Dhaka Courier

The Taliban announced it would resume attacks against Afghan government forces

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The Taliban announced it would resume attacks against Afghan government forces, just days after signing a deal with the US aimed at bringing peace to Afghanistan. The hard-line Islamist group had observed a "reduction in violence" in the week leading up to the agreement. The deal included a commitment to hold peace talks with the Afghan government. But the group's spokesman said the talks would not go ahead if 5,000 Taliban prisoners held by the government were not released.

The release formed part of the agreement signed in Qatar with the US. But Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani told reporters his government had agreed to no such release. "There is no commitment to releasing 5,000 prisoners," Mr Ghani said. "This is the right and the self-will of the people of Afghanistan. It could be included in the agenda of the intra-Afghan talks, but cannot be a prerequisite for talks."

 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned that "millions" of migrants and refugees will soon head towards Europe, after announcing Turkey could no longer enforce a 2016 deal with the EU to prevent migrants entering Europe. Erdogan said Turkey could not cope with a new wave of refugees after an escalation of the Syrian conflict. A young boy died when a boat capsized off the Greek island of Lesbos on March 2, the first reported fatality since Turkey opened its border.

Nearly a million Syrians have fled to the Syrian-Turkish border since December, amid heavy fighting in the Idlib region between Turkish-backed rebels and Syrian government forces. Turkey is already hosting 3.7 million Syrian refugees, as well as migrants from other countries such as Afghanistan - but previously stopped them from leaving for Europe. In a televised speech, Mr Erdogan said the EU had provided no help for resettling Syrian refugees in "safe zones" inside Syria.

 

The death toll in Indian capital New Delhi's worst religious violence in decades rose to 47, as Indian police were accused of looking the other way while Muslims and their properties were targeted. A mosque was set on fire in the Indian capital on February 25 by Hindu mobs, as several Muslim-populated areas in the city were attacked during three days of violence, which were triggered after attacks on sit-ins against a new citizenship law.

Muslims say the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) is part of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Hindu supremacist agenda and is against the country's secular ethos. Anil Mittal, a senior police officer, said approximately 150 people were injured in the violence that started as US President Donald Trump arrived on a two-day India trip. The violence started a day after the governing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kapil Mishra warned anti-CAA protesters to end their peaceful sit-ins in the northeastern Jafrabad and Maujpur areas of the Indian capital.

 

Scientists say that half of the world’s sandy beaches could disappear by the end of the century if climate change continues unchecked. Researchers at the European Union’s Joint Research Center in Ispra, Italy, used satellite images to track the way beaches have changed over the past 30 years and simulated how global warming might affect them in the future.

“What we find is that by the end of the century around half of the beaches in the world will experience erosion that is more than 100 meters,” said Michalis Vousdoukas. “It’s likely that they will be lost.” The study, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, found that the extent to which beaches are at risk depends on how much average global temperatures increase by the year 2100.

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