Landmine in Afghanistan Kills at Least 11; North Macedonia Expects NATO Membership; Eighth Plane with S-400 in Turkey

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on July 15 in last twelve hours from BulgarianMilitary.com:

Landmine kills 11 pilgrims in southern Afghanistan

At least 11 pilgrims including seven children were killed and on Monday when their vehicle set off a landmine in southern Afghanistan, Reuters reported.

The blast happened in the Khakrez district of Kandahar province at around midday, said Hayatullah Hayat, a spokesman for Kandahar’s governor.

A senior health official said 22 children and eight women were among another 34 women and children who were critically wounded.

The victims were returning from a pilgrimage to a shrine that houses the tomb of Sufi Shah Agha, a companion and relative of the Prophet Mohammad.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast. Taliban fighters say they use roadside bombs and landmines to attack security forces, but civilians are frequently hurt or killed.

In Balkh province in the north, two children were killed in a landmine explosion on Sunday, officials said.

North Macedonia expects NATO membership, EU talks date by year-end

North Macedonia expects to become a member of NATO by the end of this year and hopes to get a date for the start of European Union (EU) accession talks in October, President Stevo Pendarovski said on Monday, Reuters reported.

NATO members signed an accord in February allowing the ex-Yugoslav republic to become the 30th member of the U.S.-led military alliance, after a deal with Greece ended a long dispute over its name. The ratification process normally takes a year.

Pendarovski said he expected all NATO members would in coming months ratify the membership accord with North Macedonia.

The ex-Yugoslav republic changed its name to North Macedonia from Macedonia this year, resolving a decades-old dispute with Greece and opening the way for EU and NATO membership.

Eighth plane carrying S-400 components arrives in Turkey

The eighth Russian aircraft with another batch of components for S-400 missile systems has arrived in Ankara, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense repored on Monday, TASS reported.

“The deliveries of S-400 air defense systems continue. The eighth plane has landed at Murted Air Base [in the Ankara province],” the ministry said in a statement.

Deliveries of Russia’s S-400 missile systems to Turkey began on July 12. According to the Turkish Ministry of National Defense, on that day three cargo planes delivered several truck tractors and a transport and load vehicle for S-400 systems to Murted Air Base. Another Russian plane arrived next day. On Sunday, Turkey confirmed the arrival of the seventh plane.

On July 14, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the S-400 deal with Russia as a major agreement in Turkey’s modern history. He noted that the supplies of Russia’s air defense systems could be completed by April 2020

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BulgarianMilitary.com
Editorial team
Source: Reuters, TASS

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