The extent of the damage has not been verified by the BBC.

Ukrainian sources said that the intention was to "disable" an important piece of infrastructure that the Russians sometimes use for military purposes.


Israel's Gaza bombardment targets crowded south; map marks evacuation orders

Israel bombs south Gaza

In the first day after Israel resumed its bombardment of Gaza following the breakdown of a weeklong truce with Hamas, the Israeli military said it struck over 400 targets, while international humanitarian groups decried continued violence.

On Saturday, Israel targeted areas in the crowded south of Gaza, while the United States has urged Israeli officials to do more to protect Palestinian civilians as Israel presses on in Gaza in an attempt to eradicate the militant group Hamas.

“We will continue the war until we achieve all its goals, and it’s impossible to achieve those goals without the ground operation,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in an address Saturday night.


Netanyahu pulls negotiators from Qatar claiming talks hit ‘dead end’

netanyahu ends Qatar peace talksIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled his country’s negotiators from Qatar, calling off hostage negotiation talks saying they had reached an “impasse” with Hamas.

Negotiations previously resulted in a weeklong cease-fire that freed over 100 Hamas-held hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners. Fighting resumed in the conflict on Friday, but the Biden administration, Arab allies and some factions of the Israeli government pushed for a longer pause to continue hostage releases.

“Hamas did not fulfil its part of the agreement, which included the release of all children and women according to a list that was forwarded to Hamas and approved by it,” the Israeli prime minster’s office said in a statement.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel on Thursday and Friday, his third trip to the region since the start of the conflict in October.


Strong quake in Philippines triggers tsunami warnings and evacuations

Philippine earthquakeEvacuations were under way in the Philippines after a quake of at least magnitude 7.5 struck the southern region of Mindanao on Saturday night, triggering tsunami warnings in the country and in Japan, though a U.S. agency said the risk of large waves had passed.

The U.S. Tsunami Warning System, which initially warned of waves of up to 3 metres (10 feet) above the usual high tide level, later said there was no longer a tsunami threat.


Germany is Ukraine’s new best friend. What a difference a war makes

German Leopard tank used by UkraniansOaf Scholz, Germany’s safety-first chancellor, has been harshly criticised for foot-dragging on military assistance for Ukraine. As Russia’s invasion loomed, he was ridiculed for offering 5,000 helmets instead of heavy weapons.

Early German doubts and prevarications delayed delivery of missiles and Leopard tanks. It got so bad that, in April last year, Germany’s president, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, was bluntly told he was not welcome in Kyiv.

What a difference a war makes! As the conflict approaches the two-year mark, Scholz, remarkably, is now leading the western effort to keep Ukraine afloat.


Zelenskyy says ‘new phase of war’ has begun, Hungary to back EU ‘strategic partnership’

Ukranian drone hunters

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Thursday called for quicker fortifications in key battlegrounds that face assaults from Russian forces, particularly in eastern Ukraine.

“In all major sectors, we need to boost and accelerate the construction of structures,” Zelenskyy said in his nightly address, according to a translation, after touring Ukrainian positions in the northeast that have been trying to repel recent Russian advances and recapture certain areas.


Renewed Gaza fighting stretches into second day after Israel-Hamas truce collapses

Renewed Gaza fighting stretches into second dayRenewed fighting in Gaza stretched into a second day on Saturday after talks to extend a week-old truce with Hamas collapsed and mediators said Israeli bombardments were complicating attempts to again pause hostilities.

Eastern areas of Khan Younis in southern Gaza came under intense bombardment as the truce deadline lapsed shortly after dawn on Friday, with columns of smoke rising into the sky, Reuters journalists in the city said.

Residents took to the road with belongings heaped up in carts, searching for shelter further west.


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