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  1. McIlroy in contention but rues sloppy start in Korea

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    August 17, 2019 by admin

    “I’m driving the ball very well and for the most part my iron play is pretty good, but I definitely missed a few opportunities out there,” the Northern Irishman, who capped a brilliant 2012 with a second major win, told the OneAsia Tour.


    “I definitely could have been a few shots better, but I’m in a good position going into the weekend and that’s all you can ask for.”

    South Korea’s Hong Soon-sang was the clubhouse leader midway through Friday’s second round after firing a bogey-free 68 for a five-under total.

    That mark looked way beyond the 24-year-old McIlory, who started his round on the 10th and made four bogeys in five holes from the 12th to slip well down the field.

    However, McIlroy displayed all the talent that helped him claim the world number one ranking last year as he rallied with five birdies over his remaining 10 holes to leave him handily placed heading into the weekend.

    A dropped shot on his last was the only disappointing aspect of his charge back up the field.

    “There was a few sloppy shots, or sloppily played holes. I made three (consecutive) bogeys on the back nine which wasn’t great but most of the other stuff was actually pretty solid,” the former U.S. Open and U.S. PGA Champion said.

    “After that stretch today on the back nine, I turned it around and played the last 10 holes in four-under, so it was a pretty good effort. I was a little disappointed to bogey the last there, but it was good for the most part.”

    McIlroy is back in action following a four-week break and explained what was required to get back in the winner’s circle.

    “Just to keep playing the way I am, stay patient,” he said. “I don’t need to go out there and be overly aggressive, but I just want to get myself into a good position for Sunday if possible.”

    ($1 = 1063.5250 won)

    (Writing by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by John O’Brien)

  2. Analysis – Broke Wallabies need to beat All Blacks

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    August 17, 2019 by admin

    It’s no longer just about salvaging pride from a season of massive underachievement, including the British and Irish Lions series loss and crushing defeats to New Zealand in the first two Bledisloe fixtures.


    For the Wallabies, it’s now about the money.

    If you believe Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver, Australian rugby is on the verge of going belly up. He has been crying poor for some time and now he has player wages firmly in his sights.

    Pulver, a multimillionaire with a leaning towards performance-based paid workforces, has been in talks with the players’ union about ditching match payments of $14,000 a test, win, lose or draw.

    That the union has countenanced such a proposal without immediately flagging the prospect of a player strike is an indication of just how weak the Wallabies players’ bargaining position has become.

    Australia has won two World Cups but the last of those was in 1999 and now the players’ lot is a simple case of losers having no leverage.

    It’s against this backdrop that the Wallabies take on the world’s best team on Saturday under the closed roof of the Otago Stadium in Dunedin.

    Will the prospect of taking what could amount to a $100,000 per season hit to the wallet finally inspire the Wallabies to do the seemingly impossible and beat one of the finest All Blacks sides of recent times? Just maybe.

    Although backing the Wallabies on 2013 form is only for true believers, there remains a glimmer of realistic hope with the late injury withdrawals on Friday of All Blacks captain Richie McCaw and winger Corey Jane.

    The pair has been replaced by Sam Cane at flanker and Charles Piutau on the wing, both solid players but not with the same pedigree as McCaw and Jane.

    The Wallabies, meanwhile, have not been without injury woes of their own but who is to say injury-enforced changes will not finally produce a winning combination against the world champions?


    Peter Betham replacing Joe Tomane on the wing is a case in point. New Zealand-born Betham poses more questions on attack than Tomane and he could make life interesting for All Blacks centre Ben Smith, a winger-fullback who has been selected out of position to replace the sabbatical-bound Conrad Smith.

    Betham and fullback Israel Folau combining in attack with clever running lines and switches could certainly exploit Smith’s inexperience.

    Wallaby inside centre Christian Lealiifano is also out injured and replaced by Matt Toomua. Again, like Betham, this could have been the right selection anyway as Lealiifano, while steady and tradesman-like, has not played with any great ambition.

    He has kicked goals and made tackles, but has not troubled the defensive line much and should have been replaced, injured or not.

    And there’s also the Quade Cooper factor. The enigmatic and at times error-prone flyhalf is well overdue a decent game against the All Blacks. He’s too good a player to keep underperforming against them.

    However, as with all trans-Tasman battles, it’ll come down to the forwards and more than likely the front rows.

    That’s where the All Blacks have the edge with Tony Woodcock, Keven Mealamu and Charlie Faumuina up against Ben Alexander, Stephen Moore and James Slipper.

    But with Saia Fainga’a, Benn Robinson, and Sekope Kepu on the bench, there may be a slender advantage to the Wallabies later in the game against New Zealand’s front row back-up of Dane Coles, Wyatt Crockett and Ben Franks.

    The bookmakers have the Wallabies at long odds of 6-1, with even money for a 14.5 point handicap.

    Given the players’ powerful financial motivations going into the test, a close result, say within 10 points, would not surprise.

    A Wallabies win would be a massive financial windfall for punters but potentially also for the Australian players, who might suddenly find themselves with some leverage to say no to pay cuts.

    Having said all that, though, we are talking about the beating the All Blacks at home.

    (Editing by Nick Mulvenney)

  3. NSW bushfire victim’s ‘miracle’ escape

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    August 17, 2019 by admin

    “He was telling me to get out, crying,” she recalled on Friday.


    “I said ‘Look, I will do everything I can to be okay’.”

    The mum-of-five made a terrifying escape from the bushfire that ripped through the lower Blue Mountains on Thursday, destroying scores of homes around Springwood, Yellow Rock and Winmalee.

    She returned on Friday, embracing her daughter Amy as the pair took in the rubble and ashes that had been their home.

    “It was just completely gutted, to the ground,” she told AAP.

    “There was nothing left except a baby cup my daughter had when she was little.”

    The family is now homeless and their belongings were uninsured, but Ms Hubbard said the fact she survived at all was a “miracle”.

    She’d been napping when disaster struck – woken by a phone call from a worried colleague, wanting to know if she was near the fires.

    “I hung up and said ‘I’ll be fine’,” she said.

    “But when I went out and checked outside my veranda there was a tree alight and fire all around the backyard.”

    She threw the pets in the car but was blocked by “a wall of smoke”.

    Frantic, she approached strangers on the street and asked if she could seek shelter in their home.

    “The sun was totally blocked out and houses were burning down to the ground all around us,” she said.

    Without running water, the neighbours used buckets and wet towels – “whatever we could get our hands on” – to douse embers, knowing the house was their only refuge.

    Then came a change in the wind.

    This time, the sudden shift that so often turns deadly in bushfires cleared a path through the smoke instead.

    “It was a miracle, actually,” Ms Hubbard said.

    She plans to take her youngest kids back to the shell of their old house on Saturday, “to give them closure”.

    Then the rebuilding begins.

    “This will be a fresh start for us,” Ms Hubbard said.

    “We’re a pretty resilient family.”


    6.38pm RFS transport update

    Mt Victoria Fire: The Main Western Railway may open or close on short notice. For latest information check 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/1C4XayW7TV #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013

    5.44 RFS property update

    RFS confirms that an initial assessment of properties in Springwood and Winmalee has been carried out. So far, 81 properties destroyed and 37 damaged. 


    Bargo sports ground – centre for aerial operations.

    — Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell) October 18, 2013


    Linksview Road Fire, Springwood (Blue Mountains): Fire has been downgraded from Emergency Warning to Watch & Act. #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013


    Centrelink is offering support for people whose homes have been lost. To contact Centerlink, phone 180 2266.

    4.23pm RFS Emergency warning

    Emergency Warning: Linksview Rd Fire, Springwood (Blue Mountainns) has progressed into the area around St Columbus.

    4.16pm RFS downgrade 

    Camden Valley Way fire, Leppington (Macarthur) fire has been downgraded to advice.

    4.04 Tony Abbott gets briefing on Blue Mountains fires from Comissioner Fitzsimmons

    PM Tony Abbott gets a briefing on Blue Mtns fires from #NSWRFS Commissioner #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013

    3.33pm Tony Abbott speaks to media

    “This is a fire emergency that could go on for some time.”

    3.33pm RFS Emergency Warning update

    An Emergency Warning is in place for the area around Chapman Parade at Springwood due to fire activity.

    3.24pm RFS update: Camden Valley Way

    Camden Valley Way: Fire has been downgraded to Watch & Act


    Emergency Warning – Camden Valley Way fire, Leppington (Camden) 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/XNRXhVmwUv Fire burning towards Bringelly Road #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013


    Hall Road Fire, Balmoral Village (Southern Highlands / Wollondilly): Fire has crossed railway line at Yanderra. Main Southern Railway closed

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013

    2.54pm RFS posts alert that crews are on the scene at a fire on camden Valley Way.

    “Property directly threatened. Residents in the area should shelter in place.”

    2.35pm NSW RFS updates emergency warnings

    An Emergency Warning is in place for the Ruttleys Road Fire. There is a threat to properties in the area around Chain Valley Road. For more visit the RFS website.

    2.30pm RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons speaks to media in the Blue Mountains with Premier Barry O’Farrell.

    Commissioner Fitzsimmons described the conditions as “still a very hostile” and said 86,000 hectares of countryside was being burnt, including seven major fires covering 50,000 hectares.

    2.18pm NSW RFS updates emergency warnings

    An Emergency Warning is in place for the area around Chapman Parade at Springwood due to fire activity. For more visit the RFS website.


    Ruttleys Rd (Wyong LGA): A Community Meeting will be held tonight at Swansea Workers Club, 9 Rawson St at 6pm. #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013



    evidence of the ferocity of the fires – Yellowrock

    — Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell) October 18, 2013


    RFS confirms Students from Springwood High School are relocating to Faulconbridge Public School.

    1.16pm Professor Ross Bradstock says the fires in the Blue Mountains are the worst since 1968.


    “On average there has been one destructive fire a decade in the Blue Mountains, but these appear to be the most destructive fires since 1968, when over 100 houses were also lost in the same area,” says Professor Bradstock, Director of the Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires.

    “We are in a very dry situation in the greater Sydney region and when these landscapes dry severely, many of the natural barriers to fire are removed. In these sorts of dry conditions fires can burn for weeks until there is a significant change in the weather.”

    Factbox: Bushfire resources across Australia

    1.11pm NSW RFS updates emergency warnings

    The RFS has reissued an emergency warning for a fire burning in  the Wyong area on the NSW central coast and urging residents to take shelter. Detailed information here.

    An emergency warning is also in place in Springwood in the Blue Mountains. Full information on the warning here.

    1.10pm Lake Macquarie Mayor Jodie Harrison said historic homes in the area have been destroyed.

    “I’ve been advised … that it’s been confirmed that four houses in the heritage village of Catherine Hill Bay have been lost,” she told ABC radio.

    “The historic jetty is currently on fire.”

    She described “flames, a huge amount of smoke and lots of risk”.

    1.02pm Students in Springwood to stay put at Springwood High School, RFS says.

    Linksview Road, Springwood: UPDATE Students will now be remaining at Springwood High School and are not relocating. #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013

    12.58pm The NSW Wildlife Information Rescue and Education Service Inc releases a factsheet on how wildlife should be cared for during a bushfire.  

    12.40pm Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the thoughts and prayers of every Australian are with the people who are suffering and affected by the bushfires in New South Wales.

    12.37pm NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has taken this image of the bushfire damage seen from the skies.

    — Barry O’Farrell (@barryofarrell) October 18, 2013


    12.28pm As firefighters continue to battle fires across NSW, some residents in the Blue Mountains and on the Central Coast have told their stories of survival. Read the accounts here.

    “My husband came up and said to me ‘Look, we’ve had all our windows blow up. The house is on fire. We’re not going to save it’.”

    12.21pm A bushfire flares up in Springwood’s Chapman Parade.

    EMERGENCY WARNING: Fire has flared up at Chapman Parade at Springwood. Emergency phone warning is being sent to people in the area #nswfire

    — 702 ABC Sydney (@702sydney) October 18, 2013


    12.00pm Strike teams are assembling in Springwood in the Blue Mountains.

    #FRNSW strike teams are assembling @ Springwood. Crews will soon be tasked with mopping up & f/fighting ops

    — Fire & Rescue NSW (@FireRescueNSW) October 18, 2013

    11.40am SBS World News Australia reporter, Nikki Canning is a resident of Springwood and is preparing as the fires creep closer to her house. She spoke with Naomi Selvaratnam. Hear the full interview below:


    11.28am The view from the skies of the bushfires in the state’s south.

    Bushfires south of Sydney blanketing NSW in smoke

    — Luke Meehan (@lukasm) October 17, 2013

    11.27am Low-income earners seeking disaster relief grants have been advised to call number below.

    The Disaster Welfare Assistance Line (1800 018 444) is open for info about disaster relief grants for low income earners with no insurance.

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 18, 2013

    11.14am: Evacuation centres are currently open in Springwood, Lithgow, Raymond Terrace, Swansea and Doyalson. Some others have closed, but this information is subject to change. Please click the link below to view full details. 

    Status of evacuation centres: 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/NoV1MXIOO1 #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013

     11.03am: RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says he hopes a warmer change won’t be as severe as the conditions yesterday.

    “Come Sunday and Monday, we can expect to see a return to warmer, drier conditions and a wind pattern dominating out of the north-west, albeit at this stage it’s not expected to be quite as strong and as gusty as we saw yesterday.”

    10.53am: The Ruttleys Road fire near Wyong continues to burn out of control, the NSW Rural Fire Service has advised. More than 1500 hectares of scrub and bushland have been burnt so far. 

    Ruttleys Road Fire: Reports that fire is impacting the township of Wyong are incorrect. The fire is burning approx 25km to the NE of Wyong

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013

    10.31am Eighty national parks have been closed due to the bushfires.

    The @OEHmedia has updated its list of national park closures. 8 parks affected by fire; 80 parks with closed areas. 南宁桑拿,南宁夜生活,/Hj0Mlm5jNs

    — NSW Police (@nswpolice) October 17, 2013

    10.20am In a statement, NSW Police say a report is being prepared for the Coroner to officially determine how the63-year-old man died while defending his home against a fire in the state’s north.


    10.16am Sydney Area Health says two people are being treated at Concord Hospital with bushfire-related injuries.

    9.49am NSW Premier O’Farrell confirms a 63-year-old man has died defending his home against a fire in Lake Munmorah in the state’s north.

    9.46am Authorities say they’re preparing for the worst.

    “We cannot rule out the very real prospect that some people may not have got out,” RFS Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says.

    9.39am NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has just received the latest briefing from the NSW RFS HQ.

    @barryofarrell at #NSWRFS HQ for briefing on #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013


    9.26am Authorities are recommending people use the ‘Fires Near Me’ app to keep updated with bushfire warnings.

    Download @NSWRFS mobile app ‘Fires Near Me’ for a list of fires & fire info. They also have a mobile site: 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/x4rP7C5s4m #nswfires

    — NSW Police (@nswpolice) October 17, 2013



    9.23am Greens MP Adam Bandt has defended suggesting the coalition government’s climate change strategy could lead to more devastating bushfires like those raging across NSW.

    As fierce blazes threatened thousands of homes across the state, Mr Bandt accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of risking lives by taking the country “backwards” on efforts to combat global warming.

    “Why Tony Abbott’s plan means more bushfires for Australia and more pics like this of Sydney,” he tweeted, alongside an image of bushfire smoke enveloping the city.

    The remarks sparked a backlash online, but Mr Bandt denied it was an act of political opportunism.

    “I don’t think that talking about protecting the Australian way of life and stopping fires from happening in the future is startling,” he said.


    9.13am Salvation Army launches bushfire relief appeal

    We have launched a Bushfire Relief Appeal to help those affected by #nswfires. If you’d like to donate, please visit 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/OVHvWPPDwz

    — The Salvation Army (@salvos) October 17, 2013


    9.03am Message of thanks for firefighters who have battled blazes throughout the night.

    Thank you to the thousands of firefighters who have so bravely fought fires in difficult conds. #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013

    9.01am NSW RFS warns residents and motorists to stay away from fire-affected areas. More traffic info here: 南宁桑拿网, 

    8.58am List of evacuation centres:

    Wyong & Lake Macquarie

    Doyalson RSL – Pacific Highway Doyalson

    Swansea RSL – 5 Bridge Street Swansea

    Swansea Workers Club – 9 Rawson Street Swansea

    Lithgow & Blue Mountains

    Lithgow Workers – 3-7 Tank Street Lithgow

    Bilpin Community Centre – 2596 Bells Line Road Bilpin

    Springwood Sports Club – 83 Macquarie Road Springwood

    Kings Park Sports Complex – Newline Road Kings Road

    Blackheath Community Centre – Great Western Highway

    Port Stephens

    Tomaree Sports Clubs – Nelson Bay Road Nelson Bay

    Wests Mayfield – 32 Industrial Drive Mayfield


    Brethren Church – Wonga Road Picton

    More info on NSW evacuation centres here.

    8.47am Smoky haze over Sydney, with the smell of the bushfires described as “like an ashtray”. 

    8.42am Areas in Sydney’s outer west reduced to ash in the wake of a bushfire.

    Heartbreaking photos of the devastation in Sydney’s outer west.. @B105LSA

    — Amelia Oberhardt (@ameliaoberhardt) October 17, 2013

    8.34am The mayor of the Blue Mountains has praised the resilience of residents who lost their homes in Thursday’s bushfires.

    “The worst factors came together at the worst time,” Mark Greenhill said.

    “We spent the evening … comforting residents who had lost everything. This has been a very tough 24 hours for the community of the Blue Mountains.

    “The resilience that they showed is awesome.”


    8.28am NSW Paramedics urge caution after treating dozens of people for smoke inhalation last night.

    NSW Paramedics treated dozens last night for breathing illness and w heavy smoke in the air,@asnsw urges continued caution today #nswfires

    — Ambulance NSW (@ASNSW) October 17, 2013

    8.07am Over 20,000 hectares scorched in Fire near Bells Line Rd, NSW RFS says.

    Fire near Bells Line Rd has burnt approx 24,000 hectares. 140km of fire edge. #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013

    8.05am Information on evacuation centres across NSW can be found here

     In pictures: Bushfires sweep across NSW

    8.03am Dramatic images from the frontlines of the Springwood fire.


    View of Springwood fire looking toward Winmalee from Warrimoo Oval #nswfires #nswrfs

    — dann weatherhead (@weatherhead) October 17, 2013

    7.53am Factbox: Bushfire resources across Australia

    7.50am  Numerous schools are closed on Friday.

    A number of schools closed across Blue Mountains today. Check 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/7FdbypJAQv for info. #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 17, 2013

    7.51am Emergency Warning remains in place for Ruttleys Road Fire, Wyong.

    The NSW RFS says: “The Ruttleys Road Fire is burning in the area of Doyalson North, Swansea, Cams Wharf, Murrays Beach, Cave Beach and Catherine Hill Bay areas.”

    7.40am Stay with us throughout the day for live updates on the battle against bushfires in NSW.

    NSW Rural Fire Services say they expect a tough day ahead with 65 fires still burning in NSW and windy conditions expected.

    65 fires in NSW, 25 uncontained. Today will be challenging – hot and windy. Stay up to date at 南宁桑拿网,南宁夜生活,/GuRTiatjQ6 #NSWRFS #nswfires

    — NSW RFS (@NSWRFS) October 16, 2013In pictures: Bushfires sweep across NSW

  4. Abbott looks towards hot, dry summer

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    August 17, 2019 by admin

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has urged NSW employers to be patient with workers who are volunteer fire fighters during the coming long, hot, dry summer.


    “This is an important way in which the families and businesses can serve our community, by supporting those of their members who are out with the rural fire brigades,” he told reporters at Winmalee Fire Station in the Blue Mountains.

    The most serious of the fires currently burning across NSW is in the region near Winmalee.

    Mr Abbott, a Rural Fire Service volunteer, thanked those working on the NSW emergency.

    “I just want to say how sorry we are on behalf of the people and the parliament of Australia for the heartache which so many hundreds of people in NSW are currently dealing with, but how proud we are of the thousands of volunteers and full-time professionals (fire fighters),” he said.

    It was too early to tell how many properties had been destroyed or how much the recovery bill might be.

    It’s believed hundreds of homes have been destroyed and one person has been confirmed dead.

    People affected by the fires will be able to get disaster relief payments of $1000 per adult and $400 per child.

    The payments will be available in the severely affected areas of the Blue Mountains, Lithgow, Muswellbrook, Port Macquarie-Hastings, Port Stephens, Wyong and Wingecarribee.

    “It’s quite a long time since we’ve had property losses in the order of hundreds here in NSW, so this was a very, very big fire,” Mr Abbott said.

    The prime minister noted Australia had a long experience of managing bushfires and had the infrastructure and personnel in place to deal with such emergencies.

    “It could be a long, hot, dry summer,” he said.

    “We’re also lucky to have supportive employers, and supportive families who allow their loved ones to go out and do this kind of work when it’s needed.”

    Mr Abbott is unlikely to join his Davidson brigade for fire fighting duties over the weekend, his office says.

  5. Uganda on alert amid threat of Kenya-style mall attack

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    August 17, 2019 by admin

    At least 67 people were massacred in the upmarket shopping centre in Nairobi when gunmen stormed the crowded complex on September 21, firing from the hip and hurling grenades at shoppers and staff.


    “Stay alert and watch each other’s steps and activities, as we are still threatened by terror,” the Ugandan police said in a message.

    It followed a message Tuesday from the US embassy in Uganda which said it was continuing “to assess reports that a Westgate-style attack may soon occur in Kampala”.

    Security was stepped up around town, but the embassy said that there was no further information on the timing or location of any attack.

    The Al-Qaeda linked Shebab insurgents claimed the Westgate attack, saying it was in revenge for Kenya military action against the group in southern Somalia.

    Uganda also has troops in Somalia with the African Union force that is battling the Shebab, and has been attacked on home soil by the extremists before, in 2010 bomb blasts that killed 76 people.

    The warnings come as a Norwegian citizen of Somali origin was reported to be suspected of being one of the attackers who stormed the Westgate.

    The 23-year-old was named by the BBC as Hassan Abdi Dhuhulow, and who is suspected of helping to plan and carry out the mall attack.

    Dhuhulow was born in Somalia, but he and his family moved to Norway as refugees in 1999, according to relatives who spoke to the BBC.

    However, other relatives denied it was Dhuhulow who appeared in security camera footage of the attack.

    A propaganda video released this week by the Shebab praised foreign fighters, showing several insurgents it said had come from Britain and who had been killed in battle.

    The video was apparently made before the Westgate attack as it made no reference to it, although it highlights the “suffering of Muslims in Kenya” as well as other countries.

    The film, narrated by a man in a military jacket, face hooded in a black mask and speaking with an apparently British accent, claims fighters from multiple nations including Ethiopia, Eritrea, Lebanon, India and Pakistan had all fought with the force.