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Four children dead and several people injured as train collides with a school bus in France

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A school bus and a regional train have collided in southern France, killing four children and critically injuring seven other people on the bus, the French interior ministry said.

Photos from the scene tweeted by a local television station showed the train derailed and the bus shorn in half.

Nine other people on the school bus and three on the train had less severe injuries.

It happened on a railway crossing in the small village of Millas some nine miles west of Perpignan, close to the border with Spain.

Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne and Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer were at the scene along with 70 firefighters, 10 emergency ambulances and four helicopters.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe was en route.

French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted: “All my thoughts go to the victims of this terrible accident and their families. The government is fully mobilised to give them emergency help.”

France’s SNCF national rail authority said witnesses described the crossing gates as functioning properly at the time the train crashed into the bus.

An SNCF official said the train normally travels at 80km per hour at the location of the crash near Perpignan.

The official said “several witnesses said the barrier was down” at the time of the crash. She said 25 people were on the train at the time and are “totally shocked”.

She said that the crossing is “well-equipped” with flashing lights and the latest technology. She said it would be up to an investigation to determine whether everything functioned properly at the time of the accident this evening.

 French authorities say four children have died in a “serious rail accident” in southern France involving a school bus and a regional train.

The Pyrenees-Orientales authority tweeted that the collision occurred this afternoon on a railway crossing at a small town about nine miles west of Perpignan, close to the border with Spain.

Nineteen others are injured.

A transport minister’s called it a ‘terrible accident’.

Emergency services have been deployed to the site of the accident.

Motherland News

UN reports about 900 fatalities in DR Congo’s ethnic violence.

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The united nations report that at least 890 people were killed in over just 3 days in ethnic violence in western DRC in mid-december.

The UN Human Rights Office reports the violence took place in four villages between Banunu and Batende communities.



The UN however warns the death toll could be higher. But there seems to be conflicting death tolls for the violence.

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A local priest and a civil society activist earlier in the week said at least 400 people had died in bloodshed that even led to the government canceling voting in last month’s presidential polls.

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The UN insists that 890 is the number of people known to have been buried.

The recent attack from the ethnic clashes in Yumbi, Mai-Ndombe Province allegedly started when members of the Banunu tribe wanted to bury one of their traditional chiefs on Batende land.

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Motherland News

Britain, UN worry over Internet shutdown in Zimbabwe.

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In the wake of deadly protests against a fuel price hike, and an ongoing internet shutdown in Zimbabwe, the United Nations has urged the government to stop “excessive use of force” by security forces including firing live ammunition.

The government has said three people died during demonstrations that broke out on Monday after President Emmerson Mnangagwa raised fuel prices by 150 percent.

Lawyers and activists say the toll was much higher and that security forces used violence and carried out mass arrests to quell the unrest.



The internet was cut off earlier this week, with critics saying the government sought to prevent images of its heavy-handedness in dealing with protesters from being broadcast around the world.

Leading mobile operator Econet Wireless said the government had ordered it to shut down services.

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“We were served with another directive for total shutdown of the internet until further notice,” Econet said in a statement.

“Our lawyers advised that we are required to comply with the directive pending the court’s decision on its legality.”

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Friday’s fuller internet shutdown also affected emails.

Due to the shutdown, Harare banks were providing only partial services and no cash machines were working, a witness said, while long queues formed at petrol stations and shops.

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