Airstrikes rocked Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea port of Odessa early Sunday, AFP reporters said, but there were no casualties, according to the army.
The Russian defence ministry confirmed the strike.
“This morning, high-precision sea and air-based missiles destroyed an oil refinery and three storage facilities for fuel and lubricants near the city of Odessa, from which fuel was supplied to a group of Ukrainian troops in the direction of Mykolaiv,” it said.
At least, three huge columns of black smoke and flames rose into the sky over an industrial zone.
Despite the rocket attacks, there were no casualties, said officer Vladislav Nazarov in a statement from the southern regional command that reiterated a ban on publishing the exact sites under fire or the extent of the damage.
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“The Odessa region is one of the enemy’s priority targets. The enemy is pursuing the sly tactic of attacking sensitive infrastructure.”
The city authorities had earlier said the attack caused several fires and some missiles had been shot down by Ukraine’s air defence systems.
AFP reporters heard explosions in the southwestern city at around 6:00 am (0300 GMT).
On Friday, Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, warned Russia was consolidating and preparing “powerful strikes” in the south, joining a chorus of Western assessments that Moscow’s troops were regrouping.
Odessa, a historic city of around one million people, is Ukraine’s largest Black Sea port and has escaped the worst of the fighting.
UKraine’s whole eastern flank from Crimea, which Russia seized in 2014, to the pro-Moscow enclaves of Donetsk and Lugansk in the Donbas region is occupied by Russian forces, with the exception of the besieged city of Mariupol.
Over 100 injured in Spanish train collision
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.
23 years old Nigerian accused of raping Australian tourist in Indonesia
A 23-year-old Nigerian tourist risks 12 years in prison after an alleged sexual crime against a 31-year-old tourist in Kuta, Indonesia.
A report by Daily Mail revealed that the woman, who is an Australian, was raped after she met up with the Nigerian man on Friday, December 2.
The report also noted that the duo met on a dating app on December 1 and agreed to meet at a bar in Kuta the following day.
Although the Indonesian police are still searching for the Nigerian man, they alleged that he hurriedly took the woman to his hotel after drinking at the bar.
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The woman was sexually abused at the hotel and had cuts and bruises to her arms, hands and waist.
Witnesses said they saw the Australian staggering after drinking at the bar in Kuta.
FIJ gathered online that the Indonesian law provides a maximum of 12-year sentence for anyone convicted of physical sexual abuse.
Comoros ex-president Sambi jailed for life for ‘high treason’
A court in the Comoros on Monday handed down a life sentence for high treason to ex-president Ahmed Abdallah Sambi, who was convicted of selling passports to stateless people living in the Gulf.
Sambi, 64, an arch-rival of President Azali Assoumani, was sentenced by the State Security Court, a special judicial body whose rulings cannot be appealed.
“He betrayed the mission entrusted to him by the Comorians,” public prosecutor Ali Mohamed Djounaid told the court last week as he requested a life sentence.
Sambi, who led the small Indian Ocean archipelago between 2006 and 2011, pushed through a law in 2008 allowing the sale of passports for high fees.
The scheme aimed at the so-called bidoon — an Arab minority numbering in the tens of thousands who cannot obtain citizenship.
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The former president was accused of embezzling millions of dollars under the scheme.
The prosecution said the cost was more than $1.8 billion — more than the impoverished nation’s GDP.
“They gave thugs the right to sell Comorian nationality as if they were selling peanuts,” said Eric Emmanuel Sossa, a lawyer for civilian plaintiffs.
But Sambi’s French lawyer Jean-Gilles Halimi said “no evidence” of missing money or bank accounts had been put forward to suggest a crime.
Sambi refused to attend the trial after a brief appearance at the first hearing, as his lawyers said there were no guarantees he would be judged fairly.
He was originally prosecuted for corruption, but the charges were reclassified as high treason, a crime that “does not exist in Comorian law,” Halimi said.
Sambi had already spent four years behind bars before he faced trial, far exceeding the maximum eight months. He was originally placed under house arrest for disturbing public order.
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