Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Feb. 26

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KATHMANDU -- Nepal's economy grew at 0.8 percent during the first quarter of the current 2022-23 fiscal year which began in mid-July last year, the lowest year-on-year growth in the past seven years, the National Statistics Office (NSO) reported on Sunday.

The country logged a growth of 3 percent over the same period of the 2021-22 fiscal year and has targeted an 8-percent growth for the current fiscal year.

Nepal had witnessed negative growth in five sectors: construction, mining and quarrying, wholesale and retail and repair of motor vehicles, transportation and storage and education, according to the NSO figures. (Nepal-Economic Growth)

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ISLAMABAD -- At least four people were killed and 10 others wounded on Sunday in a bomb blast in Pakistan's southwest Balochistan province, the police said.

According to the police, the blast took place in the Rukni Bazaar, a busy market in the Barkhan district of the province. An explosive device planted in a motorcycle was detonated with a remote-controlled device.

Hospital officials feared that the death toll might rise as some of the injured were in critical condition. No group claimed the deadly attack yet. (Pakistan-Bazaar-Bomb Blast)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh's National Board of Revenue (NBR) on Sunday withdrew import duty on both raw and refined sugar in order to enable consumers to get the sweetener at reduced rates.

In a notification, NBR withdrew a 3,000 taka (about 28 U.S. dollars) specific duty on the import of raw sugar and 6,000 taka duty on refined sugar per tonne with immediate effect.

Apart from this, the NBR reduced the regulatory duty on the import of sugar to 25 percent from 30 percent. (Bangladesh-Import Duty-Sugar)

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SYDNEY -- An earthquake with a magnitude of 6.2 jolted 29 km east-northeast of Kandrian, Papua New Guinea, at 21:24:48 GMT on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.

The epicenter, with a depth of 38.158 km, was initially determined to be at 6.111 degrees south latitude and 149.7927 degrees east longitude.

The USGS reported that a 4.4-magnitude earthquake also hit 37 km east-northeast of Kandrian at 22:50:37 GMT on Saturday. (Papua New Guinea- Earthquake) Enditem

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