The world news daily digest update from Guardian Liberty Voice for July 31, 2014 covers the stories from Iraq, Libya and India. In Iraq, a Hezbollah commander has reportedly been killed. Libya is on the brink of self-destruction, as the fighting intensifies in the region. In a small village in India, a landslide caused by a monsoon has killed at least 30 people with death toll expected to increase.
Hezbollah Commander Killed in Iraq
A commander for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, was reportedly killed during a “jihadi mission” in Iraq. Mohammed al-Haj was killed sometime in the past week, according to officials close with the Shiite Hezbollah. This marks the first known death in Iraq for Hezbollah since Sunni extremists captured areas of northern Iraq. Hezbollah militants took on the role of advisers in order to help the Iraqi Shiite militias fight the Sunni extremists, however it is unknown if any Hezbollah militants are fighting alongside the Iraqi Shiite militia.
Hezbollah is considered to be more powerful than the Lebanese army, and is well-known around the world for its participation in the Arab conflicts. In 2006, Hezbollah members, including Mohammed al-Haj, crossed into Israel and captured two Israeli soldiers. The act led to a 34-day war between Hezbollah and Israel. Al-Haj’s funeral was aired on the local television channel where he was described as killed while “performing his jihadi duties”.
Violence in Libya Worsens
Libya is on the brink of collapse following country’s worst fighting since the ousting of Moammar Gadhafi. With nearly 100 dead and more than 400 injured, it is expected that the death toll will rise as the fighting continues. The main airport in Tripoli has been destroyed, while a massive blaze at the fuel depot nearby is out of control. The interim government in Libya is weak, with lawmakers struggling to find a safe location for the first sitting of the House of Representatives.
The increased fighting has forced an evacuation various world representatives, including many of the Western embassies and members of the United Nations. The increased fighting in Libya has proved to be an embarrassment for governments that provided aid to rebels which wanted to topple the Gadhafi government. As the violence threatens to destabilize the region, experts on Libya believe that the country is close to becoming a failed state.
Rain Triggers Major Landslide in India
Heavy rain has triggered a landslide in the Malin village near Pune, India on early Wednesday morning. Although rescue work is underway, with as many as 300 people helping dig out the bodies, it is hampered by rain and muddy terrain. Close to 200 sleeping villagers became trapped under the mound of debris, mud and stones, and as many as 70 houses have been destroyed by the slide. It is believed that many houses are covered by 15 feet of mud.
By early Thursday, the death toll rose to 31 with at least 150 people still missing and many are beginning to lose hope. In some cases, entire families have been killed, while in others relatives of those confirmed killed are unable to carry out the funeral rites due to the heavy rain. Namdeo Jandhare lost 11 members of his family, surviving only because he was out of town that day.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended his condolences to those who were devastated by the landslide. Patangrao Kadam, the Relief and Rehabilitation Minister in the region, has issued a statement saying that government help will be provided to survivors and relatives of the victims in every possible way.
World News Digest Commentary by Ivelina Kunina
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