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Israel said it is preparing for a “week of operations” against Palestinian armed groups in the Gaza Strip. Israeli army spokesman Ran Kochav was quoted by Israeli media as saying that there are no negotiations for a truce, and that the offensive on Gaza may take at least one week. The Israeli army said that it carried out 30 raids on more than 40 targets in the Gaza Strip with 55 missiles and artillery shelling. An official in the Islamic Jihad movement said there has been no talk of calm or mediation “for the moment”. The unnamed official was quoted by local Palestinian news agency as saying that the situation “is heading for an escalation”. Israel launched a new offensive on the Gaza Strip on Friday, and assassinated a senior commander with the armed wing of Islamic Jihad. At least 10 other Palestinians, including a five-year-old girl, have been killed and more than 70 wounded, the Palestinian health ministry said – Israel-Palestine live news: New Israeli attacks launched on Gaza (Al Jazeera ~ Live Updates)
ZAGREB, Croatia – A Poland-registered bus skidded from a highway in northern Croatia early Saturday, killing at least 11 people and injuring several others, police said. Croatian police said on Twitter that “In the skidding of a bus with Polish license plates, according to initial information from the field, 11 people died and several were injured.” Croatia’s state HRT television reported at least 34 people were injured, many seriously. The broadcaster showed video of a smashed blue bus in a ditch next to the highway. The bus was traveling in the direction of Zagreb, Croatia’s capital – Bus crash on highway in Croatia kills at least 11 people (Associated Press/The Washington Post ~ World)
Volodymyr Saldo, who was appointed by the Kremlin to lead Ukraine’s southern Kherson region after it was seized during Vladimir Putin’s war, has been hospitalized as Ukraine launches a counteroffensive to retake the strategic city. The official, whom Russia declared “head of the Kherson civic military administration” after gaining control of the territory in the first phase of its invasion, claimed Thursday that he had been hospitalized, and that he was delegating his “authority” to his “acting executive,” Sergei Eliseev-a former officer with Russia’s Federal Security Service. Saldo, who served as the mayor of Kherson between 2002 and 2012, has publicly voiced support for Putin’s war against Ukraine. In July, Russian-appointed officials in Kherson claimed that they had prevented an attempt on Saldo’s life. The news of Saldo’s ill-health comes amid a major Ukrainian counteroffensive to retake Kherson – Russia-Installed Kherson Official Hospitalized as Kyiv Wages Offensive (Newsweek ~ World)
In its daily intelligence update, the UK defence ministry said Russia was using the area to launch attacks – taking advantage of the “protected status” of the nuclear power plant to reduce the risk of overnight attacks from Ukrainian forces. On Friday, Ukraine’s state nuclear energy company Enerhoatom accused Russian troops of hitting a high-voltage power line at the plant. The plant’s Moscow-installed management was quoted by Russia’s state-run Interfax news agency as saying two of the plant’s power lines had been hit by a Ukrainian artillery strike, causing a fire. “Our forces don’t shoot back because the 30km zone around the power station is sacred. You don’t want to shoot there. But the Russians are terrorists. There’s nothing sacred to them,” the local businessman, who did not want to be named, told the BBC. ” It’s meant to scare us,” he continued, explaining that rockets have hit Nikopol every night since the middle of July. A former employee of the plant, who is still in contact with colleagues but is now in Ukrainian-held territory, told the BBC that as well as firing rockets from the area around the plant, Russian forces had moved some military hardware into one of the main buildings. The former employee, who worked at the plant for several weeks under Russian occupation before leaving, said the Russian soldiers in charge of the plant generally left the workers alone, but their presence caused psychological difficulties – Zaporizhzhia: Russian rockets damaged part of nuclear plant, Ukraine says (BBC News ~ World – Europe)
A bomb hidden in a cart went off on Friday near a mosque in a minority Shia neighborhood of the Afghan capital, killing eight civilians and wounding another 18, a Taliban official said. The regional affiliate of ISIS has increased attacks on mosques and minorities across the country since the Taliban seized power last August. ISIS is seen as the greatest security challenge facing the country’s Taliban rulers. Following their takeover of Afghanistan, the Taliban have launched a sweeping crackdown against the ISIS headquarters in the country’s east. On Wednesday, in a gunbattle between the Taliban and ISIS gunmen killed five, including two Taliban fighters – Bomb blast in Afghanistan capital Kabul kills eight civilians, wounds 18 (Al Arabiya News ~ News – World News)