TALUQAN, Afghanistan -- Taliban militants' attack on Darqad district of the northern Takhar province has been repulsed and the armed group after suffering casualties fled away, provincial government spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir said Saturday.
"The Taliban insurgents launched massive offensive to overrun the headquarters of Darqad district at 01:00 a.m. local time today and the security forces retaliated, forcing the insurgents to flee after suffering casualties," Asir told Xinhua.
- - - -
WASHINGTON -- U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar is resigning on Jan. 20, citing the violence on Capitol Hill last week, according to his resignation letter leaked Friday.
In the letter dated Jan. 12, Azar said "the actions and rhetoric following the election, especially during the past week, threaten to tarnish" the legacies of the administration of President Donald Trump, and "the attacks on the Capitol were an assault on our democracy and on the tradition of peaceful transitions of power."
"I implore you," Azar told Trump in the letter, "to continue to condemn unequivocally any form of violence, to demand that no one attempt to disrupt the (President-elect Joe Biden's) inaugural activities in Washington or elsewhere."
- - - -
COPENHAGEN -- An adverse reaction to the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine may be responsible for as many as 23 reported deaths among frail and elderly patients in nursing homes in Norway, said a press release from the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA) on Friday.
The studies on Comirnaty (Pfizer-BioNTech) included few participants aged over 85 and did not include patients with unstable or acute illness, according to NoMA.
"The assessment suggests that common adverse reactions to mRNA vaccines, such as fever and nausea, may have contributed to a fatal outcome in some frail patients," said Sigurd Hortemo, NoMA's chief physician.
- - - -
ADDIS ABABA -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi on Friday expressed concern over the humanitarian situation in Ethiopia's Tigray region and refugees hosted there.
"I remain extremely troubled by the humanitarian situation in the Tigray region of Ethiopia and its impact on civilians, in particular Eritrean refugees hosted in the region," Grandi said in a statement.