Why We Are In Trouble At The Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12)

Why NRC Nuclear Safety Inspections are Necessary: Indian PointDave LochbaumThis is the second in a series of commentaries about the vital role nuclear safety inspections conducted by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) play in protecting the public. The initial commentary described how NRC inspectors discovered that limits on the maximum allowable control room air temperature at the Columbia Generating Station in Washington had been improperly relaxed by the plant’s owner. This commentary describes a more recent finding by NRC inspectors about animproper safety assessment of a leaking cooling water system pipe on Entergy’s Unit 3 reactor at Indian Point outside New York City.Indian Point Unit 3: Leak Before BreakOn February 3, 2017, the NRC issued Indian Point a Green finding for a violation of Appendix B to 10 CFR Part 50. Specifically, the owner failed to perform an adequate operability review per its procedures after workers discovered water leaking from a service water system pipe.On April 27, 2016, workers found water leaking from the pipe downstream of the strainer for service water (SW) pump 31. As shown in Figure 1, SW pump 31 is one of six service water pumps located within the intake structure alongside the Hudson River. The six SW pumps are arranged in two sets of three pumps. Figure 1 shows SW pumps 31, 32, and 33 aligned to provide water drawn from the Hudson River to essential (i.e, safety and emergency) components within Unit 3. SW pumps 34, 35, and 36 are aligned to provide cooling water to non-essential equipment within Unit 3.

Fig. 1 (Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plant Information Book) (click to enlarge)Each SW pump is designed to deliver 6,000 gallons of flow. During normal operation, one SW pump can handle the essential loads while two SW pumps are needed for the non-essential loads. Under accident conditions, two SW pumps are needed to cool the essential equipment. The onsite emergency diesel generators can power either of the sets of three pumps, but not both simultaneously. If the set of SW pumps aligned to the essential equipment aren’t getting the job done, workers can open/close valves and electrical breakers to reconfigure the second set of three SW pumps to the essential equipment loops.Because river water can have stuff in it that could clog some of the coolers for essential equipment, each SW pump has a strainer that attempts to remove as much debris as possible from the water. The leak discovered on April 27, 2016, was in the piping between the discharge check valve for SW pump 31 and its strainer. An arrow points to this piping section in Figure 1. The strainers were installed in openings called pits in the thick concrete floor of the intake structure. Water from the leaking pipe flowed into the pit housing the strainer for SW pump 31.The initial leak rate was modest—estimated to be about one-eighth of a gallon per minute. The leak was similar to other pinhole leaks that had occurred in the concrete-lined, carbon steel SW pipes. The owner began daily checks on the leakage and prepared an operability determination. Basically, “operability determinations” are used within the nuclear industry when safety equipment is found to be impaired or degraded. The operability determination for the service water pipe leak concluded that the impairment did not prevent the SW pumps from fulfilling their required safety function. The operability determination relied on a sump pump located at the bottom of the strainer pit transferring the leaking water out of the pit before the water flooded and submerged safety components.The daily checks instituted by the owner included workers recording the leak rate and assessing whether it had significantly increased. But the checks were against the previous day’s leak rate rather than the initial leak rate. By September 18, 2016, the leakage had steadily increased by a factor of 64 to 8 gallons per minute. But the daily incremental increases were small enough that they kept workers from finding the overall increase to be significant.The daily check on October 15, 2016, found the pump room flooded to a depth of several inches. The leak rate was now estimated to be 20 gallons per minute. And the floor drain in the strainer pit was clogged (ironic, huh?) impairing the ability of its sump pump to remove the water. Workers placed temporary sump pumps in the room to remove the flood water and cope with the insignificantly higher leak rate. On October 17, workers installed a clamp on the pipe that reduced the leakage to less than one gallon per minute.The operability determination was revised in response to concerns expressed by the NRC inspectors. The NRC inspectors were not satisfied by the revised operability determination. It continued to rely on the strainer pit sump pump removing the leaking water. But that sump pump was not powered from the emergency diesel generator and thus would not remove water should offsite power become unavailable. Step 5.6.4 of procedure EN-OP-14, “Operability Determination Process,” stated “If the Operability is based on the use or availability of other equipment, it must be verified that the equipment is capable of performing the function utilized in the evaluation.”The operability determination explicitly stated that no compensatory measures or operator manual actions were needed to handle the leak, but the situation clearly required both compensatory measures and operator manual actions.The NRC inspectors found additional deficiencies in the revised operability determination. The NRC inspectors calculated that a 20 gallon per minute leak rate coupled with an unavailable strainer pit sump pump would flood the room to a depth of three feet in three hours. There are no flood alarms in the room and the daily checks might not detect flooding until the level rose to three feet. At that level, water would submerge and potentially disable the vacuum breakers for the SW pumps. Proper vacuum breaker operation could be needed to successfully restart the SW pumps.The NRC inspectors calculated that the 20 gallon per minute leak rate without remediation would flood the room to the level of the control cabinets for the strainers in 10 hours. The submerged control cabinets could disable the strainers, leading to blocked cooling water flow to essential equipment.The NRC inspects calculated that the 20 gallon per minute leak rate without remediation would completely fill the room in about 29 hours, or only slightly longer than the daily check interval.Flooding to depths of 3 feet, 10 feet, and the room’s ceiling affected all six SW pumps. Thus, the flooding represented a common mode threat that could disable the entire service water system. In turn, all safety equipment shown in Figure 2 no longer cooled by the disabled service water system could also be disabled. The NRC estimated that the flooding risk was about 5×10-6 per reactor year, solidly in the Green finding band.

Fig. 2 (Source: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Plant Information Book) (click to enlarge)UCS Perspective“Leak before break” is a longstanding nuclear safety philosophy. Books have been written about it (well, at least one report has been written and may even have been read.)  The NRC’s approval of a leak before break analysis can allow the owner of an existing nuclear power reactor to remove pipe whip restraints and jet impingement barriers. Such hardware guarded against the sudden rupture of a pipe filled with high pressure fluid from damaging safety equipment in the area. The leak before break analyses can provide the NRC with sufficient confidence that piping degradation will be detected by observed leakage with remedial actions taken before the pipe fails catastrophically. More than a decade ago, the NRC issued a Knowledge Management document on the leak before break philosophy and acceptable methods of analyzing, monitoring, and responding to piping degradation.This incident at Indian Point illustrated an equally longstanding nuclear safety practice of “leak before break.” In this case, the leak was indeed followed by a break. But the break was not the failure of the piping but failure of the owner to comply with federal safety regulations. Pipe breaks are bad. Regulation breaks are bad. Deciding which is worse is like trying to decide which eye one wants to be poked in. None is far better than either.As with the prior Columbia Generating Station case study, this Indian Point case study illustrates the vital role that NRC’s enforcement efforts plays in nuclear safety. Even after NRC inspectors voiced clear concerns about the improperly evaluated service water system pipe leak, Entergy failed to properly evaluate the situation, thus violating federal safety regulations. To be fair to Entergy, the company was probably doing its best, but in recent years, Entergy’s best has been far below nuclear industry average performance levels.The NRC’s ROP is the public’s best protection against hazards caused by aging nuclear power reactors, shrinking maintenance budgets, emerging sabotage threats, and Entergy.Replacing the NRC’s engineering inspections with self-assessments by Entergy would lessen the effectiveness of that protective shield.The NRC must continue to protect the public to the best of its ability. Delegating safety checks to owners like Entergy is inconsistent with that important mission.Support from UCS members make work like this possible. Will you join us? Help UCS advance independent science for a healthy environment and a safer world.

Indian Point is NOT radiologically ready for the Sixth Seal (Rev 6:12)

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With Indian Point, are you radiologically ready?
By Thomas Slater Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
August 23rd, 2018 | NewsNews and Features
Just as there are plans in place for dealing with natural emergencies such as tropical and winter storms, readiness plans are developed for man-made emergencies, which includes radiological hazards.
Nuclear power plants operate in most states in the country and produce about 20 percent of the nation’s power.
Nearly three million people live within the 10-mile Emergency Planning Zone of an operating nuclear power plant, including West Point, which is situated between 7-to-9 miles from the Indian Point Energy Center (IPEC) in Buchanan of Westchester County.
Although the construction and operation of nuclear power plants are closely monitored and regulated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, incidents at these plants are possible—and planned for.
If an accident at IPEC were to result in the potential or actual release of radiation, warning sirens in the area would be activated. Commercial and West Point media sources would broadcast Emergency Alert System  messages to advise you on protective measures.
Depending upon the scope and scale of the emergency, protective actions may include “shelter-in-place” or “evacuation” advisories. As radioactive materials rapidly decay and dissipate with distance, the most likely scenario for West Point personnel would be to take shelter rather than trying to evacuate.
If you are instructed to shelter-in-place, the following steps will keep you and your family safe during the emergency.
• Shelter. Go inside your home or the nearest building; choose an inside room with as few windows or doors as possible.
• Shut. Shut and lock all windows and doors to create a better seal; turn off heating or cooling ventilation systems. If at home, make sure the fireplace damper and all ventilation fans are closed.
• Listen. Local officials are your best source of information. If in an office, monitor your computer, television and phones; if at home, listen to your radio or television until you are told it is safe to leave the shelter or to evacuate.
For more details, consult the Orange County Indian Point Emergency Guide, available at https://www.orangecountygov.com/DocumentCenter/View/2368/Indian-Point-Orange-Emergency-Guide-PDF, or call the West Point Emergency Manager at 845-938-7092.
Readiness, through education and preparation, is the best defense. Are you radiological ready?

Pestilence and plague comes soaring back: Revelation 16

‘The next wave has started.’ Capital Region braces as COVID-19 numbers grow

ALBANY — A second wave of coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths is well on its way in the Capital Region. But will it be as bad as the first?

If there’s one thing public health experts and hospital leaders don’t like to do, it’s predict the future — especially when so much of it hangs on the behavior of a weary public and a virus we still don’t know enough about. But they have expressed hope that vigilance on the part of the public, combined with the region’s greatly expanded testing and tracing capabilities, will help shield us from the worst of what could come.

“I feel hopeful, frankly, about the next few months based on how we’ve responded to surges this past month,” said Eli Rosenberg, an associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at the University at Albany’s School of Public Health. “I think it’s truly about testing. In March, the virus took off on this scary exponential slope. Suddenly it was this runaway thing and it was so mysterious. Now that it’s less mysterious, now that we have testing and we have tracing, we can react in an intelligent way.”

Signs of a second wave

By nearly every single metric the Capital Region is headed into a second wave.

New daily cases across eight local counties have increased noticeably, coming just 17 cases shy recently of the region’s spring peak of 147 new cases recorded May 1, a Times Union analysis of local county data reveals. The region has topped 100 new daily cases only four times this year — three of which occurred this month.

The five-day rolling average of new daily cases in the region — a more forgiving metric that takes sporadic jumps and anomalies into account — reached its highest point since spring on Monday, with 78 average cases. That average peaked at 117 on May 2, and bottomed out at just 13 on June 17.

The percentage of positive tests performed on residents in the region has also climbed, from 0.5 on Sept. 26 to 1.3 on Oct. 26, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard. This metric can be a less reliable indicator, however, depending on testing capacity at any given time, as well as whether repeat testing of essential workers is taking place.

Most concerning to local officials is the recent rise in hospitalizations. Daily hospitalizations in the region have increased more than 400 percent over the past month alone, from 15 on Sept. 27 to 80 on Oct. 27, according to figures published by the state. Leaders from Capital Region hospitals gathered at Albany Medical Center on Wednesday to warn of the increase, and to urge the public to get vaccinated against flu and remain vigilant about mask use, distancing and hand hygiene.

“It seems as though for us, the next wave has started,” said Dr. Fred Venditti, hospital general director for Albany Medical Center.

There is a glimmer of good news. Venditti and other hospital officials say that while cases are rising, their severity is decreasing.

“What’s interesting is we’re seeing a very, very different outcome for patients being hospitalized now than we did in the spring,” Dr. Steven Hanks, chief clinical officer for St. Peter’s Health Partners, told the Times Union. “The mortality rate seems to be much lower. The number of hospitalized patients who go to the ICU is down compared with spring. The number of patients needing to be ventilated is down compared with spring. And the number of patients who are dying with COVID-19 who are hospitalized is down compared with spring.”

The reasons for this remain unclear, though officials have a few ideas. Doctors have learned when and in what combination to administer therapies to patients to produce the best outcomes, Hanks and Venditti said. There’s also a theory circulating that mask use may be shielding people who are exposed to the virus to smaller viral doses than they would have been otherwise.

“That’s all conjecture,” Hanks said. “But these are all things we’re giving consideration to, including possibly just changes in the virus as the virus mutates in the wild. So that’s the good news part of the story. The bad news is the virus continues to spread.”

While mortality appears to be falling, deaths have picked up pace in recent weeks. The region saw a wave of deaths in the first three months of the pandemic, and then sporadically over the summer. Some counties went months without seeing any. In recent weeks, however, those streaks have ended. As of Tuesday, at least 360 residents of the eight-county Capital Region were known to have died from the virus.

‘COVID fatigue is real’

From the beginning, public health experts and epidemiologists worldwide warned that much like the 1918 Spanish Flu, the coronavirus pandemic would occur in waves — hitting hard in the cold months and dying down in the summer. That has generally been true for New York and the Capital Region, though the United States experienced a second wave outside of the Northeast this summer and is now entering its third wave.

Part of the reason is that viruses just have an easier time circulating on dry, cold air. Another reason is that people tend to spend more time indoors when the weather gets cold, and virus from an infected person has fewer places to escape.

Unfortunately, officials fear a confluence of other factors will cause a surge this winter. People are exhausted by the stress and isolation the pandemic has caused, and a sort of “COVID fatigue” has set in that is leading to increased socialization and decreased vigilance, public health officials say.

“COVID fatigue is real,” Rosenberg said. “It’s fatigue at multiple levels — individuals letting their guard down, visiting family more, as the cold season approaches thinking, ‘Oh, I can’t eat outdoors at the restaurants I’ll just try indoors a few times.’ All of that is real.”

While they may have been able to count on people staying away from loved ones in the spring when the virus was new and lockdowns were novel, officials are now worried that the impending holiday season and return of college students from possible hot spots is going to fuel a new surge of cases at the worst possible time.

Albany County Health Commissioner Elizabeth Whalen said people were already associating the reopening of schools and businesses as a green light for pre-pandemic behaviors.

“People were taking that to mean they could be doing other things, like attending parties and socializing in groups and maybe letting their guard down in terms of wearing masks and keeping distance socially and avoiding large gatherings,” she said. “But those latter three strategies are more important than ever and what people need to understand is the ability for us to keep businesses functioning and schools open are entirely contingent on those behaviors.”

Whalen and other health officials who spoke to the Times Union agreed that people should try and avoid holiday gatherings with family and friends outside of their immediate household this year.

“I know it’s difficult,” she said. “But I think this is a different year and I think people need to take that into consideration in their planning. Because the last thing we want is for families to be brought together for a holiday that’s supposed to be about celebrating the things that we’re thankful for and for that to result in a case or sickness of a loved one.

Preparing for round two

While local health officials are hopeful a second wave won’t be as big as the first, they are preparing for possible contingencies in the coming months.

Hospital leaders on Wednesday urged the public to fight the fatigue and stay vigilant about basic precautions such as hand washing and masking while out in public. They also urged people to get vaccinated against influenza — a move that will help divert people from the hospital at a time when COVID-19 is surging. Local hospitals also announced that they will be mandating all staff, including those at private physician practices, to get vaccinated for flu, with exemptions for medical and religious reasons. That should impact roughly 35,000 health care workers in the region, they said.

“We don’t know where that curve is going to go,” said Dr. David Liebers, an infectious disease specialist at Ellis Medicine. “The more we do proactively, the better. It may be a tough winter but we can make it a better winter with sticking to everything we’ve been doing so far.”

Venditti noted that Albany Med spent the summer looking through its emergency response plan and adjusting where appropriate. Surge plans that hospitals developed in the spring remain on file with the state. And hospitals have built up a 90-day supply of PPE as mandated by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. They’ve also begun disinfecting single-use PPE for re-use — a practice used back in the spring to conserve supplies but which nurses have protested, arguing it puts them at risk.

“We’re definitely trying to be cautious with our use of PPE,” Venditti said. “Having said that, we are only doing what’s been sanctioned by the (Centers for Disease Control) or the Department of Health in terms of re-use … we’re trying to be careful anticipating that two months down the road, a month down the road, we could be in a different circumstance with limited supplies.”

As 2020 comes to a close, hospitals have also filed applications with the state to administer any COVID-19 vaccines that are expected to hit the market for essential workers in January 2021 and the rest of the population by spring.

Until then, individuals have an important role to play in keeping their communities safe, Whalen said.

“If people aren’t compliant and if people keep acting like it’s either a hoax or it doesn’t exist or they don’t like to wear masks, you know, yeah, we could be heading for (another shutdown),” she said. “I sincerely hope that doesn’t come to pass.”

Another hurricane of God‘s wrath hits Louisiana: Jeremiah 23

Hurricane Zeta making landfall in Louisiana as a strong Category 2 storm; here’s the latest

Hurricane Zeta strengthened to a strong Category 2 storm and was making landfall near the Lafourche/Terrebonne parish line at about 4 p.m.

The National Weather Service said Zeta was coming ashore near Cocodrie with sustained winds of 110 mph.

Zeta currently has maximum sustained winds of 110 mph. It almost reached Category 3 strength as windspeed closed in on the 111 mph minimum for a major storm, according to the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

The system is moving north-northeast at 22 mph.

Senior Hurricane Specialist Richard Pasch in a 4 p.m. forecast discussion message that it’s possible that the storm’s interaction with an upper-level trough of low pressure several hundred miles west-northwest of Zeta is partly responsible for its increase in intensity.

“Somewhat surprisingly, Zeta has rapidly intensified this afternoon,” Pasch said. “Although the hurricane has been moving over marginally warm sea surface temperatures and relatively low heat content waters, it has intensified from 80 knots to 95 knots in about 6 hours.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Lauren Nash said Zeta “will have a little bit of everything,” including storm surge on the coast, high winds, up to 4 inches of rain and possible tornadoes.

She said the worst of the hurricane will be wind. Its quick pace means rain won’t stick around long enough to cause widespread flooding.

The forecast for lighter rain is welcome news for New Orleans residents, where one of the city’s four turbines that power its drainage system’s pumps is out of commission.

In addition to its speed and intensity, Zeta has had a stable path, with no real changes since Tuesday morning.

“It really hasn’t shifted its track, and it looks like the eye will still pass just east of metro New Orleans,” Nash said.

Mayor LaToya Cantrell and other metro-area leaders warned residents to be indoors by 2 p.m. and resist the urge head out to see and feel the increasing winds.

“It’s coming fast, and it’s coming strong,” Cantrell said. “This is not a drill.

Emergency preparedness officials and forecasters warned of power outages, pockets of heavy rain and downed trees and powerlines.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said the speed of the storm, which was moving 17 mph as it approached land and was expected to move even faster over land, will work in Louisiana’s favor.

“It will get in and out of the area relatively quickly,” he said.

Edwards said about 1,500 members of the Louisiana National Guard are activated and ready to offer assistance.

Staff reporter Tristan Baurick contributed to this report

The US-Israeli Plot against Iran WILL FAIL

US-Israeli Plot against Iran Doomed to Failure: Official

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Secretary of Iran’s Expediency Council Mohsen Rezaei denounced the American-Israeli plot to counter Iran through normalization of ties between the Zionist regime and some Arab governments as a nonstarter.

Tasnim News Agency

Addressing an international conference on the decline of the US, held in the former American embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, Rezaei enumerated the signs of waning US power in various arenas, saying, “The recent plot initiated by the US and Israel to unite the Arabs and Israel against Iran will also end in failure.”

The decline of the US government is a significant issue, because the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran presented the region and the world with new ideas in defiance of the Western and American civilization and culture, he added.

The US economy, which shapes the pillar of American power, is lagging behind other emerging economies, Rezaei noted, saying Washington cannot afford to support the oppressing forces outside the US anymore.

Highlighting a steep decline in the US military power under the rule of both Republicans and Democrats, the Iranian official said the American defeats in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria have sapped Washington’s defense power.

“The US has lost its leadership in many parts of the world, while alternative models such as the Saudi-led proxy wars on Yemen have also gone nowhere,” he underlined.

Rezaei also said that Iran should seize the opportunity provided by the decline of the US to make progress and take advantage of new sciences.

In comments in November 2018, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei highlighted the diminishing influence of the US government in all areas of power, saying Washington has even discredited “liberal democracy” which is known as the basis of Western civilization.

There is a consensus among major international experts that the US power is dwindling in all areas, the Leader underscored, adding that, conversely, the Iranian nation is moving forward and has a bright future.

Ayatollah Khamenei also branded the US government as the loser of confrontation with the Islamic Republic over the past 40 years, saying the fact in confrontation between the US and Iran is that “the victorious side in this challenge has been the Islamic Republic of Iran and the loser has been the US.”

More protests against Macron outside the temple walls

Israel Embassy in France decries ‘anti-French acts’ of Palestinians in Gaza

The Israeli Embassy in France condemned Monday the “anti-French acts” and protesters who burned photos of French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday night in Gaza.

“We wholeheartedly condemn the anti-French acts and the burning of photos of President Emmanuel Macron by Palestinian activists in the Gaza Strip. Especially when this occurs with the tacit encouragement of Hamas,” the embassy tweeted.

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In the city Khan Younes in the Gaza Strip, a handful of demonstrators burned photos of Emmanuel Macron and called for the defense of the prophet and of Islam, according to witnesses.

More terror in the Pakistani nuclear horn

8 students killed, 136 wounded after bombing at Islamic seminary in Pakistan

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — A powerful bomb blast ripped through an Islamic seminary on the outskirts of the northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar on Tuesday morning, killing at least eight students and wounding 136 others, police and a hospital spokesman said.

The bombing happened as a prominent religious scholar during a special class was delivering a lecture about the teachings of Islam at the main hall of the Jamia Zubairia madrassa, said police officer Waqar Azim. He said initial investigations suggest the bomb went off minutes after someone left a bag at the madrassa.

TV footage showed the damaged main hall of the seminary, where the bombing took place. The hall was littered with broken glass and its carpet was stained with blood. Police said at least 11 pounds of explosives were used in the attack.

Several of the wounded students were in critical condition, and hospital authorities feared the death toll could climb further. Authorities said some seminary teachers and employees were also wounded in the bombing.

Initially police said the bombing killed and wounded children studying at the seminary but later revised their account to say that the students were in their mid-20s.

Shortly after the attack, residents rushed to the seminary to check up on their sons or relatives who were studying there. Many relatives were gathering at the city’s main Lady Reading Hospital, where the dead and wounded students were brought by police in ambulances and other vehicles.

Some Afghan students studying at the seminary were also among the wounded, officials said.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan condemned the bombing and asked authorities to ensure the provision of best possible medical aid to the victims.

“I want to assure my nation we will ensure the terrorists responsible for this cowardly barbaric attack are brought to justice,” Khan said.

The bombing drew condemnation from the country’s opposition party, which has been holding rallies meant to force Khan’s government to quit.

From his hospital bed, a wounded student, Mohammad Saqib, 24, said religious scholar Rahimullah Haqqani was explaining verses from the Quran when suddenly they heard a deafening sound and then cries and saw blood-stained students crying for help.

“Someone helped me and put me in an ambulance and I was brought to hospital,” he said. Saqib had bandages on both arms but he was listed in a stable condition.

Another witness, Saeed Ullah, 24, said up to 500 students were present at the seminary’s main hall at the time of the explosion. He said teachers were also among those who were wounded in the bombing.

A video filmed by a student at the scene showed the Islamic scholar Haqqani delivering a lecture when the bomb exploded. It was unclear whether the teacher was among the wounded.

Mohammad Asim, a spokesman at the Lady Reading Hospital, said eight students died and they received dozens of wounded people, mostly seminary students.

The attack comes days after Pakistani intelligence alerted that militants could target public places and important buildings, including seminaries and mosques across Pakistan, including Peshawar.

India Pakistan conflict:Nuclear war between India and Pakistan could kill up to 125 million and launch a global climate catastrophe

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in Peshawar which is the provincial capital of Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. The province has been the scene of such militant attacks in recent years, but sectarian violence has also killed or wounded people at mosques or seminaries across Pakistan.

The latest attack comes two days after a bombing in the southwestern city of Quetta killed three people. The Pakistani Taliban have been targeting public places, schools, mosques and the military across the country since 2001, when this Islamic nation joined the U.S.-led war on terror following the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

Mohammad Khurasani, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, condemned Tuesday’s bombing. In a statement, he described the attack as a cowardly act, claiming that the country’s institutions were behind it.

Since then, the insurgents have declared war on the government of Pakistan and have carried out numerous attacks, including a brutal assault on an army-run school in the city of Peshawar in 2014 that killed 140 children and several teachers.

Israel army strikes Hamas military target outside the Temple Walls: Revelation 11

Israel army strikes Hamas military target in response to Gaza rocket attack

Missile fire is seen from Damascus, Syria May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

An Israeli aircraft struck what the army said was a Hamas military target in the southern Gaza Strip late Monday, shortly after Gaza militants fired a rocket into Israel.

The rocket landed in an open area and did not cause any damage or injuries, Israeli media reported. But it broke a weekslong lull in the area. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the rocket fire.

But Israel holds Gaza’s Hamas rulers responsible for all fire out of the territory and usually responds to rocket attacks with airstrikes on Hamas targets. There were no reports of casualties from the Israeli airstrike.

In the Israeli-occuped West Bank, meanwhile, the Israeli army said it opened fire at three Palestinian men who were throwing firebombs at troops near the settlement of Einav.

It said one of the suspects was hit, while the two others managed to flee. There were no further details on the condition of the man who was shot.