Reuters : South Asia (30)

U.S. government watchdog calls for changes in Afghan training effort

WASHINGTON - Even as thousands of additional American troops head to Afghanistan, a U.S. government watchdog is warning that tens of billions of dollars could be wasted unless changes are made in the training of Afghan security forces.

Afghan Air Force receives first Black Hawk helicopters

KABUL - The Afghan Air Force took delivery of its first four U.S.-made UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters on Tuesday as part of a planned replacement of its ageing fleet of Russian-made Mi-17 helicopters, officials said.

Despite by-election loss, Pakistan opposition claims momentum for 2018

LAHORE, Pakistan - Pakistani opposition leader Imran Khan's party said on Monday it had built momentum in a by-election for ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's parliamentary seat, despite finishing second, but the biggest inroads were made by two new Islamist groupings.

Bangladesh sets aside rift with Myanmar to ease rice shortage

DHAKA - Bangladesh is to buy rice from Myanmar, putting aside worsening relations over the Rohingya refugee crisis as the government races to overcome a shortage of the country's staple food.

Six civilians killed by roadside bomb in Afghanistan

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan - A roadside bomb in Afghanistan's southern province of Kandahar killed at least six civilians travelling in a car that hit the device, officials said on Monday.

Nepal holds final round of municipal polls, ethnic grievances remain

KATHMANDU - Nepalis began voting in the final round of municipal elections on Monday, an important step before a general election in November that will complete a near decade-long democratic transition after the abolition of Nepal's monarchy.

Wild elephants trample two Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh: police

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh - Wild elephants trampled to death two Rohingya Muslims in Bangladesh on Monday when they rampaged through a settlement where the refugees were taking shelter after fleeing a military offensive in neighbouring Myanmar.

Lawyer for detained Myanmar journalists denied access in Bangladesh

DHAKA - A lawyer for two Myanmar journalists detained in Bangladesh while reporting on the influx of thousands of Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar said on Monday he had been denied access to them amid concern over their well-being.

Four killed in market explosion in eastern Afghanistan

KHOST, Afghanistan - Four people were killed and 15 wounded by an explosion in a marketplace in the eastern Afghan city of Khost on Sunday, officials said.

Pakistani court sentences Christian man to death for blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan - A Christian man has been sentenced to death on blasphemy charges by a court in eastern Pakistan after a close friend accused him of sharing anti-Islamic material, the defendant's lawyer said on Friday.

Pakistani investors aim for LNG import terminal in early 2019

LONDON - Three Pakistani industrial groups plan to begin importing liquefied natural gas through a private terminal due to be completed in early 2019, bringing the total number of potential LNG import projects in the country to eight.

Afghan cricket fans defy bombers as T20 league takes off

KABUL - A suicide attack outside Kabul's main cricket stadium this week may have underlined the daily security risks facing Afghanistan but the country's premier T20 tournament is carrying on and the enthusiasm of spectators appears undiminished.

Risk of Afghan civilian casualties could damp support for U.S. strikes on militants

KABUL - U.S. President Donald Trump's plans to step up air strikes on Islamist militants in Afghanistan risk increasing civilian casualties and stirring resentment, despite an initial welcome by Afghan officials and international allies.

Rohingya grieve after baby dies in border crossing

SHAH PORIR DWIP, Bangladesh - A crying Rohingya mother in a yellow headscarf cradling her five-week-old infant son who died after their boat capsized is one of the most powerful Reuters images of Muslim refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Finnish aid worker kidnapped in Kabul has been released: ministry

HELSINKI - A Finnish aid worker who was kidnapped in Afghanistan in May has been released, the foreign ministry in Helsinki said on Thursday.

Pakistan kicks out medical charity MSF from country's tribal region

PESHAWAR/ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Pakistan on Wednesday told medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres' to stop work and leave its impoverished tribal areas that border Afghanistan, the health organisation said, ending its 14 year stay in the volatile region.

Suicide bomb near cricket stadium in Afghan capital kills at least 3

KABUL - A suicide attack claimed by Islamic State near a cricket match in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday killed three people and wounded five.

In election test, ousted Pakistan PM's heir-apparent takes limelight

LAHORE - In campaigning for a Pakistan by-election seen as a test of support for ousted Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the most visible figure is not on the ballot: Sharif's daughter, Maryam, widely touted as his political heir-apparent.

Suicide bomb near cricket stadium in Afghan capital kills at least 3

KABUL - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a checkpoint near the main cricket stadium in the Afghan capital Kabul on Wednesday, killing at least three people as a tournament was under way, officials said.

Under EU attack, top palm oil producers rethink trade strategy

By Bernadette Christina Munthe, Fransiska Nangoy and Emily Chow

Germany deports failed Afghan asylum seekers

BERLIN - Germany deported eight Afghans with criminal records after their applications for asylum were rejected, said Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere.

U.N. says 370,000 flee Myanmar, exodus continuing

GENEVA - Violence in Myanmar has prompted 370,000 people belonging to the Muslim Rohingya minority to flee to Bangladesh since Aug. 25, up from a previous estimate of 313,000, the U.N. International Organization for Migration said on Tuesday.

Hundreds of Afghans demonstrate against "offensive" U.S. leaflets

QARA BAGH, Afghanistan - Hundreds of demonstrators rallied near the Afghan capital on Tuesday to denounce a propaganda leaflet drop by U.S. forces last week that caused widespread offence and forced American commanders to issue an apology.

Bangladesh seeks support to move fleeing Rohingya to remote, flood-prone island

DHAKA - Bangladesh is seeking international support for its plan to relocate Rohingya Muslims fleeing violence in Myanmar to a remote Bay of Bengal island that critics say is flood-prone and unliveable.

Gunmen kill four in sectarian attack in Pakistan

QUETTA, Pakistan - Gunmen in southwestern Pakistan killed four members of a Shi'ite Muslim Hazara family, including a 12-year-old boy, on Sunday, in the latest sectarian attack on the minority community, a senior police official said.

Factbox: Humanitarian crisis in Bangladesh as 313,000 Rohingyas flee Myanmar

- At least 313,000 Rohingya refugees have fled Myanmar in the past two weeks and sought shelter in Bangladesh, a Inter Sector Coordination Group report released on Monday stated.

Spanish Red Cross physiotherapist killed in northern Afghanistan

MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan - A Spanish physiotherapist working for the Red Cross in the northern Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif was shot dead on Monday, apparently by a hospital patient, officials said.

Suicide bomber attacks NATO convoy in Afghanistan, some wounded

KABUL - A suicide bomber in an explosives-packed vehicle attacked a NATO convoy in Afghanistan on Monday, wounding "a small number" of foreign troops and at least three civilians, officials said.

Rohingya refugees in Pakistan fear for relatives in Myanmar

KARACHI - For an estimated 300,000 Rohingya Muslims living in squalor in Pakistan's largest city, the news from Myanmar in the past two weeks is reviving painful memories of the violence that drove many of them here half a century ago.

Nancy Hatch Dupree 'Grandmother of Afghanistan' dies in Kabul

KABUL - Nancy Hatch Dupree, a historian from the United States who helped set up the Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University, has died in the country whose culture she worked for more than five decades to preserve, the university said on Sunday. She was 89.