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Israel-Hamas: US, UK, India Evacuate Citizens, Deaths Hit 2,700



12 UN workers, 13 French Citizens killed

The United States, the United Kingdom, India and France are working to evacuate their citizens from Israel following the attacks by Hamas.

CNN reports that India’s charter flight scheduled to land in Tel Aviv on Thursday evening will collect approximately 230 Indian nationals. This was disclosed by a Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi, at a news conference on Thursday. The flight will “likely” return to India on Friday morning.

Nepal’s foreign ministry has so far evacuated 253 Nepali students who were in Israel, saying on X, formerly Twitter, that a flight carrying the students took off from Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Ten Nepali agriculture students were killed when Hamas attacked a kibbutz in southern Israel, Nepal’s Ambassador to Israel Kanta Rizal told CNN. Three students were injured in the attack and are recovering in a hospital, while one student remains missing, the ambassador added.

A plane carrying 110 Colombian nationals has also left Tel Aviv, according to the country’s foreign ministry on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Israel-Hamas War: US Secretary Of State Blinken Arrives In Jordan

12 UN workers killed

At least 12 people working with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency have been killed in Gaza since Saturday, a spokesperson for the UN’s secretary-general said on Thursday, as the humanitarian crisis there deepens.

CNN reports that all 12 of the UN workers killed were Palestinians, according to the spokesperson, Stéphane Dujarric, who disclosed this while speaking to reporters in New York on Thursday.

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in Gaza following the war. Dujarric said mass displacement continues to rise across the Gaza Strip as Israel pounds the territory with airstrikes, climbing 30 per cent over the last 24 hours to reach more than 338,000. Of that figure, two-thirds are taking shelter in 92 schools run by the UNRWA.

Death toll hits 2, 700

According to Al Jazeera, the death toll in Gaza now stands at 1,417 people, while the number of people killed in Israel has reached 1,300.

Also, the Israeli army has bombarded the Gaza Strip with approximately 6,000 bombs containing 4,000 tonnes of explosives since Saturday’s Hamas attack, according to Al Jazeera.

READ ALSO: Israeli Airstrikes Kill 558 People In Gaza

Israel has said there would be no humanitarian exceptions to its siege of the Gaza Strip until Hamas frees all the hostages captured on Saturday.

Israeli minister had said there will be no electricity, fuel or humanitarian aid into Gaza until Hamas releases all captives taken in an unprecedented attack.

Officials in Gaza stated that the health system’s collapse has “truly begun” amid Israel’s heavy bombardment and “complete blockade”.

Meanwhile, the White House in the United States said Thursday it was working to organise charter flights to help US citizens leave Israel as the country reels from the massive attack by Hamas.

The number of Americans who have died after the Hamas terror attack in Israel now stands at 27, according to the White House.

READ ALSO: Israeli Forces Kill Two Palestinians In West Bank Raid

Meanwhile, 14 Americans are missing, said National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Thursday during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington.

The US State Department had noted that the known death toll of US citizens in the violence had risen to “at least 22.”

“Beginning tomorrow (today), the United States government will arrange charter flights to provide transportation from Israel to sites in Europe,” said White House national security spokesman John Kirby.

According to France 24, Kirby added that officials were “still working through some of the details”.

UK evacuates nationals

The United Kingdom said it was set to fly British nationals out of Israel, with the first flight set to leave Tel Aviv later on Thursday, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The UK government “will facilitate commercial flights to the UK to help British nationals wanting to leave Israel following the Hamas attack, the Foreign Secretary has announced,” the FCDO said in a news release according to CNN.

READ ALSO: Israel-Gaza War: Death Toll Rises Above 1,000 As Fighting Intensifies

Vulnerable British nationals “will be prioritised for these flights,” the FCDO added, advising that eligible people wait to be contacted and not make their way to the airport unless they are called.

A Rapid Deployment Team has also been sent to Israel to bolster the efforts of British consular officials, the FCDO said.

13 French citizens killed

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday vowed that France would do everything to ensure the release of the dozens of hostages held by Palestinian militant group Hamas after its attack on Israel.

“I want to say that we will do everything to ensure that these hostages, whatever their nationality, are released,” he said in an address to the nation, adding that France would work to this end both with “our partners” and the Israeli authorities, AFP reported.

The French president said that at least 13 French citizens were confirmed to have been killed in the attack by Hamas but 17 more “children and adults” were missing and “without doubt, some of them are held, hostage”.

“France will never abandon its children,” he said. Around 150 people are believed to be held hostage by Hamas.



Army Plans Review Of Operational Engagement




The Nigerian Army will be evaluating and comprehensively reviewing ongoing operational engagements in all the theatres of operations across the six geo-political zones.

This will enable the service to make decisions that will help in effectively tackling the security challenges bedeviling the country.

A statement on Friday by the Director, Army Public Relations, Brig. Gen. Nwachukwu Onyema noted that the service would be embarking on the review among others at the Chief of Army Staff’s conference slated to hold in Maiduguri between December 10 and 16.

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The statement partly read, “Nigerian Army will take stock, evaluate and comprehensively review ongoing operational engagements of the NA in all theatres of operations across the six geo-political zones within the year, among other key agenda.

“This will provide the NA an in-depth insight to make far-reaching decisions that will be result-oriented towards achieving its set objective of addressing multifaceted security challenges in the country.”

Onyema said the week-long conference is an important annual event in the calendar of the Nigerian Army due to its significance to National security, peace, and stability.

He added that the event would also allow the Chief of Amry Staff, Lt. Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja to have an interaction with the field commanders.

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The statement stated, “The Conference would also create an opportunity for the COAS to have face-to-face interaction with the General Officers Commanding, Field Commanders, and other senior officers to provide requisite guidance on enhancing NA operations and activities. The conference will be declared open on Monday 11 December 2023.

“The President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of Nigeria, His Excellency, Bola Tinubu is expected to grace the occasion as the Special Guest of Honour.

“The Opening Ceremony will feature an address to troops of Joint Task Force North East Operation Hadin Kai inspection of the ongoing Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Maiduguri and laying of the foundation stone of Headquarters 7 Division by the Special Guest of Honour. “

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Putin To Run Again For President In 2024




Russian leader Vladimir Putin has decided to run in presidential elections next March, news agencies reported Friday, allowing the Kremlin leader to extend his decades-long grip on power.

Putin told Lieutenant Colonel Artyom Zhoga, a Russian military officer, about his decision to participate in the upcoming vote following an awards ceremony for army personnel at the Kremlin, state-run news agencies reported.

”The president has said that he will run for president of the Russian Federation,” Zhoga was cited as saying by state-run news agency RIA Novosti.

”We all—I say this with confidence—in the reunited territories, all of Russia, support him. We are very happy that he heard our request” to participate, Zhoga added, referring to the Ukrainian territories Moscow claims as its own.

READ ALSO: Putin Revokes Russia’s Ratification Of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty

Putin, however, has yet to make a formal announcement that he will compete in the vote scheduled to take place between March 15 and 17 next year.

Our president has never avoided and does not avoid responsible decisions,” said Valentina Matvienko, the head of Russia’s upper house of parliament.

And today he has once again confirmed this. He confirmed that at the moment of a historic choice and a historic challenge,” she added.

Putin will not face any major challengers and will likely seek as big a mandate as possible to conceal domestic discord over the Ukraine conflict, analysts say.



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Rockets Fired At US Embassy In Baghdad Amid Gaza War




Salvoes of rockets were launched Friday at the US embassy in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone, the mission said, the latest in a flurry of such attacks amid the Israel-Hamas war.

A multi-rocket attack was launched at US and Coalition forces in the vicinity of Union III and the Baghdad embassy complex” without causing any reported casualties or damage, a US official said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

The United States leads an international coalition battling jihadists in Iraq and neighbouring Syria, and its forces have come under repeated attacks in recent weeks.

The attacks come against the backdrop of the more than two-month war between US ally Israel and the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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In a statement, the US embassy said “two salvoes of rockets” were fired at the mission compound at around 4.15am (0115 GMT).

“Indications are the attacks were initiated by Iran-aligned militias,” said a US spokesperson.

We again call on the government of Iraq… to do all in its power to protect diplomatic and coalition partner personnel and facilities.

“We reiterate that we reserve the right to self-defence and to protect our personnel anywhere in the world,” the spokesperson added.

Since mid-October, there have been dozens of rocket or drone strikes by pro-Iran groups against US or coalition forces in Iraq as well as in Syria.

But Friday’s rocket attack was the first against the US embassy in Baghdad since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, raising regional tensions and fears of a wider conflict.

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An Iraqi security official said “Three Katyusha rockets targeting the American embassy fell close to the Green Zone,” near the river Tigris. They spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

There are roughly 2,500 US troops in Iraq and about 900 in Syria as part of efforts to prevent a resurgence of the Islamic State group.

– Around 80 attacks –

After the end of a seven-day pause in the war between Israel and Iran-backed Hamas last week, pro-Iran groups resumed their attacks against US and coalition forces, justifying their actions by pointing to American support for Israel.

In Iraq, most were claimed by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq, a loose formation of armed groups affiliated with the Hashed al-Shaabi coalition of former paramilitaries who are now integrated into Iraq’s regular armed forces.

US forces have struck Iran-linked targets in both Iraq and Syria in response.

On Sunday a US military official speaking on condition of anonymity confirmed a “self-defence strike” was carried out in northern Iraq against a drone launch site “in the vicinity of Kirkuk” against “an imminent threat”.

READ ALSO: Israel Sends Dozens Of Tanks Into Southern Gaza

The Islamic Resistance in Iraq later announced the death of “five martyrs”.

That strike came a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani said during a phone call with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Baghdad rejected “any attack on Iraqi territory”, according to a statement from Sudani’s office.

Sudani also said the Iraqi government was committed “to ensuring the safety of the international coalition advisers present in Iraq”.

On Wednesday, a US military official said a drone had targeted Western troops at the Ain al-Asad Airbase in western Iraq, but there were no casualties or damage.

READ ALSO: Five Countries Seek ICC Investigation Into Gaza War

In total, Washington has counted at least 78 attacks since October 17 against its forces in Iraq and Syria, 10 days after the start of the war between Israel and Hamas.

The Israel-Hamas war began with the Palestinian militant group’s unprecedented attack on Israeli soil, which killed around 1,200 people and saw about 240 people captured as hostages, according to Israeli officials.

In response, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas and launched a large-scale military offensive that has killed 17,177 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Hamas government.

The attacks against US personnel included rocket fire and drone strikes, and have left at least 60 US personnel wounded, the Pentagon says.


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