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Pakistani Christian man’s hands ‘chopped off’ for refusal to accept Islam

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LAHORE — Pakistani Christian man has claimed that both his hands were chopped off by some Muslim men for his refusal to change over to Islam, media reports said on Wednesday.

Aqeel Masih, 25, complained to police, on Tuesday charging that the unidentified Muslim men slashed his hands off with a hatchet for not changing over to Islam on June 24, the Dawn reported.

Police, however, have rejected the victim’s affirmation, asserting he lost his hands in a train mishap.

“A few people came to me and asking that I change over to Islam.  On my refusal, they assaulted me with a hatchet and cut my both hands off,” said Mr Masih, who was treated at Jinnah Hospital.

He said he didn’t know the name of the assailants and could just remember them in the event that he saw them.

Lahore police senior officer Amara Ather, however, said that according to medical report put together by a doctor, Mr Masih had lost his hands in a train mishap near a beverage factory in Gulberg.

Citing eyewitnesses, Ms Ather said Mr Masih was lying unconscious on the track near a railway track when a train engine crushed his hands up to the elbows.

“Some people rushed to the railway track after hearing his cries and shifted him to Jinnah Hospital,” she was quoted as saying by the daily.

She said some four to five people were present on the spot.

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Over 70% of deep-sea fish of Atlantic Ocean have ingested plastic : Study

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Fragments of plastic are found throughout the world, from nearly every continent to nearly every body of water. But, researchers recently have found 73 percent of Northwest Atlantic deep-sea fish are also eating it — the highest reported frequency of plastic-eating fish in the world.

Plastic particles were found in some of the most remote parts of the Atlantic Ocean with almost three quarters of a sample of more than 230 deep-water fish collected by NUI Galway scientists having ingested plastic particles.

The contamination level among the fish species, located in the northwest Atlantic thousands of kilometres from land and 600m down in the ocean, is one of the highest reported frequencies of microplastic occurrence in fish worldwide, according to the study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science.

The NUIG scientists, as part of the study, participated in a transatlantic crossing onboard the marine institute’s Celtic Explorer vessel.

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PhD candidate and lead author Alina Wieczorek said, “Deep-water fish migrate to the surface at night to feed on plankton [microscopic animals] and this is likely when they are exposed to the microplastics.”

During this research cruise they took dead deep-sea fish from midwater trawls such as the spotted lanternfish, rakery beaconlamp, stout saw-palate and scaly dragonfish.

Microplastics are small plastic fragments that commonly originate from the breakdown of larger plastic items entering the ocean. Other sources may be waste water effluents carrying plastic fibres from clothing and microbeads from personal care products. Due to their low density, most of these microplastics float at the sea surface.

The fish ranged in size from the smallest species the Glacier Lantern at 3.5cm to the largest species, the stout saw-palate at 59cm.

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