Afghan officials say government forces have launched an operation to retake a key border crossing with Pakistan from Taliban militants. Heavy fighting is going on in the Spin Boldak border crossing as Taliban insurgents have reportedly taken shelter in civilian homes. The border point provides direct access to Pakistan's Balochistan province. That’s where the Taliban's top leadership has been based for decades now. The crossing fell to the Taliban earlier this week. The militant group has also captured Afghan border crossings with Iran and Turkmenistan. They stepped up their attacks in May, taking control of a swath of territories in Afghanistan. The military has pledged to retake all those areas.
Lebanon political crisis
Lebanon’s political crisis deepens after Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri failed to form a new government and announced his resignation. Hariri stepped down on Thursday after a meeting with President Michel Aoun. He has accused Aoun of hampering the process of forming a new government. Hariri told Lebanese media that he would be unable to run the country with a cabinet that Aoun wants. In response, the president’s office said Hariri was not ready to discuss any kind of amendments to his proposed cabinet. Meanwhile, protests have broken out in the capital Beirut where protesters clashed with security forces. A number of people were injured. Lebanon’s last government was forced to resign last August after a deadly explosion in Beirut. The country is also facing an economic crisis.
Hundreds of people remain missing in Germany after record rainfall caused huge flooding there. A search operation is underway to find more than 1,300 people missing in Germany’s west. Authorities say over 90 people have lost their lives. German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the flooding a catastrophe. Her country is the worst affected state by the ongoing flooding in Western Europe. That’s the worst in recent history there. Belgium has confirmed at least 12 deaths. Luxembourg and Netherlands have evacuated thousands of people. More heavy rain is forecast across the region Friday. Experts have blamed climate change for the huge floods.