India said it launched air strikes against militants in Pakistani territory, in a major escalation of tensions between the two countries. The government said strikes targeted a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) group in Balakot. Pakistan said the strikes hit an empty area but vowed to respond. Relations between the nuclear-armed neighbours have been strained since a suicide attack earlier this month that killed more than 40 Indian troops.

India accuses Pakistan of allowing militant groups to operate on its territory and says Pakistani security agencies played a role in the 14 February attack - claimed by JeM. Pakistan denies any role and says it does not provide safe haven to militants. The air strikes were the first launched across the line of control - the de facto border that divides India-administered Kashmir from Pakistan-administered Kashmir - since Bangladesh's War of Liberation in 1971.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un departed by train en route to his second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam on February 27-28, after Dhaka Courier goes to press this week, Pyongyang's state media reported. Kim left Pyongyang Railway Station on February 23, the Korean Central News Agency reported. He was accompanied by senior officials, including his sister Kim Yo-jong and top aide Kim Yong-chol. Kim's wife, Ri Sol-ju, wasn't on the list of those accompanying the leader.

The rail route is 2,800 miles and could take 60 hours by averaging 47 mph. After reaching Vietnamese border city of Dang Dong in Lang Song province, Kim Kim reportedly will travel to Hanoi by car. The Vietnamese foreign ministry announced on the day of his departure that Kim would "pay an official visit in the coming days" to its nation.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro continued facing growing international pressure after his troops repelled foreign aid convoys at the country's borders, with the United States threatening new sanctions and Brazil urging allies to join a "liberation effort". Juan Guaido, Venezuela's self-declared interim president, urged the international community to consider "all measures" to overthrow Maduro after clashes at border crossings left at least three protesters dead and 300 others wounded near the Brazilian border.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was confident that "Maduro's days are numbered," blaming the border violence on armed supporters of the embattled president known as "colectivos". US President Donald Trump has in the past said military intervention in Venezuela was "an option".

Britain's Labour Party announced it will back moves for a second EU referendum in the coming weeks, in order to prevent what Jeremy Corbyn called "a damaging Tory Brexit being forced on the country". Corbyn will also table an amendment to the government's Brexit motion setting out the five demands he spelled out to Theresa May as conditions of Labour's backing for a Brexit deal, including a permanent customs union.

He told a meeting of Labour MPs that the party will back an amendment tabled by Yvette Cooper and the Tory Oliver Letwin that would legislate for a delay to the UK's exit date in order to avoid no deal. In a statement, the party said it would "put forward or support an amendment in favour of a public vote to prevent a damaging Tory Brexit".

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