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Cyclone Roanu kills 23 in Bangladesh

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DHAKA — Cyclone Roanu has battered the shoreline of southern Bangladesh on Saturday, leaving no less than 23 people dead in floods and rain-triggered landslides, police and officials say.

The cyclone damaged hundreds of houses in two impoverished southern districts, with many low-lying villages inundated by a storm surge that swelled up to two meters high.

Peripheral winds and heavy downpours brought on by the impending cyclone struck coastal areas early on Saturday morning, causing widespread devastation before the storm had even made landfall.

Authorities relocated more than 500,000 people into shelters as the cyclone made landfall just after midday (local time) on Saturday, packing winds as strong as 88 kilometres per hour.

“Seven people drowned at Banshkhali after the storm surge breached dykes at two places, inundating coastal villages,” Chittagong police inspector Shah Alam said.

Three people, including a mother and her daughter, drowned on Hatiya island after sea water flooded their village.

By early evening on Saturday, conditions appeared to be improving, paving the way for people to return to their homes, officials said.

“Up to 20 villages were flooded [in the area],” Hatiya police Chief Anisul Haq said.

“The flood water is now receding.”

A mother and her young child were killed after rains triggered a landslide which buried their hillside home at Sitakundu in Chittagong District, a police inspector said.

Others died on Bhola island and in Cox’s Bazar, Laxmipur and Patuakhali, officials said.

Disaster authorities shut down sea and river ports and ordered fishing trawlers and other boats not to go out on the water.

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The Government’s meteorological department has warned of the risk of further landslides in the country’s south-eastern hill districts.

AFP

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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