Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1000 GMT, Jan. 18

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ISLAMABAD -- Several people were injured when an explosion hit a passenger train in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday afternoon, local media and railway officials said.

The incident happened a few minutes after the train left the provincial capital of Quetta, an official with the media cell of the Pakistan Railways told Xinhua on condition of anonymity as they were still gathering details of the blast to compile the initial report. (Pakistan-Blast-Train)

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QALA-E-NAW, Afghanistan -- The death toll from a magnitude 5.6 earthquake in Afghanistan's western province of Badghis has risen to 22, a provincial official said Tuesday.

"The latest figures by our local sources showed that 22 people died and five others were wounded following Monday's earthquake in Qadis district, the worst-hit area, " Baz Mohammad Sarwari, director of information and culture for Badghis province, told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Earthquake-Death Toll)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan recorded 5,034 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, surpassing 5,000 for the first time in nearly five and a half months, the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) said on Tuesday.

The country recorded 5,661 infections on Aug. 4 last year. (Pakistan-COVID-19)

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MANILA -- The Philippines recorded 28,471 new COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, raising the number of confirmed cases in the Southeast Asian country to 3,270,758, according to the Department of Health (DOH).

The department also said that the Omicron variant of COVID-19 was detected in over 90 percent of the samples based on the latest genome sequencing, indicating that it is now the dominant variant in the Philippines. (Philippines-COVID-19) Enditem

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