Pakistan launched airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts inside Iran on Thursday, killing at least nine people as it retaliated for a similar attack days earlier by Iran and raising tensions with its neighbour as conflict across the region escalates. The unprecedented attacks by both Pakistan and Iran on either side of their border appeared to target Baluch militant groups with similar separatist goals. The countries accuse each other of providing a haven to the groups in their respective territories.

The flare-up between Iran and Pakistan comes as the Middle East remains unsettled by Israel's war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and on the heels of Iranian airstrikes late Monday in Iraq and Syria. Those airstrikes were in response to a suicide bombing in Iran by Islamic State militants in early January that killed over 90 people. Iran and nuclear-armed Pakistan have long regarded each other with suspicion over militant attacks, but analysts say this week's tit-for-tat strikes were at least partially prompted by internal political pressures.

Former President Donald Trump scored a record-setting win in the Iowa caucuses on Monday with his rivals languishing far behind, a victory that affirmed his grip on the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. In what was the lowest-turnout caucus in a quarter-century, participants endured life-threatening cold and dangerous driving conditions to meet in hundreds of schools, churches and community centers across the state. But those who ventured out delivered a roughly 30-point win for Trump that smashed the record for a contested Iowa Republican caucus with a margin of victory exceeding Bob Dole's nearly 13-percentage-point victory in 1988.

Trump finished with 51% of the vote, with 99% of votes counted. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis won just over 21%, edging former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley at 19%. The results left Trump with a tighter grip on the GOP nomination, though it could take several more months for anyone to formally become the party's standard bearer. Trump journeyed to New Hampshire after spending the day in a New York courtroom, where he sat defiantly during his trial to determine damages for defaming a magazine writer after she accused him of sexual assault.

A deadly blast that rocked the Nigerian city of Ibadan overnight was caused by explosives stored by illegal miners, the Oyo state governor has said. Two people were killed and 77 others injured in the explosion that has affected seven suburbs of Nigeria's third most-populous city. Crowds thronged the site of the blast as rescue efforts continues. A man whose mother's home was destroyed says she was in bed at the time of the blast and is now in hospital.

"The roof and everything went down. She was inside in her bed when it happened. She was rushed to the hospital naked and I'm going there now," he told the BBC as he was rushing to see her. Buildings have been reduced to near rubble at the site of the blast and vehicles destroyed. Further away from the blast zone, windows have been blown out of houses and rooftops damaged.

At least 12 pupils and two teachers are thought to have drowned in western India, after a boat ferrying them to a school picnic capsized on Thursday. Local police confirmed the number of deaths to BBC Gujarati and said a rescue operation is still ongoing. The cause of the incident, which happened on Harni Lake in Vadodara, in the state of Gujarat, is not yet known. Around 27 people were aboard the boat, according to local authorities.

Police Commissioner Anupam Singh Gehlot told the BBC as many as seven people have been rescued from the water, and are undergoing treatment at a nearby hospital. He also said the victims had not been provided life jackets during the boat ride, according to the Reuters news agency. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Prime Minister Narendra Modi said "My thoughts are with the bereaved families in this hour of grief".

Leave a Comment

Recent Posts