Fire At Overcrowded Indonesian Prison Kills 41

Officials inspect the damage at the prison. (Photo: Ministry of Law and Human Rights Indonesia)



A fire tore through an overcrowded Indonesian prison in the early hours of Wednesday when most inmates were asleep, killing 41 people and injuring dozens of others, an official said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze — which was mostly contained within one block that housed prisoners jailed on drug charges — at around 3 am (2000 GMT Tuesday) and evacuated the victims.

Television footage showed a massive fire raging through the prison block with thick smoke billowing from the building.

“Forty died on the scene and one died on his way to the hospital,” said Yasonna Laoly, Indonesia’s justice minister, adding that eight were seriously injured and 31 sustained minor injuries.

Jakarta police chief Fadil Imran earlier told media that 72 had minor injuries.

Authorities were still investigating the cause of the incident at Tangerang Penitentiary, just outside the capital Jakarta, but suspected an electrical fault may have been to blame.

“Based on early observation, it is suspected (the fire) happened because of a short circuit,” Imran said.

Laoly said the prison’s electrical system had not been upgraded since it was built over 40 years ago, in 1972.

“The fire spread quickly and there was no time to open some cells… When the guards found out, the fire had already spread, and that’s where we found the victims,” Laoly added.

He said police had started identifying victims but that DNA testing would probably be needed for some of the bodies that were hard to recognise.

Marlinah, who like many Indonesians goes by one name, raced to the local hospital after officials called her home to say her younger brother Muhammad Yusuf had died.

“I just hope the procedure is not complicated so I can bring my brother’s body home for burial,” she said, tearing up.

Laoly confirmed that there were two foreign nationals, a South African and a Portuguese, among the dead, but did not elaborate on their convictions.

He said he was coordinating with Indonesia’s foreign ministry as well as relevant embassies and consulates to organise repatriation or burial.

Among the dead, one was convicted on a terrorism charge, one for murder and multiple others on drug charges.

“I would like to convey deepest condolences to the victims’ families, I don’t want this to happen again,” Laoly said.

– Overcrowded –
The penitentiary department’s website showed the jail had just over 2,000 inmates, more than three times as many prisoners than it was designed to hold.

The block where the fire broke out had a maximum capacity of 40 prisoners but housed 120, penitentiary directorate general spokesperson Rika Aprianti told Metro TV.

Overcrowded, unsanitary conditions are common in Indonesian prisons, which contain about 270,000 inmates, and jailbreaks are frequent.

In 2019, at least 100 prisoners escaped from a jail in Riau province, Sumatra after a riot and fire broke out.

In April last year, Indonesia released about 29,000 inmates in a bid to stop Covid-19 from rampaging through a prison system known for its unsanitary conditions.

Safety measures are often lacking in the Southeast Asian country of nearly 270 million.

In 2019, 30 people — including several children — were killed when a matchstick factory exploded in North Sumatra after a worker accidentally dropped a lighter on some flammable materials.

Indonesian Army Scraps ‘Virginity Tests’ On Female Cadets

The Indonesian flag.


Indonesia’s army has stopped imposing so-called “virginity tests” on female recruits, its chief said Thursday, following calls from rights groups to ban the invasive vaginal exams.

The military had long defended the unscientific “two-finger test” to check if a cadet’s hymen was intact as a way to weed out recruits whose past sexual behaviour, they said, would damage its image.

The National Commission on Violence Against Women (Komnas Perempuan) welcomed the news — calling the tests “discriminatory and intrusive” — but cautioned they needed evidence the practice had ended.

Army chief of staff Andika Perkasa said Thursday that the tests, which had been standard practice for decades, had been abolished earlier this year but did not specify a date.

“Previously, it was part of the assessment (for female recruits), but now we are no longer doing it,” he told reporters in Balikpapan on Indonesia’s section of Borneo island.

“The army always tries to learn and improve things within the organisation,” he added.

The practice of subjecting the fiances of servicemen to such exams had also been ditched, the army’s commander said.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Condemns Assault On Diplomat By Indonesian Officials

Indonesia’s Komnas Perempuan urged the army to put the pledge into written regulations, and for the air force and navy to do the same.

“We need certainty that the ‘virginity test’ has been ended,” commission head Theresia Iswarini told AFP on Thursday before Perkasa’s announcement.

“This test is discriminatory and intrusive. It can bring shame, fear and trauma for victims.”

Human Rights Watch, which has labelled the practice a “form of gender-based violence”, welcomed the news.

The World Health Organization has said the procedure lacks scientific validity and was not a reliable indicator of prior sexual intercourse.

A petition to end the practice on, which has nearly 70,000 signatures, said the procedure was “painful, humiliating, and lacks the support of scientific evidence”.


Indonesia Formally Apologises To Nigeria Over Manhandling Of Diplomat

A screenshot taken on August 9, 2021, shows the Nigerian diplomat being assaulted by immigration officials in Indonesia in a moving vehicle.


Indonesia has formally apologised over the manhandling of a Nigerian diplomat in the South-East Asia country.

A viral of video of Mr. Mohammed Buba, an accredited Nigerian diplomat, being rough-handled by Indonesian immigration officials, had surfaced online earlier, prompting Nigeria to threaten to review its relationship with the country.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs regrets the incident on August 7th,” Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Teuku Faizasyah said, the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Nigerian Govt Condemns Assault On Diplomat By Indonesian Officials

“This is an isolated incident, and is in no way related to the commitment of the Indonesian government in carrying out its obligations as host country or in accordance with the Vienna convention on diplomatic relations.”

Faizasyah added that Indonesia has launched a formal investigation into the incident.

‘Unfortunate incident’

Nigeria’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had condemned the incident, which took place on Saturday.

The viral video of the event shows at least three men in a vehicle assaulting the Mr Buba, ignoring his screams of pain.


While two of the men held his hands and pinned him down in the backseat, another freely assaulted his unprotected head as he cried out in pain.

“The unfortunate incident is against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between states,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday.

Nigeria Threatens To Review Relationship With Indonesia After Assault On Diplomat


The Federal Government has threatened to review its relationship with Indonesia if it fails to bring the Indonesian immigration officials that assaulted a Nigerian diplomat to book.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, stated this at a briefing in Abuja on Tuesday.

Nigeria has also summoned its ambassador to Indonesia to give a detailed account of the assault, which has sparked outrage after a video of it went viral.

“There was absolutely no justification whatsoever for this kind of behaviour against not only a Nigerian diplomat but any Nigerian at all. It was totally unacceptable,” the Minister said.

“What we’ve decided to do is to recall (for consultations immediately), our Nigerian ambassador in Jakarta in Indonesia and we will have full consultations at the highest level and decide what next steps to take including a review of our relations with Indonesia”.

Mr Onyeama’s briefing follows Monday’s statement by his Ministry condemning the assault.

In that statement, the Foreign Affairs Ministry said the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria has apologised and that the immigration officials involved had also visited the Nigerian Embassy in Indonesia to apologise to the diplomat.

But Mr Onyeama told journalists in Abuja that the Federal Government wanted stronger action to be taken by the Indonesian Government.

The officials must be sanctioned, he said, adding that Indonesia’s failure to do so will have consequences for the relationship between both countries.

Shocking Assault

A video of the incident which went viral showed at least three men, identified later as immigration officials, in a vehicle assaulting the Nigerian diplomat and ignoring his screams of pain.

While two of the men held his hands and pinned him down in the backseat, another freely assaulted his unprotected head as he cried out in pain.

Watch the video below (Viewer discretion advised).

“The unfortunate incident is against international law and the Vienna Conventions governing Diplomatic and Consular Relations between states,” the Nigerian Foreign Affairs Ministry said in its statement on Monday.

It also noted that the Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria who was summoned by the Foreign Affairs Minister had apologised.

“The Ambassador explained what he understood happened and apologised unreservedly on behalf of the Government of Indonesia. The Nigerian Government has sent an official protest to the Government of Indonesia,” the ministry said.

COVID-19: Indonesia Records 100,000 Deaths

This aerial picture shows the graves of the victims of the COVID-19 coronavirus at the Rorotan cemetery, in Jakarta, on August 4, 2021.


Indonesia’s coronavirus death toll topped 100,000 on Wednesday as the country struggles to control the spread of the Delta variant.

Southeast Asia’s biggest economy has now detected Delta in dozens of regions since it was first found in the archipelago in June.

Scores of Indonesians are dying at home, unable to access hospital care or medical oxygen supplies as health care facilities are stretched to the limit.

More than 3.5 million infections have been recorded to date though official figures are widely believed to be an underestimate.

“The deaths happened… mainly because of lateness to recognise the severity of the symptoms and to refer patients,” said Covid-19 taskforce spokeswoman Siti Nadia Tarmizi.

Indonesia reported 1,747 new deaths on Wednesday, bringing its total to 100,636.


Relatives pray after lowering the coffin of a victim of the COVID-19 coronavirus at a cemetery at Darul Imarah the outskirt of Banda Aceh on August 4, 2021.


LaporCovid, an NGO that has developed a citizen reporting platform for Covid-19 data, said more than 2,600 patients died at home between the beginning of June and July 24.

Indonesia announced stricter restrictions on July 3 and has extended the policy twice in areas where infection numbers and hospital bed occupancy rates are high.

Offices, shopping malls, and schools are closed while dining in at restaurants is limited to 20 minutes.

The curbs have started to take a toll on the country’s economy which entered a recession at the end of last year for the first time since the 1997 Asian financial crisis.

“Financially, it really affects me. I have very few customers because people don’t go to the office,” Dicky, a ride-hailing driver who like many Indonesians goes by just one name, told AFP.

The country aims to vaccinate 208 million of its 270 million citizens but the vaccination rate remains far below the government’s one-million-a-day target.

Only about eight percent of the population have been fully inoculated.


Indonesia Imports Oxygen As COVID-19 Batters Hospitals

Hospital kitchen workers clad in full PPE deliver meals to COVID-19 coronavirus patients at an isolation section of Bogor general hospital in Bogor, West Java on April 23, 2020. ADITYA AJI / AFP
File Photo: ADITYA AJI / AFP


Indonesia is sourcing emergency oxygen for virus patients from neighbouring Singapore, the government said Tuesday, as the 24-hour toll soared to a record 728 deaths and hospitals crumble under the weight of its deadliest Covid-19 wave yet.

Jakarta warned that it was bracing for a spike driven by the highly infectious Delta variant that could send cases skyrocketing to more than 50,000 a day.

Hospitals in the hard-hit capital were topping 90 percent occupancy while more than a dozen facilities in Indonesia’s second-biggest city Surabaya are now full and not taking any more patients, authorities said.

A Surabaya hospital spokeswoman described jammed ICUs and exhausted doctors, some infected with Covid-19.

“The hospital no longer has rooms for patients who need ventilators. The ICU rooms are also full,” said the woman who asked not to be identified.

“We’re overwhelmed. Many of our health workers have collapsed from exhaustion and some are also infected. We trying to get volunteers to help out because many of the staff are down.”

READ ALSO: Philippines Retrieves Crashed Military Plane’s Black Boxes

Nearly 1,000 Indonesian medical workers have died of Covid-19, including more than a dozen who were already fully inoculated.

Desperate families are hunting for oxygen tanks to treat the sick and dying at home, as authorities scramble to enforce new virus curbs to bring down record daily cases, which soared Tuesday to 31,189 new infections and 728 deaths — as much as seven times the daily mortality rate less than a month ago.

On Tuesday, Jakarta said about 10,000 concentrators — devices that generate oxygen — were to be shipped from nearby Singapore with some arriving by a Hercules cargo plane earlier.

The government was also in talks with other countries including China for help, it said.

Jakarta has ordered all the nation’s oxygen supplies to be directed to hospitals overflowing with virus patients as the Delta variant ripples across Indonesia’s main Java island, home to more than half of the country’s nearly 270 million people.

“The team is preparing for a scenario of up to 50,000 cases a day, maybe even 60,000 to 70,000 per day at worst,” said senior minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, tasked with enforcing new virus rules.

“But we hope that won’t happen.”

Offices, mosques, parks, shopping malls and restaurants have been shuttered across Java under new curbs that started from the weekend.

But there have been widespread violations.

Authorities in Java’s Semarang city fired water hoses at shops that have refused to close, while Jakarta’s governor Anies Baswedan on Tuesday ordered dozens of offices sealed after some employers ignored work-from-home orders.

The world’s fourth most populous nation has seen its daily caseload soar in recent weeks with its tally at more than 2.3 million cases and 61,686 deaths.

That figure is widely believed to be a severe undercount due to low testing and poor tracing measures.

“The Delta variant has been a major blow to our health system…There is no way to get the situation under control” at current testing levels, said public health expert Hermawan Saputra.

Daily Covid-19 burials in Jakarta are up 10-fold since May, the government has said.

Indonesia is scrambling to innoculate over 180 million people by early next year.

But so far, only about five percent of the total population has received two jabs.


Indonesia Hits Two Million COVID-19 Cases As Crisis Deepens

File photo: Health officials take samples of saliva and nasal fluid from a resident (L) to test for the COVID-19 coronavirus in Tangerang on April 2, 2020. FAJRIN RAHARJO / AFP.


Indonesia passed two million coronavirus cases Monday as infection rates soar and hospitals are flooded with new patients, prompting warnings that the Southeast Asian nation’s health crisis could spiral out of control.

The unwanted milestone comes after daily case rates more than doubled in recent weeks and authorities identified the presence of highly infectious Covid-19 variants.

On Monday, official figures showed that Indonesia had recorded a daily record high of 14,536 cases, taking the total to just over two million with nearly 55,000 deaths, among a population of nearly 270 million.

But those figures are widely thought to be a severe undercount, due to low testing and contact tracing — some experts have said that official cases may only be about 10 percent of the real number.

“It’s starting to bubble up to the surface, like a time bomb,” said Windhu Purnomo, an epidemiologist at Indonesia’s Airlangga University.

“This is just the beginning. Depending on how things are handled, we could end up with a major explosion like in India.”

Case numbers are spiking as Indonesia grapples with new virus strains, including the highly infectious Delta variant first identified in India.

The rise has also been blamed on millions travelling across the Muslim-majority nation at the end of Ramadan, despite an official ban on the annual migration.

Hospital occupancy rates have soared to over 75 percent in Jakarta and other hard-hit areas, while funerals for Covid-19 victims have also reportedly jumped.

“It’s worrying,” Jakarta resident Rahmani told AFP at a cemetery where he attended the funeral of a relative who died of the virus.

“As good citizens we have to follow government orders to obey health protocols.”

– Younger victims –

The Indonesian Medical Association said the variants appeared to be sickening younger people.

“Previously, Covid-19 patients were elderly or those with [pre-existing conditions],” the association’s Covid-19 spokeswoman Erlina Burhan said earlier.

“But since the virus variants were detected, a lot of patients were younger” and did not have pre-existing conditions, she added.

Widespread rule-breaking on mask-wearing and other health protocols, as well as vaccine scepticism, are among factors cited for the worsening situation.

The World Health Organization has called for tougher movement restrictions.

Indonesia’s government, widely criticised for a weak pandemic response, said Monday it would temporarily beef up restrictions in the capital Jakarta and other hot spots — but enforcement has been lacklustre.

While Indonesia has not put major cities under the kind of strict measures rolled out in some virus-hit nations, dozens of communities in Central Java’s Kudus regency were put into lockdown after the Delta variant was spotted in local testing samples.

And a rash of severe cases in inoculated medical workers has raised questions about the China-produced Sinovac jab, which Indonesia is heavily relying on to vaccinate more than 180 million people by early next year.

This month, more than 300 vaccinated doctors and health-care workers in Central Java were found to have been infected with Covid-19, with about a dozen hospitalised.

Nearly 1,000 Indonesian health workers have died from the virus since the pandemic started.

Indonesia is ramping up inoculations by expanding the programme to anyone over 18 and eyeing incentives, such as giving away free live chickens to older people willing to get jabbed, in a rural part of West Java.

But there is widespread misinformation about the pandemic, and many are sceptical about vaccines.

“I’m convinced that we don’t need to react excessively,” said Jakarta-area resident Rateka Winner Lee.

“My wife and I both had Covid-19 before so we already have the natural vaccine inside our body.”


Nearly 300 Rescued In Indonesia Ferry Accident

This handout photo taken on May 29, 2021 and released by National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) shows smoke billowing from the KM Karya Indah ferry sailing in the Molucca sea heading for Sanana, a port on the island of Limafatola, when a fire broke out with 275 people on board, all have been rescued but one is still reported missing. (Photo by HANDOUT / National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) / AFP)


Search teams are looking for one missing person after rescuing all other passengers from a large ferry that caught fire in Indonesia, an official said Sunday.

The KM Karya Indah was heading to Sanana, a remote port in the northeast of the Indonesian archipelago when it was engulfed in flames.

Shortly after departing, the ferry caught fire, forcing passengers and crew to jump into the sea to save themselves. There are no reported casualties.

“There were 275 people on board, 274 had been evacuated safely,” Muhammad Arafah, the head of the local search and rescue team told Kompas TV Sunday. “One person, a 43-year-old man, is still being searched for.” He added that at least 35 passengers were children.

READ ALSO: France Threatens To Pull Troops Out Of Mali

Dozens of rescuers are still scouring the area for the missing person.

Images shared by the search and rescue agency showed the large ferryboat enveloped in thick, dark smoke while passengers in life jackets were rescued by rafts.

More than a dozen crew members have been detained and questioned by the local police to determine the cause of the fire.

Maritime accidents are common in Indonesia due to poor safety standards. But passenger ferries are widely used for transport in the archipelago of some 17,000 islands.

In 2019, 21 people died when an overloaded ferry sank in rough seas off Java’s north coast.

In 2018, around 160 people drowned when an Indonesian ferry sank into the depths of one of the world’s deepest lakes on Sumatra island. And more than 300 people are estimated to have drowned in 2009 when a ferry sank between Sulawesi and Borneo.


Selfie Accident Claims Five Lives

This aerial photo taken on May 27, 2021 shows the collapsed jetty on Lake Kandi in Padang, West Sumatra where five tourists died as they tried to take pictures together — the second selfie-attempt accidents in two weeks. (Photo by Adi Prima / AFP)



Five members of an Indonesian family drowned when a dock where they were taking a selfie collapsed, police said Thursday, just weeks after a similar fatal accident.

The family of 14 were at picturesque Kandi Lake in West Sumatra when they gathered on the wooden structure to take a group photo, but their combined weight brought it down, police said.

A 17-year-old was among the five who drowned while the rest of the family survived the Wednesday accident.

“They were taking a selfie on the dock when the incident happened,” said local police chief Junaidi Nur, who added that it was after closing hours so no security was at the site.

A rescue effort later retrieved the bodies and an investigation was being carried out, Nur said.

This month, nine tourists drowned after their overloaded boat capsized when they were attempting a selfie in a reservoir on Java island.

Indonesia Arrests Four For Stealing Vaccines Meant For Prisoners



Four people have been arrested in Indonesia for allegedly stealing Covid-19 vaccines marked for prisoners and selling them to the public, authorities said Tuesday.

The suspects took more than 1,000 doses made by China’s Sinovac from the prisoners’ quota, offering them to buyers in the capital Jakarta and in North Sumatra’s Medan city for around 250,000 rupiah ($17) each.

The four arrested included a doctor at a prison in Medan and a local health official, police said. They could face a life sentence if convicted under Indonesia’s anti-corruption law.

“One of the suspects brought the vaccines to Jakarta where we also uncovered some locations providing the service,” North Sumatra police spokesman Hadi Wahyudi told AFP Tuesday.

READ ALSO: Australia To Close Embassy In Afghanistan Over Security Fears

Indonesia has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic, and it is rolling out a massive vaccination programme for many of its nearly 270 million people.

Citizens get shots at no cost.

But tens of millions are still waiting for their jabs, with limited supplies prioritised for frontline health workers and other high-risk groups — including the inmates at Indonesia’s overcrowded prisons.

The country’s prison system is notorious for poor conditions and rights groups have warned about the risk of coronavirus outbreaks in jails across the archipelago.

The arrests come after a separate vaccine scandal in North Sumatra this month, when police said they found health workers at Medan’s airport were recycling cotton swabs from Covid-19 tests by washing and repackaging them.

The scheme could have affected thousands of passengers tested at the airport, they said.

Indonesia has officially reported more than 1.7 million cases of coronavirus and nearly 50,000 deaths.



Seven Killed In Indonesia Boat Selfie Accident

This handout photo taken on May 16, 2021, and released by the National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) shows rescuers carrying the body of a victim after a boat carrying 20 holiday-makers capsized on May 15 at a reservoir in Boyolali, Central Java.
HANDOUT / National Search and Rescue Agency (BASARNAS) / AFP


Seven Indonesians drowned after an overloaded boat capsized because of tourists attempting a selfie in a reservoir on Java island, police said Sunday.

The accident happened when all 20 passengers suddenly moved to the one side of the vessel to take a group photo on Saturday in the Boyolali regency, said Central Java police chief Ahmad Lutfi.

“The cause of the accident was overcapacity,” Lutfi told reporters.

“The 20 people took a selfie on the right side then the boat lost balance and flipped.”

This handout photo taken on May 11, 2021 and released by Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB) shows rescuers retrieving bodies after a landslide at a gold mine in south Solok, West Sumatra province, where at least seven people were killed and one reported missing.


Police added that 11 people were rescued but seven were found dead. Rescuers were searching for two people still missing.

Authorities said they will look into whether there was negligence by those managing the boat rides at the reservoir.

Lutfi said that the boat was helmed by a 13-year-old.

Boat accidents are common in Indonesia, a Southeast Asian archipelago of around 17,000 islands, due to lax safety standards.

In April, rescuers were rushed to find 17 fishermen after two boats collided in West Java. Three were found dead and 13 were still missing when the search ended.

And in January last year, 10 people went missing after a boat carrying 20 migrant workers to neighbouring Malaysia capsized off the coast of Sumatra island.

Global News In Photos (10-16 April)

A protester (L) confronts with an anti-riot police officer during a demonstration of restaurant owners and workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners on April 13, 2021 at Circo Massimo in Rome, demanding the easing of lockdown restrictions and financial assistance from the government, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)



This is a selection of news photographs taken around the world this week which includes a 6.0-magnitude quake in Indonesia, Britain’s Prince Philip mourned all over the world, historic factory fires, Police officers clash with protesters after an officer shot and killed a black man in the US, and much more.




(COMBO) This combination of pictures taken on April 10, 2021 shows Saudi folklore dancers performing the art of “Taashir”, a traditional dance of the people of Taif, 750 kilometres west of Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. – Taashir is a war dance performed by carrying a weapon stuffed with gunpowder, which turns into a flame under the feet of the performer when he embraces the sky. The people of Taif still preserve this traditional dance and try to keep it alive among different generations. (Photos by Fayez Nureldine / AFP)



Muslim worshippers perform the evening Tarawih prayer during the fasting month of Ramadan around the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque complex in the holy city of Mecca, on April 13, 2021. – Saudi authorities said on April 5 only people immunised against COVID-19 will be allowed to perform the year-round Umrah pilgrimage from the start of Ramadan, the holy fasting month for Muslims. (Photo by – / AFP)



This picture shows the 100 days countdown till the start of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games displayed on the illuminated Tokyo Skytree in Tokyo on April 14, 2021. (Photo by Kazuhiro NOGI / AFP)



This picture taken in Islamabad on April 15, 2021, shows a lightning flashing over the city during a thunderstorm. (Photo by Aamir QURESHI / AFP)



A loggerhead sea turtle equipped with a GPS tracker is released back into the Mediterranean Sea at Nitzanim beach near the Israeli city of Ashkelon on April 12, 2021. – The 30-kilogramme female loggerhead turtle was released into the Mediterranean after receiving treatment at the Israeli Sea Turtle Rescue Center. (Photo by GIL COHEN-MAGEN / AFP)



US President Joe Biden walks through Arlington National cemetary to honor fallen veterans of the Afghan conflict in Arlington, Virginia on April 14, 2021. – President Joe Biden announced it’s “time to end” America’s longest war with the unconditional withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, where they have spent two decades in a bloody, largely fruitless battle against the Taliban. (Photo by Brendan SMIALOWSKI / AFP)



View of a Christ statue being built in Encantado, Rio Grande do Sul state, Brazil, on April 09, 2021. – The Christ the Protector statue under construction in Encantado will be larger than Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer and the third-largest in the world. (Photo by SILVIO AVILA / AFP)



This photograph taken on April 10, 2021, shows a helicopter flying as lava is erupting from Piton de la Fournaise volcano, on the southern side of the volcano, on the French Indian Ocean island of Reunion. (Photo by Richard BOUHET / AFP)



A model presents a creation from Spanish designer Ulises Merida’s Autumn – Winter 2021 / 2022 collection during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Madrid on April 10, 2021. (Photo by Gabriel BOUYS / AFP)



Protesters stand on top of a police car as they clash after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021. – Protests broke out April 11, 2021 night after US police fatally shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis — where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis. Police fired teargas and flash bangs at the demonstrators, according to an AFP videojournalist at the scene. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)



Police officers take cover as they clash with protesters after an officer shot and killed a black man in Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 11,2021. – Protests broke out April 11, 2021 night after US police fatally shot a young Black man in a suburb of Minneapolis — where a former police officer is currently on trial for the murder of George Floyd. Hundreds of people gathered outside the police station in Brooklyn Center, northwest of Minneapolis. Police fired teargas and flash bangs at the demonstrators, according to an AFP videojournalist at the scene. (Photo by Kerem Yucel / AFP)



A protester (L) confronts with an anti-riot police officer during a demonstration of restaurant owners and workers, entrepreneurs and small businesses owners on April 13, 2021 at Circo Massimo in Rome, demanding the easing of lockdown restrictions and financial assistance from the government, during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP)



People drink in the street in the Soho area of London, on April 12, 2021 as coronavirus restrictions are eased across the country in step two of the government’s roadmap out of England’s third national lockdown. – Britons on Monday toasted a significant easing of coronavirus restrictions, with early morning pints — and much-needed haircuts — as the country took a tentative step towards the resumption of normal life. Businesses including non-essential retail, gyms, salons and outdoor hospitality were all able to open for the first time in months in the second step of the government’s roadmap out of lockdown. (Photo by Tolga Akmen / AFP)



Demonstrators use umbrellas to shield themselves against tear gas and pepper balls outside the Brooklyn Center police station as they protest the death of Daunte Wright who was shot and killed by a police officer in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota on April 13, 2021. – Tensions have soared over the death on April 11 of African American Daunte Wright near the Midwestern US city, a community already on edge over the ongoing trial of a policeman accused of killing another Black man, George Floyd. (Photo by Kerem YUCEL / AFP)



A Ukrainian serviceman stands guard at a position on the frontline with Russia backed separatists near small city of Marinka, Donetsk region on April 12, 2021. – Ukrainian soldiers have been killed in clashes with pro-Russia separatists in Ukraine’s war-torn east, its military said on April 12, 2021, as Kiev again accused Moscow of massing tens of thousands of soldiers on its border. (Photo by STR / AFP)



Firefighters work to extinguish a fire in a historic factory in Saint Petersburg on April 12, 2021. – Russia on April 13, 2021 detained two people after a huge fire gutted a historic factory in Saint Petersburg, as firefighters continued putting out the blaze. A fire broke out over several floors of the red-brick Nevskaya Manufaktura building in Russia’s second city. The inferno killed one firefighter and left two more hospitalised with serious burns. (Photo by Olga MALTSEVA / AFP)



Kitesurfers are seen on Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 12, 2021. (Photo by Carl DE SOUZA / AFP)



This picture taken on April 12, 2021 shows tribesmen holding portraits of Britain’s Prince Philip in the town of Yaohnanen, near the town of Yakel, a remote Pacific village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu that worships Britain’s Prince Philip, following the Duke of Edinburgh’s death on April 9. (Photo by Dan McGarry / AFP)



Indonesian soldiers and residents check damaged houses in Malang, East Java on April 11, 2021, a day after a 6.0-magnitude quake struck off the coast of Indonesia’s main Java island. (Photo by Juni Kriswanto / AFP)



A person sleeps next to empty oxygen cylinders while waiting to refill it in Villa El Salvador, on the southern outskirts of Lima, on April 11, 2021, amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. – Relatives of COVID-19 patients are desperate for oxygen to keep their loved ones alive during a fierce second wave of the pandemic in Peru, on the day of the first round of presidential and parliamentary elections. (Photo by ERNESTO BENAVIDES / AFP)



The Death Gun Salute is fired by the Honourable Artillery Company to mark the passing of Britain’s Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, at the The Tower of London, in London on April 10, 2021, the day after his death at the age of 99. – Military guns will be fired across Britain and sporting events will fall silent on Saturday as part of worldwide tributes to mark the death of Queen Elizabeth II’s husband, Prince Philip. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP)



Children prepare to take part in a training demonstration of the Regional Coordinator of Community Authorities (CRAC-PF) vigilante force, in the village of Ayahualtempa, Guerrero State, Mexico, on April 10, 2021. – The CRAC-PF vigilante group trains children as young as five so they can protect themselves from drug-related criminal groups operating in the area, according to their leaders. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)