274 Palestinians including babies, children, women killed, hundreds wounded in Israeli raid that rescued 4 hostages

News Network
June 9, 2024

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Deir al-Balah, Jun 9: At least 274 Palestinians were killed and hundreds more were wounded in the Israeli raid that rescued four hostages held by Hamas, Gaza's Health Ministry said Sunday. 

Hamas fighters chose not to execute the hostages when the Israeli occupation army carried out the complex daytime operation deep inside the territory.

The killing of so many Palestinians, including babies, children and women, in a raid that Israelis celebrated as a stunning success because all four hostages were rescued alive, showed the heavy cost of such operations on top of the already soaring toll of the 8-month-long war ignited by Hamas' October 7 attack.

Scores of hostages are believed to be held in densely populated areas or inside Hamas' labyrinth of tunnels, making rescue attempts extremely complex and risky. A similar raid in February rescued two hostages while leaving 74 Palestinians dead.

The operation deep into Nuseirat, a built-up refugee camp in central Gaza dating back to the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, was the largest rescue since October 7.

So far, the Tel Aviv regime has killed at least 36,801 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured 83,680 others in the Gaza Strip. 

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coastaldigest.com news network
June 14,2024

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A 40-year-old expatriate from Karnataka’s Mangaluru had a lucky escape to survive even as a huge fire engulfed an apartment complex in Kuwait, killing over 49 people. 

Praison Roby Peter, who was working as an administrator in a private company for the last seven years, was asleep when the fire started.

“He was on the fourth floor. Fire started from the ground floor when they were asleep at 4 am. Suddenly, the smoke spread to the upper floors. To escape from smoke he jumped from the fourth floor and hence was injured,” said Joy Mathew from the Kuwait Pentecostal Mission Church.

Mathew is working closely with Indians who were injured in the Kuwait tragedy.

Kannadiga among victims

One person from Aland Taluk from Kalaburagi is one among the 45 Indians who lost their life in the Kuwait fire tragedy. 

The deceased has been identified as Vijay Kumar Prasanna (43) and his body is expected to reach Kalaburagi tomorrow. “We are coordinating with the Kochi Airport authorities. Once all the bodies arrive in Kochi, the body of the deceased will be transported to Hyderabad via flight on Friday night. From Hyderabad, the body will be moved to his native village in Aland using a district ambulance. We are hoping that the body will reach the family by early morning on Saturday,” a senior official from the Kalaburagi district administration said.

According to sources in Kalaburagi district administration, Prasanna was working as a driver in a private company in Kuwait for the last ten years. He is survived by his wife and three children, sources revealed. Prasanna is one of the deceased in the Kuwait apartment blaze that killed close to 45 Indians on Wednesday. 

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News Network
June 12,2024

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Kuwait: At least 49 people, including many Indians, were killed in a massive fire in a six-storeyed building at Mangaf block in Kuwait's Ahmadi Governorate on Wednesday. 

According to reports, the casualties also include people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh. 

Out of the 35 placed under intensive care, the condition of seven is understood to be critical. At least five people are on ventilator support.

The Indians, who were killed in the fire are Umarudheen Shameer, 33, from Kollam's Oyoor,  Ranjith, Shibu Varghese, Thomas Joseph, Praveen Madhav, Lukose Vadakkott Unnoonni, Bhoonath Richard Roy Anand, Kelu Ponmaleri, Stephen Abraham Sabu, Anil Giri, Muhammad Shareef, Saju Varghese, Dwarikesh Patnaik, P V Muraleedharan, Viswas Krishnan, Arun Babu, Sajan George, Raymond, Jesus Lopez, Akash Sasidharan Nair and Denny Baby Karunakaran.

The building, which accommodates over 195 labourers from the nearby commercial area, housed people from Kerala, Tamil Nadu and North India. The building belongs to NBTC group owned by Malayali businessman KG Abraham. Employees at NBTC's supermarket also lived in the building.

Deputy PM orders action

Kuwait Deputy Prime Minister Fahad Yusuf Al-Sabah visited the site and ordered a police inquiry in the matter. He has instructed the police to detain the owner of the building, its janitor, and the employer of the workers living there until the conclusion of the criminal investigation into the fire. He has also directed the Kuwait Municipality and the Public Authority for Manpower to take immediate action to address similar violations, where a large number of workers are crowded into residential buildings. 

The incident was reported to authorities at 6:00 am local time (0300 GMT), Major General Eid Rashed Hamad said."The building in which the fire occurred was used to house workers, and there was a large number of workers there. Dozens were rescued, but unfortunately there were many deaths as a result of inhaling smoke from the fire," another senior police commander told state TV. "We always alert and warn against" cramming too many workers into housing accommodation," he said, without providing details on the workers' type of employment or place of origin.

Embassy opens helpline

"In connection with the tragic fire-accident involving Indian workers today, Embassy has put in place an emergency helpline number: +965-65505246. All concerned are requested to connect over this helpline for updates. Embassy remains committed to render all possible assistance," the Indian Embassy in Kuwait said in a post on X.

"Deeply shocked by the news of the fire incident in Kuwait City. There are reportedly over 40 deaths and over 50 have been hospitalized. Our Ambassador has gone to the camp. We are awaiting further information," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said in a post on X.

"Deepest condolences to the families of those who tragically lost their lives. Wish early and full recovery to those who have been injured. Our Embassy will render the fullest assistance to all concerned in this regard," he added.

The incident

The fire originated from a kitchen in one of the lower floors within the labour camp at 4.30 am on Wednesday. Preliminary investigation suggests that a short circuit led to the fire. According to sources, the fire quickly spread to all the rooms in the apartment. The presence of gas cylinders aggravated matters.

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News Network
June 10,2024

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New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi's cabinet in his historic third term will retain the known faces in the big four ministries - Amit Shah will retain the Home portfolio, Rajnath Singh Defence, Foreign ministry will be retained by S Jaishankar and the Finance ministry by Nirmala Sitharaman. 

The Prime Minister himself will handle the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, the Department of Atomic Energy and the Department of Space.

Many of the ministers have been retained with their last jobs in the interest of continuity as well. Among them is Nitin Gadkari, who will retain the Road Transport and Highways ministry with two juniors under him -- Ajay Tamta and Harsh Malhotra. The 67-year-old has been the longest serving minister in the department and has been credited with the building of construction of more than 54,858 km of national highways over the last 10 years.

Piyush Goyal has retained the Commerce portfolio.

JP Nadda, the health minister in PM Modi's first cabinet, has been brought back with the same portfolio. He has also been given additional charge of the Chemicals and Fertilisers department.

The plum portfolios of I&B and railways will be handled by Ashwini Vaishnaw. The Civil Aviation Ministry has changed hands from Jyotiraditya Scindia to TDP's Ram Mohan Naidu, the youngest minister in the cabinet. Mr Scindia has been put in charge of the Telecom ministry.

Two former Chief Ministers from the key BJP states of Haryana and Madhya Pradesh, who have been brought to the Centre, have been allocated significant responsibility. Manohar Lal Khattar will handle two key ministries -- Power and Housing and Urban Affairs. For the first, he would have the assistance of junior minister Shripad Naik, for the second, Tokhan Sahu, the first-time minister from Chhattisgarh.

Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the four-time Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh, will handle the key ministry of Agriculture, and the related Farmers Welfare and Rural Development ministries.

Former Minister for Earth Sciences and Food Processing, Kiren Rijiju, has been put in charge of Parliamentary Affairs, previously handled by Pralhad Joshi. Mr Joshi has been moved to the Food, Consumer Affairs and Renewable Energy department.

CR Paatil will be in charge of Jal Shakti ministry and Bhupendra Yadav, Environment. Giriraj Singh has been shifted to Textiles -- a department handled by Smriti Irani. Annapurna Devi will be in charge of the other portfolio handled by Ms Irani -- Women & Child Development. Mansukh Mandavia has been put in charge of Labour and Employment and Sports and Youth Affairs.

Ravneet Singh Bittu -- the grandson of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh who was assassinated in 1995 -- will be the junior minster for food processing and railways. Mr Bittu has lost the election from Ludhiana and will have to get a seat in either house of parliament within the next six months.

Among allies, former Bihar Chief Minister and HAM chief Jitan Ram Manjhi will have charge of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises with Shobha Karandlaje as the Minister of State.

South ally and Janata Dal Secular chief HD Kumaraswamy has been put in charge of the Heavy Industries and Steel portfolios.

Key Bihar ally and LJP chief Chirag Paswan has been given charge of the Food Processing department.

Among the Ministers of State with Independent Charge, Dr Jitendra Singh is expected to be the busiest. A third-time Union minister from Jammu and Kashmir, he has been put in charge of multiple portfolios -- Science and Technology, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, Department of Atomic Energy, Department of Space and the Prime Minister's Office.

Arjun Ram Meghwal will have Independent charge of for Law and Justice and will also be the junior minister for Parliamentary Affairs.

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