Xinhua world news summary at 1530 GMT, Feb. 12

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NEW DELHI -- At least nine people were killed and 33 others injured, some of them critically, on Friday in an explosion inside a fireworks factory in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, officials said.

The blast took place at Acchankulam village in Virudhunagar district, about 484 km southwest of Chennai, the capital city of Tamil Nadu. (India-Fireworks-Blast)

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BAMAKO -- A Togolese peacekeeper of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), wounded in Wednesday's attack on a temporary MINUSMA base in central Mali, has died of his injuries, MINUSMA spokesperson Olivier Salgado confirmed on Friday.

The head of MINUSMA, Mahamat Saleh Annadif, conveyed his sincere condolences to the family of the peacekeeper and also to the Togolese government, Salgado said on social media posts. (Mali-UN-Peacekeeper)

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SANAA -- Yemen's Houthi militia on Thursday night claimed responsibility for attacking a Saudi air base with a ballistic missile.

"A ballistic missile fired by our forces hit King Khalid Air Base in Khamis Mushait city. It hit the target accurately," said Yahya Sarea, spokesman of the Houthi military, in a statement aired by the Houthi-run al-Masirah television. (Yemen-Houthi-Attack)

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LONDON -- The British economy shrunk faster than at any point in 100 years in 2020, as headline gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 9.9 percent, according to new data from the British Office for National Statistics (ONS) on Friday.

The last quarter of 2020 saw a rise of 1.0 percent in GDP but was sharply down on the 16.1 percent growth seen in the previous three months, said the ONS. (UK-Economy-COVID-19) Enditem

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