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Over 100 injured in Spanish train collision

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At least 150 people have been injured after two trains collided in the Catalonia region of north-eastern Spain, emergency services have said.

The crash, which occurred around 07:50 (06:50 GMT), took place at a station on the outskirts of Barcelona.

Local media reported that the trains had been travelling in the same direction and collided while one was parked at the station.

It is unclear how the accident happened and officials have yet to comment.

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Emergency officials wrote on Twitter that the crash happened at the Montcada i Reixac – Manresa station, about 12km (7 miles) from the city centre.

Writing on Twitter, emergency services said that 150 people were “in a mild condition” and five others had been left with “in a less serious condition”.

They added that three people had been transferred to hospital.

Train traffic was briefly disrupted on several lines due to the accident, the national rail service Renfe said.

One passenger told RAC1, a local radio station, that “train was full and my carriage, which was the last one, was completely full” at the time of the collision.

BBC News

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Italy-based Nigerian sentenced to life imprisonment for murder of Italian lady

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Innocent Oseghale and Pamela Mastropietro.jpg

Innocent Oseghale, the Italy-based Nigerian sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of an Italian lady, has appealed against a part of the sentence handed to him by the court.

According to UK Daily Mail, Oseghale, 32, was sentenced to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murder, sexual assault and destruction of the body of Pamela Mastropietro, an 18-year-old recovering drug addict, in 2018.

Oseghale was said to have arrived in Italy in 2014 as an asylum seeker but dropped out of a refugee assistance programme and started selling drugs later.

Mastropietro was murdered after she fled a drug addiction recovery centre in Macerata, central Italy, and made a long distance journey on foot in an attempt to buy drugs.

During her search for drugs, she eventually met Oseghale who had become a local dealer.

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A day after Mastropietro’s meeting with the Nigerian, two suitcases containing her mutilated and dismembered body parts were found in a ditch.

The police also later found Mastropietro’s bloodied clothing at Oseghale’s home.

The Nigerian was arrested for selling drugs to the deceased before detaining, raping and stabbing her to the death.

In his initial testimony, Oseghale claimed Mastropietro died of heroin overdose.

However, an investigation into the Italian’s death later revealed that she died due to successive abdominal stabbings. It was also said that her body was dismembered while she was still alive.

In 2019, Oseghale was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment, with 18 months in solitary confinement.

The Nigerian is presently appealing against part of his conviction for rape, claiming he never had sex with the victim before killing her.

If found to be innocent, his life sentence could be shortened. FIJ

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Putin threatened me with missile strike — Boris Johnson

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Former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson

Former British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has said Vladimir Putin threatened him with a missile strike in an “extraordinary” phone call in the run-up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The then-prime minister said Mr Putin told him it “would only take a minute”. Mr Johnson said the comment was made after he warned the war would be an “utter catastrophe”.

The claim is made in a BBC documentary on Mr Putin’s interactions with world leaders over the years. However, the Kremlin spokesman said it was a “lie”.

Mr Johnson warned Mr Putin that invading Ukraine would lead to Western sanctions and more NATO troops on Russia’s borders. He also tried to deter Russian military action by telling Mr Putin that Ukraine would not join Nato “for the foreseeable future”.

But Mr Johnson said: “He threatened me at one point, and he said, “Boris, I don’t want to hurt you but, with a missile, it would only take a minute’ or something like that. Jolly.

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“But I think from the very relaxed tone that he was taking, the sort of air of detachment that he seemed to have, he was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate.”

President Putin had been “very familiar” during the “most extraordinary call”, Mr Johnson said.

However, no reference to the exchange appeared in accounts of the call given by both Downing Street and the Kremlin.

However, given previous Russian attacks on the UK – most recently in Salisbury in 2018 – any threat from the Russian leader, however lightly delivered, is probably one Mr Johnson would have had no choice but to take seriously.

In his response, Mr Putin’s spokesman said the former prime minister’s claim was “either a deliberate falsehood, in which case you need to ask Mr Johnson why he lied, or it was not a deliberate lie. That is, he didn’t understand what President Putin was saying to him”.

“There were no threats to use missiles,” Dmitry Peskov told the BBC.

Nine days after Mr Johnson’s conversation with President Putin, on 11 February, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace flew to Moscow to meet his Russian counterpart, Sergei Shoigu.

The BBC documentary Putin Vs the West reveals Mr Wallace left with assurances that Russia would not invade Ukraine, but he said both sides knew it was a lie.

He described it as a “demonstration of bullying or strength, which is: I’m going to lie to you, you know I’m lying and I know you know I’m lying and I’m still going to lie to you.

He said the “fairly chilling, but direct lie” had confirmed his belief that Russia would invade.

As he left the meeting, he said Gen Valery Gerasimov – Russia’s chief of general staff – told him “never again will we be humiliated”.

Another significant encounter in the months leading up to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was with CIA director William Burns, who landed in Moscow on 2 November 2021.

Mr Burns had been circling the Russian capital for hours, as heavy fog prevented his landing, but when he finally arrived at the Kremlin he discovered Mr Putin was not there. Instead, he was sheltering in the southern Russian city of Sochi amid a spike in Covid infections.

The pair spoke over the phone.

The CIA director said he was direct in laying out the message President Biden had sent him to deliver: the US knew what Mr Putin was up to and he would pay a heavy price if he launched such an invasion.

He said the Russian president did not deny planning was underway and listed grievances about Ukraine and the West.

“I was troubled before I arrived in Moscow. And I was even more troubled after I left,” Mr Burns added.

Less than a fortnight after the UK defence secretary left Moscow, as tanks rolled over the border on 24 February, Mr Johnson received a phone call in the middle of the night from President Zelensky.

“Zelensky’s very, very calm,” Mr Johnson recalled. “But, he tells me, you know, they’re attacking everywhere.”

Mr Johnson says he offered to help move the president to safety.

“He doesn’t take me up on that offer. He heroically stayed where he was.”

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Peshawar: 32 dead, 150 wounded in large explosion at Pakistan mosque

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At least 32 people have died and around 150 are wounded after a suicide bomb attack on a mosque located in Peshawar’s Police Lines area during Monday afternoon prayers.

Witnesses say the attacker walked to the front row of the mosque before detonating a suicide vest, with the force of the blast causing the roof of the building to collapse.

Many of the victims were police officers, with the mosque located inside a highly fortified compound that includes a counter-terror department and the provincial police headquarters.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for what officials said was likely a targeted attack on the security forces and one of the worst suicide bombings in recent years, although the Pakistani Taliban have been blamed for similar suicide attacks in the past.

Prime minister Shehbaz Sharif described the incident as a suicide attack and called on members of his Pakistan Muslim League (N) party livinng in Peshawar to donate blood.

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Officials gave varying tolls for the number of worshippers inside the mosque at the time of the explosion, ranging from 260 to around 350. A hospital official told the Reuters news agency that 147 wounded had been taken for treatment, and that some of them were in critical condition.

Spokesperson Mohammad Asim said the Lady Reading Hospital of Peshawar was taking in the majority of the victims and that the area has been cordoned off with only ambulances allowed to enter.

The blast took place at 1.40pm, according to local media outlets.

A survivor, 38-year-old police officer Meena Gul, said he was inside the mosque when the bomb went off. He said he could hear cries and screams after the bomb exploded.

A photograph published in local media showed people gathered around the collapsed wall of the mosque.

Another video shared on Twitter by Khurram Iqbal, a reporter with local TV channel Hum News, showed chaotic scenes outside the mosque with scores of people surrounding the area as a bulldozer entered a narrow lane.

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Reacting to the reports, Pakistan’s former prime minister Imran Khan expressed his condolences for the victims and called for improvements to the country’s intelligence gathering to prevent such attacks.

“Strongly condemn the terrorist suicide attack in Police Lines mosque Peshawar during prayers,” the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party chief wrote on Twitter. “My prayers & condolences go to victims families.”

“It is imperative we improve our intelligence gathering & properly equip our police forces to combat the growing threat of terrorism.”

This is only the latest in a series of incidents of a deadly bombing in Pakistan, which has been a target of terror groups for decades. The country has witnessed a particular surge in militant attacks since November last year, when the Pakistani Taliban ended their ceasefire with government forces.

A recent report by the Pakistan Institute for Conflict and Security Studies (PICSS) stated that in 2022 alone, the South Asian nation witnessed 376 terror attacks, in which 533 people were killed.

Last year, a suicide blast inside a Shia mosque in Peshawar’s Kocha Risaldar area killed 63 people.

independent.co.uk

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