Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, April 14

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KABUL -- Afghan government Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah will not attend the consultative Loya Jirga or traditional gathering of chieftains, elders and notables on peace, expected to be convened later this month, said a statement released by his office here Sunday.

The statement said the members of his team had not been consulted on the subject, and it feels there were no convincing reasons to hold consultative Jirga. (Afghanistan-Peace meeting)

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DHAKA -- With a combination of traditional and modern ritual practices, people in Bangladesh Sunday celebrated the Bengali New Year 1426.

Like in previous years, people in Dhaka raising masks and wearing traditional costumes joined the colorful procession - the Mangal Shobha Jatra - to welcome the New Year with good spirits on Sunday morning. (Bangladesh-New Year)

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MANILA -- A DNA test has confirmed that Abu Dar, the lone survivor of the Maute Group leadership that plotted the 2017 attack of Marawi City in the southern Philippines, has been killed, Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said on Sunday.

"It is confirmed, it's Abu Dar's remains. Well, for now his group is leaderless. We are monitoring who will replace Dar," Lorenzana said. (Philippines-Marawi)

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FAIZABAD, Afghanistan -- At least two Afghan security force members and 10 militants were killed in fresh clashes in Afghanistan's northern province of Badakhshan overnight as fighting rages in the country, a military source said Sunday.

"The clashes erupted in the surrounding area of Jurm district after Taliban tried to overrun the district at midnight," Ghulam Hazrat Karimi, a press officer of the army's Division 20 Pamir, told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Clashes)

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SYDNEY -- A shooting outside a nightclub in Australia's Victoria state capital Melbourne on Sunday morning left at least four people injured, with two victims in critical condition, police said.

An investigation is underway and the exact circumstances are still being established, according to a police statement. (Australia-Shooting) Enditem

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