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A Powerful Explosion kills seven, injures minister in Pakistan

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Flame breaks out after an explosion in Peshawar, Pakistan on Wednesday Oct. 28, 2009. A car bomb has torn through a market place in northwestern Pakistan, hours after U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in the country. (AP Photo/Mohammad Iqbal)

Islamabad, A powerful explosion on Sunday destroyed Punjab Home Minister Shuja Khanzada’s office in Pakistan’s Attock city, seriously injuring him and leaving seven people dead, media reports said.

 

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The deadly explosion brought down the minister’s office trapping 20-25 people including the minister, the Dawn reported. Khanzada’s son, Sohrab, told Geo News that his father was present when the blast took place.

The nature of the explosion is not known although some claimed that a suicide bomber was involved. The impact of the blast shattered windows in nearby houses.

Minister Khanzada, given charge of the home department in October 2014, was critically injured, hospital sources said. The “entire structure has been destroyed”.

A number of the dead were pulled out of the rubble of the building.

The minister has been actively involved in major operations against terrorist outfits. His department is responsible for the maintenance of law and order.
Rescue operations were underway at the scene of the attack, media reports said. A helicopter had been pressed into service.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif condemned the apparent terror attack. Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan told federal and provincial authorities to carry out immediate rescue activities.

(IANS)

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Pakistani Doctors Blame Quacks for Alarming Rise in HIV Cases: Report

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN

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Nearly 40 individual HPV types linked to HIV infection. Pixabay

The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has blamed quack doctors practicing without training and professional certification for an alarming rise in the number of HIV positive patients in the country, the media reported on Wednesday.

The doctors associated with the PMA said that the quacks, especially fake dentists, spread the virus by using instruments that were not sterilized, adding that despite free-of-cost availability of life-saving antiretroviral drugs at government hospitals, mortality ratio among patients carrying the virus was also increasing.

An alarming surge in HIV cases has been witnessed in five districts of Pakistan’s Punjab province, with 70 to 90 cases being reported monthly at the main government health facility in Faisalabad city, Dawn News reported.

Earlier this month, an international team of experts from the World Health Organization kicked off an investigation into the sudden HIV outbreak in Pakistan’s Sindh province after over 700 people were diagnosed with the virus in a matter of weeks, most of them were children.

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School girls light candles in the shape of a ribbon during a HIV/AIDS awareness campaign ahead of World Aids Day, in Ahmedabad, India, Nov. 30, 2016. (VOA)

Following the outbreak, authorities launched a crackdown on unqualified doctors as well as illegal blood banks and laboratories said to be involved in spreading the disease. At least 17 quack doctors were arrested and more than 70 clinics in Larkana district were shut down, according to Xinhua news agency.

According to the PMA, over 600,000 quacks are currently practicing in the country with more than 80,000 based in Punjab province alone.

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The association demanded the government to make all-out efforts to stop the menace of quackery in the country.

Pakistan was considered a country of low HIV prevalence for long, but the disease is expanding at an alarming rate with about 20,000 new HIV cases reported in 2017 alone, according to the UN. (IANS)