Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 0600 GMT, May 18

Asia

TALUQAN, Afghanistan — Seven pro-government local militiamen were killed and two others wounded in a Taliban militants’ ambush in Afghanistan’s northern Takhar province on Monday as fighting rages in the country, local police confirmed.

“A group of pro-government tribal militiamen, known as local uprising fighters, clashed with Taliban militants after the militants ambushed the group in surrounding areas of Khwaja Bahawoddin district this morning. The clashes lasted for more than one hour, leaving the casualties,” Abdul Khalil Asir, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Militiamen)

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NEW DELHI — India’s federal health ministry Monday morning said 157 new deaths due to COVID-19, besides fresh 5,242 positive cases were reported since Sunday in the country, taking the number of deaths to 3,029 and total cases to 96,169.

“As on 8:00 a.m. (local time) Monday, 3029 deaths related to novel Coronavirus have been recorded in the country,” reads information released by the ministry. (India-COVID-19)

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ISLAMABAD — Pakistan welcomed the signing of an agreement between political leaders in Afghanistan to end a political deadlock, the Foreign Ministry of Pakistan said Sunday night.

Afghan President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and his rival Abdullah Abdullah, who also claimed victory in the presidential election, inked an agreement on Sunday to end the political deadlock following last year’s presidential election, Afghan presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqqi said on Twitter. (Pakistan-Afghan Deal)

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CANBERRA — Voters have endorsed the Australian government’s response to the coronavirus crisis, according to a local opinion poll.

The latest Newspoll, which was published by the Australian on Monday, revealed that the governing Coalition leads the Opposition Labor Party 51-49 on a two-party preferred basis compared to 50-50 in late April. (Australia-Coronavirus Response)

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