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18 Jun 2018 description

RFE/RL's Balkan Service

Bosnian border guards have stopped dozens of migrants seeking to cross into European Union member Croatia.

The June 18 incident in northwestern Bosnia came amid a sharp increase in migrants from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia seeking refuge in Western Europe.

About 100 migrants had moved toward from the town of Velika Kladusa, where hundreds have been staying in makeshift camps, to the Maljevac border crossing, but police blocked them from proceeding.

10 Jun 2018 description

The Afghan Taliban has announced a three-day cease-fire over the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, their first offer of its kind, following an earlier unilateral cessation of hostilities announced by the government.

But the militant group warned that the suspension of fighting for the first three days of Eid-al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, did not extend to foreign forces, who would continue to be targeted.

18 May 2018 description

Several buses carrying 270 refugees and migrants from Sarajevo to an asylum center in southern Bosnia-Herzegovina were stopped and turned back by police in a Bosnian Croat-dominated canton on May 18, officials say.

More than 4,000 migrants have entered Bosnia this year after traffickers opened a route through Greece to Western Europe via Albania, Montenegro, Bosnia, and Croatia.

10 Apr 2018 description

Pakistan has launched a nationwide polio-vaccination drive to try to reach 38.7 million children and eradicate the paralyzing and potentially deadly virus in one of the last countries on Earth where it is found.

Nearly 260,000 volunteers and workers fanned out across Pakistan in an effort to vaccinate every child below the age of 5 in a weeklong campaign, Pakistan's national coordinator on polio, Mohammad Safdar, said on April 9.

He said the authorities hoped a similar campaign will soon be launched in Pakistan's tribal regions.

09 Apr 2018 description

April 09, 2018 08:44 GMT

Turkey says it is deporting hundreds of Afghans back to Afghanistan, in a major operation after thousands of them allegedly illegally entered the country in recent weeks.

On April 8, 227 Afghan migrants boarded a charter flight from the northeastern city of Erzurum to Kabul, Turkish news agencies reported.

They said an additional more than 400 Afghans were set for deportation in the coming days.

07 Apr 2018 description

April 06, 2018 07:31 GMT

The Taliban has closed at least 30 schools in an area under its control south of Kabul after a local militant commander was killed by government forces, Afghan officials say.

Salim Saleh, a spokesman for Logar Province's governor, said on April 6 that the Taliban closed the schools in the province's Charkh district after several militants and one of their commanders were killed in a night raid by government forces earlier this week.

29 Mar 2018 description

Three people have been killed in an explosion after a vehicle belonging to the international demining group HALO Trust hit a mine in Azerbaijan's breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, officials said.

A spokeswoman for the de facto health ministry in Nagorno-Karabakh, Maya Azatian, told RFE/RL that two other people who were in the car were injured in the March 29 blast.

Representatives of HALO Trust told RFE/RL that the three people who were killed and the two who were injured were all local residents.

28 Mar 2018 description

Two men have died in Altai Krai after the Siberian region was hit by severe flooding triggered by melting snow.

Russia's Investigative Committee said on March 28 that one of the men drowned after high waters swept him away into a river. The other victim, who had been evacuated days ago, apparently returned home and was found dead by rescue workers in his flooded house.

Meanwhile, Aleksandr Karlin, the region's governor, announced a state of emergency on March 27 as thousands of houses were affected by the floods.

27 Mar 2018 description

BIISK, Russia -- More than 1,000 people have been evacuated in the Siberian region of Altai Krai after melting snow caused severe flooding.

The Emergency Situations Ministry's regional department told RFE/RL on March 27 that 3,035 yards and 1,255 houses were flooded in 13 towns and four cities.

The department's spokeswoman, Alyona Seleznyova, said that more than 1,000 people had been evacuated.

Altai Krai borders Kazakhstan to the south.

12 Mar 2018 description

OSKEMEN, Kazakhstan -- Heavy rains and melting snow have converged to cause massive flooding in eastern Kazakhstan.

Zhadyra Amanghaliqyzy, a spokeswoman for the East Kazakhstan regional Emergency Situations Department, told RFE/RL on March 12 that 110 kindergartens, 150 homes, and about 70 other buildings were damaged by high waters in the regional capital, Oskemen, and in the districts of Ayagoz, Glubokoye, Kurshim, Zaisan, and Urzhar.


27 Feb 2018 description

The first day of a Russian-called "humanitarian pause" in Syria's rebel-held eastern Ghouta region has been marred by violence and complaints that the cessation of hostilities is too short to move in aid and remove injured civilians.

Shortly after the five-hour truce called by Russia took effect on February 27, there were reports of air strikes, rocket fire, and mortar shelling in the besieged enclave, which is near the Syrian capital, Damascus.

19 Jan 2018 description

Ukraine's top health official says eight people have died of complications from measles amid a recent outbreak in the country, which the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked last in terms of measles-vaccination coverage in Europe.

Acting Health Minister Ulyana Suprun told lawmakers on January 19 that a child who had not been vaccinated against measles died the previous day.

18 Jan 2018 description

Pakistani authorities say gunmen shot and killed a mother and her daughter who were taking part in an antipolio campaign in the southwestern city of Quetta.

Police official Naseebullah Khan said that Sakina Bibi, 50, and her 20-year-old daughter, Alizah, were giving immunization drops to children on January 18 when two gunmen riding on a motorcycle shot them.

No one has so far claimed responsibility for the attack, but militants in Pakistan have regularly targeted polio workers and their guards.

16 Jan 2018 description

The conflict in eastern Ukraine has increased the spread of HIV throughout the country as people have been uprooted by the violence, a new study finds.

Areas such as Donetsk and Luhansk, two large cities in the east deeply affected by the violence that erupted in 2014, were the main exporters of the HIV virus to other parts of the country such as Kyiv and Odesa, the report published on January 15 in the U.S. journal PNAS found.

Ukraine has among the highest HIV rates in Europe, with an estimated 220,000 infected in a country of about 45 million.

22 Dec 2017 description

An earthquake of magnitude 5.2 rocked Iran's southeastern province of Kerman on December 21 and at least 23 people were injured, state TV said, only a day after two people were killed by a similar tremor near Tehran.

Rescue teams were dispatched to the town of Kuhbanan, the epicenter of the latest quake, officials said. No deaths were reported.

"Electricity has been cut off in the town.... Some houses were damaged," a local official told state TV.

21 Dec 2017 description

Iranian officials say a woman died and nearly 100 people suffered minor injuries after an earthquake struck near Tehran late on December 20, sparking panic in the capital and neighboring areas.

Authorities said on December 21 that the woman died in the town of Malard, close to the epicenter of the 5.2-magnitude earthquake, about 40 kilometers southwest of Tehran.

Morteza Salimi, head of the Iranian Red Crescent's Relief and Rescue Organization, said 97 people were injured, including "50 in Alborz, 34 in the capital, and 12 in Saveh."

15 Dec 2017 description

At least five hundred refugees and migrants are living in Serbia in improvised accommodations or under the open sky while winter weather conditions are getting harsher each day, Doctors Without Borders said on December 14.

More than 100 of the migrants live in the forest on the outskirts of the town of Sombor in northern Serbia alone, according to the charitable doctors group based in France.

12 Nov 2017 description

November 12, 2017 20:28 GMT

At least six people have been killed and many injured in the western Iranian town of Qasr-e Shirin from an earthquake that struck near the Iran-Iraq border, Iranian state television reports.

At least four dead were also reported in Iraq's Kurdistan region.

The earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck northern Iraq on November 12, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

It initially said the quake was of a magnitude 7.2, before revising it to 7.3.

05 Nov 2017 description

At least six people were killed and a dozen wounded when two bombings hit the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk.

Both bombings targeted a building used by a Shi'ite militia in the center of Kirkuk on November 5.

The first attacker blew up an explosives-laden vehicle near the building, while a second detonated his explosive belt at the site.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The attack is the first since Iraqi government forces backed by Shi'ite militias seized control of Kirkuk from Kurdish Peshmerga forces last week.

05 Nov 2017 description

The U.S. military and Afghan authorities are investigating reports of civilian casualties caused by deadly air strikes in northern Afghanistan.

The U.S. military said it had launched a probe into what it described as a combined U.S.-Afghan operation in the northern province of Kunduz on November 3 and was assessing the facts surrounding the incident.

The Afghan Defense Ministry said it had tasked security commanders to probe reports of civilian casualties in the Chardara district in Kunduz, where the government said it had inflicted heavy losses on Taliban militants.