Xinhua world news summary at 1500 GMT, Jan. 31

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BRUSSELS -- Top European Union (EU) leaders sent a message of unity and hope on the day of the United Kingdom's departure, vowing that a smaller bloc would not translate into a weaker one.

Presidents Charles Michel, David Sassoli and Ursula von der Leyen, respectively of the European Council, the European Parliament and the European Commission, stood together on Friday morning to deliver remarks meant to elicit optimism and energy on the day when they lose one of the bloc's most important economic, political and military powerhouses. (Brussels-EU-Brexit)

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KABUL -- Two persons were killed and another injured as a handcart bomb went off in the western edge of Afghanistan's capital Kabul on Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said.

According to Rahimi, the terrorists placed explosive device inside a handcart and detonated it in Fazil Bega area of Police District 5 on Friday afternoon, killing two persons and wounding another. (Afghanistan-Bomb-Death)

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KUNDUZ, Afghanistan -- Seven civilians have been confirmed dead as fighting planes struck a suspected Taliban hideout in Dasht-e-Archi district of the northern Kunduz province on Thursday, locals said Friday.

According to two eyewitnesses who declined to be identified, the victims including two women and five men were going from Chardara district to the neighboring restive Dasht-e-Archi district when unmanned planes targeted them, killing the seven on the spot. (Afghanistan-Airstrikes-Civilians)

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MOSCOW -- Five people were killed and three others injured on Friday as a gas-air mixture went off in a factory in eastern Russia, the country's Ministry of Emergency Situations said.

The explosion, which happened in the morning at a workshop under construction in Mtsensk, a city in the Oryol Region, caused a partial collapse of its roof, the ministry said in a statement. (Russia-Blast -Casualties)

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ADDIS ABABA -- Four people were stabbed to death on Thursday in Ethiopia's western regional state of Benishangul-Gumuz, local authorities said on Friday.

The victims included two children, Benishangul-Gumuz regional state communication bureau said in a statement. (Ethiopia-Stabbing-Death)

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ADDIS ABABA -- A landslide in a gold mine killed at least 16 people in southwestern Eritrea, state media outlet Eri-TV reported on Friday.

News of the landslide, which occurred on Jan. 18, came out almost two weeks later due to the mine's remote location, Eri-TV said. (Eritrea-Landslide-Mine) Enditem

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