China Withdraws 60,000 Border Soldiers to Plant Trees in the Outback

The Chinese government commissioned 60,000 troops to plant trees. Planting is done in an effort to combat pollution and increase forest coverage in the country.

Quoted from The Independent on Wednesday (14/2/2018), a large regiment of the People's Liberation Army was withdrawn from the border to handle non-military duties in the interior.

The Asia Times reports, the majority of soldiers will be sent to Hebei Province that surrounds Beijing. Hebei is known as the area that often became the 'producer' of smoke that enveloped Beijing.

This action is part of China's authority plan to plant at least 84,000 square kilometers by the end of 2018. The area is roughly equivalent to the size of Ireland.

The China Daily Newspaper says the purpose of this planting is to increase the percentage of China's forest from 21 to 23 percent by 2030. By 2035 it is targeted to cover 26 percent of the country's total area.

"Companies, organizations and people specializing in reforestation are welcome to join in the massive reforestation campaign in the country," said China Forestry Administration Chief Zhang Jianlong.

(rna / ita)

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Suicide Bombs Killed 11 Soldiers in Pakistan

 A suicide bomber killed 11 soldiers and left 13 others injured near a military base in Pakistan on Saturday. The area was said to have been ruled by a local Taliban faction.

Reported by Reuters on Sunday (4/2/2018) the suicide attack occurred in a military sports area.

"The soldiers were playing volleyball at night outside military base, when a suicide bomber managed to blow himself up, "said a security officer.

The volleyball match was also watched by civilians. The number of victims is expected to increase and currently the injured have been taken to a nearby military hospital.

Tehreek-e-Taliban, also known as the Pakistani Taliban, has claimed the attack in a statement sent to the media. "Inshallah Tehreek-e-Taliban has begun the process of retaliation, wait for more (attacks) to follow," said Taliban spokesman Mohammad Khurasani in the statement.

The military has alert to signs of a Taliban revival. They are trying to rebuild civil institutions and win local residents as a bulwark against radical ideologies.

Since being pursued in the region, the Taliban have carried out retaliatory attacks against anti-militant activists. They are also trying to extort money from business owners in one of the areas where Pakistan has deployed more than 4,000 troops there.

Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi condemned the attack. "There is no cowardly attack that can deter us in the fight against the threat of terrorism to its logical conclusion We will continue to fight until the root (terrorism) can be eradicated," Abbasi said.
(haf / haf)

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Palestinian teenager shot dead by Israeli soldiers

West Bank
 A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli soldiers in an offensive in Burqin village, West Bank, on Saturday (3/2). The hospital in Jenin said the teenager was shot in the head.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health says the dead teenager is 19.

The Israeli military claimed his troops were searching for suspects in the shooting of an Israeli rabbi in a settlement on January 9, 2018 . Last month, gunfire from Israeli soldiers killed an armed Palestinian man suspected of involvement in the rabbinic murder.

In addition, the Israeli side also said there had been riots as they arrested a number of people linked to the rabbis' shooting. The Israeli military claimed to tackle the unrest in a way that did not cause fatal consequences.

Tensions in the region have increased since United States President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017. At least 20 Palestinians and one Israeli died in tension in the region.

The Trump policy is said to infuriate Palestinians who want to create an independent state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel was called to seize those territories in the 1967 Middle East War and annex East Jerusalem in a way not internationally recognized. The city of Jerusalem is called Israel as the eternal and indivisible capital.

The peace talks between Israel and the US-led Palestinians failed in 2014. The offer by the Trump government to restart the talks has yet to show any signs of tangible progress.
(haf / nvl)

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