ISLAMABAD — Nearly 50 people have been killed and 80 others injured in Pakistan because of accidents triggered by torrential rains wreaking havoc in the country, officials said on Monday.
The downpour began in Balochistan on Thursday and provinces where heavy rainfall has been reported throughout the weekend, killing 49 people in the country, officials said.
The seasonal downpour began in Balochistan province on Thursday and hit other parts of the country subsequently where sporadic rainfall is still going on.
According to the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA), 18 people were killed in Balochistan, 15 in tribal regions, 10 in Punjab and six in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Another 80 people were injured and 75 houses destroyed in these rain- affected areas.
Officials said that the death toll may rise as some of these areas may not have been reached by the authorities so far. Majority of the people died after their houses collapsed. There are also reports of heavy damage to wheat crop in south Punjab.
The rain on Monday stopped in most of the areas but the meteorological department has predicted for another heavy rain spell which may begin by the middle of the week and continue for at least a couple of days. Flash floods in hilly areas are also expected.
Torrential rains and flooding killed over 80 people and affected nearly 300,000 people in the country during the rainy season last summer.
Former French leader Sarkozy held over Libyan funding inquiry
PARIS — Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy was held in custody on Tuesday and questioned by magistrates investigating whether late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi helped finance his 2007 election campaign, an official in the French judiciary said.
It is the second major judicial investigation to fall on the 63-year-old, who served as president from 2007-2012. He already faces trial on separate charges of illicit spending overruns during his failed re-election campaign in 2012.
A lawyer for Sarkozy could not immediately be reached for comment. The former president has dismissed the Libya allegations as “grotesque” and a ‘crude manipulation’.
France opened an inquiry into the Libya case in 2013, after reports by French website Mediapart based on claims by a Franco-Lebanese businessman, Ziad Takieddine, who said he had transferred 5 million euros ($6 million) from Gaddafi’s former intelligence chief Abdullah Senussi to Sarkozy’s campaign director.
Months after he took office in 2007, the French leader came in for criticism for hosting a state visit by Gaddafi during which the Libyan leader pitched his trademark Bedouin-style tent next to the Elysee Palace.
Gaddafi’s first visit to a Western leader in decades, which was accompanied by the signing of several business deals, came after Sarkozy helped get five Bulgarian nurses accused of infecting children with HIV released from jail in Libya.
Sarkozy was later one of the chief advocates of a NATO-led military campaign that resulted in Gaddafi’s overthrow and killing at the hands of rebel forces in 2011.
French judicial procedure allows for investigators to hold a person for questioning for up to 48 hours, after which the magistrates must say whether they have grounds for turning a preliminary inquiry into a full investigation.Follow @gorkhapost