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Saturday, Feb 06th

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Deadly blast hits Istanbul tourist district; at least 10 people killed

Istanbul blastAn explosion in the heart of Istanbul's historic Sultanahmet tourist district killed at least 10 people and wounded 15 on Tuesday as Turkey's deputy prime minister blamed the attack on a suicide bomber.

Several bodies lay on the ground in the Sultanahmet square, a bustling area of Turkey's most populous city close to the popular Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia tourist sites.

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U.S. Warns That 500,000 Iraqis Could Die As Vital Dam Deteriorates

Iraq dam may breachMore than 16 months after Iraqi and Kurdish forces reclaimed Mosul Dam from Islamic State fighters, the structure faces a new threat: the danger that it may collapse because of insufficient maintenance, overwhelming major communities downstream with floodwaters.

In the worst-case scenario, according to State Department officials, an estimated 500,000 people could be killed while more than a million could be rendered homeless if the dam, Iraq’s largest, were to collapse in the spring, when the Tigris is swollen by rain and melting snow. The casualty toll and damage would be much less if Iraqi citizens received adequate warning, if the dam collapsed only partially or if it were breached in the summer or fall, when the water level is lower.

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Pakistani immigrants attacked in Cologne, Germany

pakistanis attacked in CologneAt least six Pakistani nationals were attacked by a group of about 20 men in Cologne, Germany, the site of mob assaults on New Year's Eve, police said.

Two suspects were detained after the Sunday afternoon attack in Cologne's city center and two victims were hospitalized, according to police. Several hours later a Syrian national, 39, was similarly assaulted by a group of five people.

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Humanitarian convoy on way to deliver aid to starved Syrian town of Madaya

Aid convoy en route to Syrian town- A humanitarian convoy supported by the United Nations was en route on Monday to Madaya, a besieged town in Syria desperately in need of food and supplies.

The town has been blockaded for about six months by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other pro-government forces. Doctors Without Borders said more than 24 people have died of starvation since December, including at least six who were under the age of 1 and five who died Sunday.

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Gunmen attack Baghdad mall, killing 10 and taking hostages

Gunmen attack Baghdad mallGunmen set off a car bomb at the entrance to a mall in mainly Shiite eastern Baghdad on Monday, killing at least 10 people and wounding 25 as the attackers raced inside and took hostages, Iraqi officials said.

Police and medical officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, estimated that 50-75 people were trapped inside the Jawhara mall. They said gunmen could be seen on the roof of the mall, which was surrounding by police and soldiers.

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Arson Suspected in Fire at Israeli Rights Group's Office Building in Jerusalem

B'Tselem arsonA fire broke out on Sunday evening in a building that houses the office of human rights group B'Tselem, in Jerusalem's Makor Haim neighborhood.

The fire department said they suspect an arson was the cause of the fire.

Firefighting crews rescued a person who was trapped on the fourth floor of the building, a fire department spokesperson said. One person was lightly wounded from smoke inhalation and evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem.

The spokesman said that the fire has been contained and efforts are being made to extinguish the flames.

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Cologne attacks: New Year's Eve crime cases top 500

Cologne attacks exceed 500The number of criminal cases committed during new year celebrations in the German city of Cologne has risen to 516 - 40% of which relate to sexual assault, police in the city say.

The figures are a big increase from the 379 cases police reported on Saturday. Asylum seekers and illegal migrants from North Africa comprise the majority of suspects, police say.

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