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Revolt against shrines in India killed 12 people



The panic occurred around 3 a.m. (10:30 p.m. Friday Lisbon time) on the way to the Mata Vaishno Devi shrine, one of the most revered Hindu sites in northern India.

“People stumbled over each other. It was difficult to know which leg or arm got entangled, with whom, ”said a witness, who identified himself as Ravinder, by telephone with AFP.

“I helped collect eight bodies when the ambulance arrived, about half an hour later. I am lucky to be alive, but I still shiver when I remember what I saw, ”he added.

There are thousands of shrines in the cities and villages of India, mostly Hindu, as well as in remote places in the Himalayas or in the jungle of the south.

Some are important pilgrimage sites, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government has invested heavily in improving access infrastructure.

Before the covid-19 pandemic, 100,000 devotees walked a steep path to a narrow cave that houses the Vaishno Devi temple.

The number was reduced to 25,000, but eyewitnesses and the media indicated that during Saturday’s tragedy, this number was exceeded several times. According to some versions, there was a quarrel between two believers before the crush.

Rescue work began immediately and the wounded, some in critical condition, were transferred to nearby hospitals.

Images circulating on social media show small ambulances arriving at hospitals overnight.

The temple, open 24 hours a day, is located in the Katra hills, about 60 km from the city of Jammu.

Access to the site was suspended after the crush, although it was later reopened.

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People often travel to the nearby town of Katra and walk 15 km to the cave entrance, where they usually have to wait several hours to enter. Some people go on horseback, there is a helicopter.

Witness Ravinder said that the tragedy took place at the point where the crowd descending from the sanctuary met those rising.

He estimated that there were at least 100,000 people at the height of the unrest. “Nobody looked through the registration documents of believers. I have been there several times, but have never seen such a group of people, ”he assured.

“It was then that some managed to lift the corpse with their hands so that people could see (what was happening), and they made room to remove the bodies,” he said.

“Extremely saddened by the loss of life,” Prime Minister Modi said on Twitter, adding that he is in contact with local authorities. In turn, Minister Jitendra Singh, who holds several positions in the executive branch, announced that he would go to the site to assess the situation.

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Kyiv is negotiating with Moscow on the release of foreign fighters – News



Moscow is holding captive “thousands” of Ukrainians and “military personnel from all over the world who have volunteered” to defend Ukraine, Zelensky reminded in statements to the US television channel NBC.

The head of the Ukrainian state thanked for the support of volunteer fighters, whom he considers “heroes”, and confirmed that negotiations are underway to release those who were captured.

“Everyone understands that the war in Ukraine today is here on this earth, but tomorrow it can happen anywhere in Europe, and the “day after tomorrow” can happen in the United States,” the Ukrainian president said.

Thus, he added, “it would be absolutely fair to say that the war in Ukraine is already a war in Europe and the United States, only – territorially – it is happening here.”

Zelenskiy’s announcement came on the same day that the defense of British citizen Sean Pinner, who was sentenced to death in the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic in eastern Ukraine, announced that he had appealed the sentence.

Pinner, 48, was sentenced to death on June 9, along with fellow Briton Aiden Aislin, 28, and Moroccan citizen Braquim Saadoun, after being found guilty of participating in hostilities “as mercenaries” in support of Ukrainian forces.

Two Britons were captured by Russian forces during Moscow’s siege of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol on the Sea of ​​Azov, Brakim Saadoun was taken prisoner in March.

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Turkey lifts veto on Swedish and Finnish membership in NATO



Turkey lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining NATO on Tuesday.

The leaders of the three countries met on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Madrid.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has announced that Turkey has lifted its veto on Finland and Sweden joining the Atlantic Alliance after signing a memorandum that “answers Ankara’s concerns.”

“We have completed a very constructive meeting with the President [da Turquia, Recep Tayyip] Erdogan or President [da Finlândia, Sauli] Niinistö and the Prime Minister [da Suécia, Magdalena] Andersson, and I am pleased to announce that we have reached an agreement that paves the way for Sweden and Finland to join NATO,” Stoltenberg said.

The Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) spoke at a press conference at the Exhibition Park of Madrid, in the northeast of the Spanish capital, where the summit of the leaders of the North Atlantic Alliance is taking place.

MADRNATO/POOL/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sweden and Finland applied to join NATO on May 18 after the Russian invasion of Ukraine ended the historic policy of neutrality.

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G20 summit: Draghi says Putin’s personal involvement ruled out



Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Tuesday that the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin at the next G20 summit in Bali was ruled out by the Indonesian presidency of the body.

At the summit of the group of seven most industrialized countries of the world (G7), which ended this Tuesday in Germany, they asked about The Kremlin’s announcement that Putin would attend the Bali summit in November, Draghi said that Indonesian President Joko Widodo ruled out the possibility.

Widodo “was categorical: he [Putin] not to come. What could happen – I don’t know what will happen, but what it could happen, maybe it’s remote interference“said Draghi, whose the country will hand over the G20 presidency to Indonesia in Bali.

The information has not been This was stated by the head of the Indonesian state, Joko Widodo. who will meet on Tuesday in Kyiv with his Ukrainian counterpart in an attempt to achieve a ceasefire in the conflict caused by the Russian invasion.

Joko Widodo, who attended Monday’s G7 summit in Germany, is already on his way to Kyiv, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said. accompanies the head of state in a video message.

After a visit to Ukraine and meeting with President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky, The Indonesian leader is heading to Russia, where he will meet with Putin on Thursday, becoming the first Asian leader to visit the two countries since the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24.

Before leaving on Sunday, Widodo said he was going to ask Zelensky and Putin an immediate ceasefire and the search for a peace agreement through dialogue.

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in spite of pressure from countries such as the US, Canada and Australia to keep Putin out of the G20 summit from 11 to 13 November.on the island of Bali, Indonesia still retains its invitation to the Russian leader.

In April, the President of Indonesia, publicly known as Jokowi, sent Zelensky a G20 invitation and said Indonesia was ready to “contribute to the peace effort”.

In the past decade, Russia has been excluded from the group of industrialized countries then known as the G8, renamed the G7 after the 2014 invasion of the Ukrainian Crimean peninsula.

with LUSA

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