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Iran-Syria ties 

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus. The two discussed bilateral ties and the latest developments in the region. The top Iranian diplomat underlined the importance of expanding regional and mutual relations. Upon arrival in Syria, Amir-abdollahian was welcomed by his counterpart, Faisal Mekdad. Amir-Abdollahian stressed Iran will continue to stand by the Arab country as it did during Syria’s war on terror. The Syrian foreign minister said Damascus supports Tehran’s efforts with regard to its nuclear issue. He said Syria strongly condemns Washington’s plots against Iran’s nuclear program and other regional affairs. Amir-Abdollahian arrived in Damascus after concluding his trip to Beirut where he held talks with senior Lebanese officials.

Afghanistan funerals 

The victims of a deadly blast in northeastern Afghanistan have been laid to rest as the Taliban vow justice. Grief-stricken Afghans said their last farewells to their loved ones killed in a bomb blast ripping through a Shia mosque in the city of Kunduz. Conflicting reports put the death toll anywhere from 50 to over 100. Many more were injured. The Daesh terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the suicide attack. The worshipers targeted were Hazaras, who have long suffered discrimination in Afghanistan. The latest attack was the third this week on a religious institution. It has been the worst attack since the Taliban took over control in August. The group has condemned the "heinous act" and vowed to find and punish the perpetrators.

Russia coronavirus pandemic 

Russia has broken its daily coronavirus deaths record with 968 fatalities in 24 hours. The government’s coronavirus task force also reported over 29-,000 new cases in the same period. The country has been reporting record daily coronavirus figures for the past few weeks. Officials say high infection rates are driven by a more contagious delta variant and a relatively low vaccination drive. They say new health restrictions are under consideration amid spike in cases. Currently, Russia is the world’s fourth worst-hit country in terms of infections, with more than 7.5 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

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