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Bomb at Pakistan political rally kills at least 40

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At least 40 people have been killed in an explosion in Pakistan during a rally organised by an Islamist party.

Dozens of people were also injured in the explosion in north-west Bajaur district, where Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI) was holding a meeting.

Authorities have cordoned off the area and have warned the death toll is likely to rise further.

A rescue operation to assist the injured is ongoing and police have not yet confirmed the cause of the blast.

Images being broadcast on local TV show ambulances ferrying injured people to hospitals in the Pakistani tribal district of Bajaur, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province near the border with Afghanistan.

Some badly injured people have been waiting in the hallways of health clinics struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

The authorities have declared a health emergency at the district hospital.

A regional leader of the JUI, Maulana Ziaullah, was killed in the blast, local officials have said.

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Health Ministry’s Additional Secretary Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrested

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The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) arrested Additional Secretary of the Health Ministry Dr. Saman Ratnayake over the import of substandard human Immunoglobulin injections.

The arrest was made after Dr. Saman Ratnayake arrived at the CID to provide a statement.

Several key individuals including former Health Minister Keheliya Rambukwella, Former Health Secretary, the Medical Supplies Division Director are currently in remand custody over the Immunoglobulin scandal.

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Dickwella replaces Kusal in SL T20 Squad

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The Cricket Selection Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket has announced Niroshan Dickwella as the replacement for Kusal Janith Perera in the upcoming Twenty20 International (T20I) Series against Bangladesh.

The series is scheduled to commence on Monday in Sylhet.

Kusal Janith Perera, originally included in the T20I squad, will miss the series due to a respiratory infection.

Perera did not join the team on their departure to Bangladesh on Thursday. 

In light of his absence, Niroshan Dickwella has been named as the replacement and is expected to join the team ahead of the first T20I match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in Sylhet.

The T20I series against Bangladesh consists of three matches, with the second and third T20Is scheduled for March 6 and 9, respectively, at the same venue.

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Scholarship exam, GCE O/L, A/L dates released

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The Examination Department has announced the schedule for several key examinations for the year 2024.

Accordingly, the GCE (O/L) Examinations 2023 is scheduled to take place from May 6th to May 15th while Grade 5 Scholarship Examinations 2024 is set for September 15th, 2024.

In addition, the GCE (A/L) Examinations 2024 will run from November 25th to December 20th, 2024.

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