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Azerbaijan’s president has called on his French counterpart to apologize for his recent claims that Syrian soldiers have been funneled into the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh, where Baku is fighting against Armenian forces.

“There are no mercenaries. We have an army of 100,000 soldiers,” Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev said in an interview with Al Arabiya on Sunday. “I demand that France apologize and show responsibility.”

Last week, French President Emmanuel Macron made the headline-grabbing claim that he had “reliable information” indicating that members of certain Syrian “jihadist groups” had arrived in the flaming Nagorno-Karabakh hotspot through the southern Turkish city of Gaziantep. 

Armenia, whose forces are fighting a heavy battle over the disputed mountainous enclave with neighboring Azerbaijan, voiced similar allegations. It directly accused Turkey of ferrying in “mercenaries” to support its ally Azerbaijan’s war effort. Baku has brushed off those claims, dubbing them “cheap propaganda.” 

Officials in Baku maintain that the country’s military is well-staffed and doesn’t need any foreign manpower. “Azerbaijan doesn’t need any third-party participation,” Hikmet Hajiyev, a senior adviser to the president, told RT.

The nation of 10 million people has “enough of our own resources” and also “enough reserve potential” to carry on fighting, the official stated. He also insisted that Turkey, which reaffirmed its unwavering support for Azerbaijan, isn’t involved in the conflict “as a third party.” Ankara also denied sending Syrian mercenaries into Nagorno-Karabakh.

The semi-frozen conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh escalated dramatically on September 27, following an exchange of fire between the Azerbaijani and ethnic Armenian forces in the disputed region. Casualties mounted throughout last week as the rival sides deployed heavy weapons systems on the frontline and engaged in conventional warfare involving tank skirmishes, as wel

With its first international news channel launched in 2005, RT is now a global, round-the-clock news network of eight TV channels, broadcasting news, current affairs, and documentaries, with digital platforms in six languages and RUPTLY video news agency. Round-the-clock news channels in English, Arabic, Spanish, and documentary channel RT Doc, in English and Russian, broadcast from Moscow, while RT America airs from Washington, RT UK from London, and RT France from Paris. Today, RT is available in more than 100 countries spanning five continents.

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Pakistan blast: At least seven dead in Peshawar school attack

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At least seven people have died after an explosion during a class at a religious school in Pakistan, police have said.

Children of various age groups are among the dead, an officer at the scene told the BBC.

Dozens of others were injured in the attack, which took place in the northern city of Peshawar.

No group has yet claimed responsibility. An investigation has been launched.

The city of Peshawar, close to the Afghan border, has seen some of the worst of the violence during the Taliban insurgency in recent years.

Six years ago, gunmen stormed a military school in the city leaving more than 150 dead, including many children.

What happened?

The blast took place at about 08:30 local time (03:30 GMT), police told the BBC.

About 60 people are understood to have been in the class at the religious school, known as a madrassa.

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An eyewitness has told the police he saw a man enter the building with a bag of explosives shortly before the blast.

news agency that two teachers were injured.

Hospital officials told Reuters news agency that they had received dozens of injured, many with burns.

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Duterte seeks best Covid vaccine deal but ‘will not beg’ or allow private suppliers to rip off Philippines

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Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said he would pursue a direct government-to-government deal for a coronavirus vaccine with either China or Russia, warning that ‘corrupt’ private suppliers could try to swindle his country.

“Let me tell everybody that we will not beg, we will pay,” Duterte said in a televised address on Monday night, adding that while Manila is not seeking charity it also aims to sign a direct government-to-government deal without intermediaries.

The president did not indicate the status of vaccine negotiations with Beijing or Moscow, saying he merely mentioned the two countries as possible sources out of a “sense of urgency,” and that “all options” were still on the table. 

The one that could give us the best interest for the country will be chosen.

Duterte stressed the need to obtain an inoculation directly from a friendly foreign state, rather than a private business, warning that such transactions could only bring “trouble” and that a government deal would mean “no corruption.”




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Western pharma is ‘all about profit’: Philippines’ Duterte vows to solely procure coronavirus vaccines from Russia & China



Under its proposed national budget for 2021, Manila will devote some 2.5 billion Philippine pesos ($51.6 million) to vaccine procurement, which Duterte said would be overseen by Finance Secretary Carlos ‘Sonny’ Dominguez III.

“Since he is going to pay, I will listen to Sonny. If there are no funds, he will go to jail,” the president said, apparently threatening prison time for a member of his own cabinet.

Duterte previously torched Western pharma firms developing coronavirus immunizations, saying they were “all about profit,” pointing to some companies who asked for a “cash advance before they deliver the vaccine.” The leader gave a stern warning to any company who offered similar proposals, vowing “I’ll kick your a**.”

Though the president has offered to be the first in his country to take the jab developed in Russia, Sputnik V, it is not clear whether such an arrangement has been made. However, Moscow’s ambassador to the island nation, Igor Khovaev, recently stated the jab could be available to the Philippines by the end of the year.




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Sputnik V questions ANSWERED: Head of team financing world’s first Covid-19 vaccine explains formula to critics



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At least 7 killed, 70 wounded after bomb goes off at religious school in Pakistan – hospital official

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At least seven people were killed and more than 70 wounded in an explosion inside a seminary in northern Pakistan on Tuesday morning. Children are among the victims.

The blast took place in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Senior police official Wagar Azim told AFP that a bomb brought inside the Speen Jammat mosque, which also functions as a religious school for local children, went off in the middle of Quran studi

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