FILE - In this Nov. 23, 2018 file photo, Pakistani security personnel move in the compound of Chinese Consulate following a deadly attack, in Karachi, Pakistan. Aslam Baloch, one of the leaders of the Baluch Liberation Army, blamed for masterminding the attack on the consulate has been killed in a bombing in Afghanistan, Pakistani officials and the separatist group said Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil, File)
Damaged vehicles at the Chinese consulate in Karachi after a militant attack on November 23, 2018. AP Photo

Baloch separatist wanted for Chinese consulate attack killed in Afghanistan



A Baloch separatist militant wanted for November's attack on China's consulate in Karachi was killed in a suicide bombing in southern Afghanistan this week.

Aslam Baloch, a founder of the Balochistan Liberation Army who survived other attempts on his life in Pakistan, died in the blast in Kandahar on Tuesday along with five other senior members of the militant group.

Baloch's killing "is very good for peace in Pakistan, particularly Balochistan", a security official told The National.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which was carried out by a suicide bomber who entered the house where the militants were staying. The militia is one of several groups fighting the government in a resurgence of the separatist violence that began in 2003.

Balochistan, the south-western province bordering Afghanistan and Iran, has experienced several insurgencies since Pakistan gained independence from Britain in 1947.

Pakistan accuses Afghanistan and India of supporting and sheltering the insurgents, who in recent years attacked Chinese targets to protest against Beijing-backed infrastructure projects in the province.

The deaths of the militants in Kandahar adds credibility to the claims that Baloch militants use Afghanistan as a base, said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia programme at the Woodrow Wilson Centre think tank.

But there are many lawless areas in Afghanistan where militants can find sanctuary without state support.

“Just because a Baloch militant commander is revealed to be in Afghanistan does not prove that he is an asset of the state and receiving all the support that comes with such a status,” Mr Kugelman said. “But it does certainly amplify the possibility of state support from Afghanistan.”

Baloch fighters have long used Afghanistan as a refuge but this could change if the US goes through with reported plans to start withdrawing its troops from the country, said Malik Siraj Akbar, a Baloch journalist in Washington.

“In the 1970s and ’80s, Pakistan used the Afghan mujahideen to harass and chase the Balochs, but this time it seems Pakistan hunted him down with the help of its Taliban proxies,” Mr Akbar said.

He said a US troop withdrawal would give the Taliban, ISIS and Pakistan greater influence in Afghanistan and “bring a lot of destruction for the Baloch fighters as their safe spaces will most likely be eliminated for good”.

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Mr Akbar said he spoke to Baloch last week. The militant threatened more attacks against Chinese targets unless it pulled out of Balochistan, where it is building a China-­Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The corridor is part of China’s One Belt, One Road initiative to expand its global influence through development of trade-related infrastructure. Beijing is investing almost $56 billion (Dh205.6bn) in Pakistan’s faltering economy through projects for the economic corridor from Xinjiang province to the deep-sea port it is building in the Baloch city of Gwadar.

The consulate attack last month and the bombing of a bus carrying Chinese workers in Balochistan in August were carried out by a group of suicide attackers called the Majeed Brigade, which was formed by Baloch.

Lijian Zhao, deputy chief of mission at the Chinese embassy at Islamabad, welcomed news of the militant leader’s death.

“This is a good development for security and peace in the province,” he told The National. “Balochistan needs development and the terrorists have been against this.”

But Akram Dashti, a Baloch senator, doubted it would bring about any change.

“No killing will bring peace and prosperity in Balochistan,” Mr Dashti said. “The issue of Balochistan needs negotiations and a political settlement.”

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The Killer

Director: David Fincher

Stars: Michael Fassbender, Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell

Rating: 4/5 

The 100 Best Novels in Translation
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Teams in the EHL

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India (for first three ODIs) Kohli (capt), Rohit, Rahul, Pandey, Jadhav, Rahane, Dhoni, Pandya, Axar, Kuldeep, Chahal, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar, Umesh, Shami.

Australia Smith (capt), Warner, Agar, Cartwright, Coulter-Nile, Cummins, Faulkner, Finch, Head, Maxwell, Richardson, Stoinis, Wade, Zampa.

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West Asia Premiership
Champions: Dubai Tigers
Runners up: Bahrain

UAE Premiership
Champions: Jebel Ali Dragons
Runners up: Dubai Hurricanes

UAE Division 1
Champions: Dubai Sharks
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UAE Division 2
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Dubai Sevens
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Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (captain), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Liton Das, Shakib Al Hasan, Mominul Haque, Nasir Hossain, Sabbir Rahman, Mehedi Hasan, Shafiul Islam, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman and Taskin Ahmed.

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Dh600,000 - Dubai Exiles' budget for pitch and court hire next season, for their rugby, netball and cricket teams

Dh1.8m - Dubai Hurricanes' overall budget for next season

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Amount of biofuel produced from 1 litre of used cooking oil: 920ml (92%)

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Name: Xpanceo

Started: 2018

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Friday: Giggs, Sho Madjozi and Masego  

Saturday: Nas, Lion Bbae, Roxanne Shante and DaniLeigh  

Sole DXB runs from December 6 to 8 at Dubai Design District. Weekend pass is Dh295 while a one day pass is Dh195. Tickets are available from www.soledxb.com

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Other ways to buy used products in the UAE

UAE insurance firm Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) last year launched an e-commerce website with a facility enabling users to buy car wrecks.

Bidders and potential buyers register on the online salvage car auction portal to view vehicles, review condition reports, or arrange physical surveys, and then start bidding for motors they plan to restore or harvest for parts.

Physical salvage car auctions are a common method for insurers around the world to move on heavily damaged vehicles, but AWNIC is one of the few UAE insurers to offer such services online.

For cars and less sizeable items such as bicycles and furniture, Dubizzle is arguably the best-known marketplace for pre-loved.

Founded in 2005, in recent years it has been joined by a plethora of Facebook community pages for shifting used goods, including Abu Dhabi Marketplace, Flea Market UAE and Arabian Ranches Souq Market while sites such as The Luxury Closet and Riot deal largely in second-hand fashion.

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While you're here
How to get exposure to gold

Although you can buy gold easily on the Dubai markets, the problem with buying physical bars, coins or jewellery is that you then have storage, security and insurance issues.

A far easier option is to invest in a low-cost exchange traded fund (ETF) that invests in the precious metal instead, for example, ETFS Physical Gold (PHAU) and iShares Physical Gold (SGLN) both track physical gold. The VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF invests directly in mining companies.

Alternatively, BlackRock Gold & General seeks to achieve long-term capital growth primarily through an actively managed portfolio of gold mining, commodity and precious-metal related shares. Its largest portfolio holdings include gold miners Newcrest Mining, Barrick Gold Corp, Agnico Eagle Mines and the NewMont Goldcorp.

Brave investors could take on the added risk of buying individual gold mining stocks, many of which have performed wonderfully well lately.

London-listed Centamin is up more than 70 per cent in just three months, although in a sign of its volatility, it is down 5 per cent on two years ago. Trans-Siberian Gold, listed on London's alternative investment market (AIM) for small stocks, has seen its share price almost quadruple from 34p to 124p over the same period, but do not assume this kind of runaway growth can continue for long

However, buying individual equities like these is highly risky, as their share prices can crash just as quickly, which isn't what what you want from a supposedly safe haven.

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Starring: Glenn Powell, Daisy Edgar-Jones, Anthony Ramos

Rating: 2.5/5

Profile

Co-founders of the company: Vilhelm Hedberg and Ravi Bhusari

Launch year: In 2016 ekar launched and signed an agreement with Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. In January 2017 ekar launched in Dubai in a partnership with the RTA.

Number of employees: Over 50

Financing stage: Series B currently being finalised

Investors: Series A - Audacia Capital 

Sector of operation: Transport

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Price: From Dh4,599

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Clinicy
Started: 2017
Founders: Prince Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman, Abdullah bin Sulaiman Alobaid and Saud bin Sulaiman Alobaid
Based: Riyadh
Number of staff: 25
Sector: HealthTech
Total funding raised: More than $10 million
Investors: Middle East Venture Partners, Gate Capital, Kafou Group and Fadeed Investment

Company profile

Company name: Leap
Started: March 2021
Founders: Ziad Toqan and Jamil Khammu
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Funds raised: Undisclosed
Current number of staff: Seven

Veil (Object Lessons)
Rafia Zakaria
​​​​​​​Bloomsbury Academic

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