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Saudi airstrikes on Yemen

Yemen’s health ministry says the death toll from the Saudi-led coalition’s latest airstrike on the country is likely to rise. The ministry says the toll now stands at 73. But it says many of the wounded, who are in critical condition, are likely to succumb to their injuries. Saudi warplanes bombed a prison in the northern city of Sa'ada in the early hours of Friday, killing dozens of people. At least three children also died in a separate air raid on telecommunications facilities in the western city of Hudaydah. The attack led to a nationwide internet blackout.

NATO- Russia standoff

The Russian foreign minister has once again dismissed Western claims that Moscow is planning to invade Ukraine. Sergei Lavrov made the remarks after a high-stakes meeting with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken in Geneva. Lavrov said talks with Blinken were open and useful. He added that Russia is concerned about weapons and Western military experts being sent to Ukraine, accusing NATO of working against his country. The US-Russia meeting comes amid rising tensions over Ukraine. The US and its allies say Russia is planning to use over 100,000 troops deployed near the Ukraine border for an invasion. Russia in turn accuses the West of plotting provocations in Ukraine. Russia wants binding security guarantees including a permanent ban on Ukraine’s membership in NATO. The US and the military alliance have rejected the demand warning that any attack on Ukraine would have costly consequence.

Tehran- Moscow ties

Tehran says Iran and Russia will have excellent cooperation in the new chapter of ties opened to them after the Iranian president’s visit to Moscow. In a tweet, Iranian Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian said he held important talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Thursday. The Iranian top diplomat said they discussed construction of new nuclear power plants in Iran as well as all-out expansion of cooperation. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi paid a two-day visit to Moscow this week. The presidents of Iran and Russia had assigned their foreign ministers to lay out a road map for mutual cooperation over the next two decades.

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