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Suarez on target twice for Barça

first_img In yesterday’s other quarter-final match, Arturo Vidal’s early header was enough for Bayern Munich to beat Benfica 1-0 at home for a slender advantage. The Chilean midfielder struck in the second minute, heading home from five metres after being picked out by Juan Bernat. Vidal had most of the chances for the rest of the game, with Benfica’s defenders doing well to stifle Robert Lewandowski and Thomas M¸ller, the home side’s top-scoring forwards. Lewandowski missed the best opportunity to wrap it up in the final minutes, when he sent a wayward pass for Philipp Lahm with an open goal beckoning. Bayern are bidding to reach their fifth consecutive semi-final, while the Portuguese league leaders are hoping to reach their first since 1990. BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Luis Suarez scored two second-half goals to lead Barcelona to a 2-1 comeback victory over 10-man Atletico Madrid in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final yesterday. Fernando Torres opened the scoring in the 25th minute, but quickly went from hero to villain for Atletico when two reckless tackles saw him sent off in the 35th. Atletico resisted the defending champions’ push for an equaliser until Suarez finally levelled with an opportunistic goal in the 63rd. Suarez then put Barcelona ahead in the 74th when he played Dani Alves wide before sending the Brazil defender’s cross past goalkeeper Jan Oblak with an unstoppable header. Early headerlast_img read more

J&K on alert after IAF strikes, NIA raids separatists’ houses

first_imgThe J&K government appealed for calm on Tuesday as many departments in the State were put on a general alert in the wake of the Indian Air Force’s pre-dawn cross-border strikes at a training camp of the Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) in Balakot in Pakistan.Separately, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) conducted searches at the residences of seven separatist leaders in Srinagar.The NIA’s searches, which commenced early on Tuesday morning, were simultaneously conducted at the homes of Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, JKLF chief Yasin Malik, Tehreek-e-Hurriyat leader Ashraf Sehrai, Shabir Shah, Masarat Aalam Butt, Syed Naseem Geelani (son of Syed Ali Shah Geelani) and Zaffar Akbar Bhat.“The NIA teams recovered incriminating documents, including property papers, financial transactions receipts and bank account details,” the NIA said in a statement. “Electronic devices including laptops, e-tablets, mobile phones, pen drives, communication systems and DVRs were also seized during the searches,” it added.The NIA said letterheads of different terrorist organisations as well as documents relating to recommendations for visas for admission in Pakistani educational institutions were also found. “A high-tech Internet communication set-up was also recovered from the residence of Mirwaiz Umar,” it added.In a statement, the umbrella Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL) comprising the Mirwaiz, Mr. Malik and Mr. Geelani, termed the NIA searches as “an act of vengeance”.“The clampdown and threats to tinker with Article 35A were aimed to break the nerves of people,” the JRL said in the statement. “Kashmir will observe a complete shutdown on February 27-28 against it. Our lives, families, existence, resistance and everything is in danger,” they added.Meanwhile, an eerie calm prevailed in the Kashmir Valley as people stocked up on essentials in the wake of the Indian strikes. Offices and markets, however, remained open and traffic plied normally.Ceasefire violationsThe Army on Tuesday said Pakistan’s Army had violated the ceasefire agreement on the Line of Control (LoC) in the Pir Panjal valley’s Rajouri and Poonch districts and in Jammu’s Akhnoor.The ceasefire violations by Pakistan had been reported along the LoC in Akhnoor, Nowshera and Krishna Ghati sectors, a Jammu-based Army spokesman said in a statement.“Around 5:30 p.m., Pakistan initiated an unprovoked ceasefire violation by heavy shelling with mortars and firing of small arms along the LoC,” the Army said. “Indian Army is retaliating strongly and effectively.”The LoC stretches for 700 km in J&K.Earlier in the day, the director of Sher-e-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences (SKIMS) Soura, the valley’s main hospital, cancelled leave and the second half of the scheduled winter vacation holidays for all its staff.With the government issuing a general alert across J&K, the State’s chief secretary B.V.R. Subrahmanyam urged people to remain calm and not to believe rumours.“It is necessary that people remain stress free and go about their normal activities. In case there is anything to be communicated regarding people’s safety and security, the government will do so directly through media,” he said.Cross-LoC trade continuesThe escalation between India and Pakistan on Tuesday did not impact the cross-LoC trade.“The exchange of goods was not affected. Thirty-five trucks crossed from this side and an equal number from that into Kashmir,” said Hilal Turki, president, Cross-LoC Traders Union.last_img read more

In Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib, tussle over ‘outsider’ tag

first_imgAs campaigning picks up pace for the Lok Sabha poll in Punjab’s Anandpur Sahib, sitting Shiromani Akali Dal MP Prem Singh Chandumajra and Congress candidate Manish Tewari are engaged in a fierce battle of words, tagging each other as “outsider”.The electoral battle in one of the holiest places of the Sikhs has turned into a multi-cornered contest with candidates of the Congress, the SAD, the Aam Aadmi Party and the breakaway faction of Akali Dal — the Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali) — and others in the fray.With the Congress fielding Mr. Tewari, the SAD has been attacking him for being an “outsider” to the Lok Sabha seat.“These elections are going to be a referendum on the non-performance of the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre. Several villages in the constituency are boycotting Mr. Chandumajra and he has realised that given the anger against him, due to his non-performance, he is going to lose badly in the election. Fearing an apparent defeat, Mr. Chandumajra and his party are calling me an ‘outsider’, which is absurd,” Mr. Tiwari told The Hindu.“I was born and brought up in Chandigarh, which is surrounded by the Anandpur Sahib parliamentary constituency from three sides, so how come I am an outsider?. In fact, Mr. Chandumajra is an outsider as he belongs to Patiala,” added Mr. Tewari.Mr. Chandumajra has been hitting out at the Congress for fielding an “outsider”, saying that it reflects that the Congress has dearth of leaders in Anandpur Sahib. Among the other candidates in the fray for the May 19 election are AAP’s Narinder Shergill and Bir Davinder Singh of the SAD (Taksali).last_img read more