Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, May 21

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MANILA -- Several passengers sustained minor injuries after their ferry collided with a cargo vessel on Sunday afternoon in central Philippines, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said.

The PCG said the accident happened at around 3 p.m. local time (0700 GMT) on Sunday while the ferry was sailing along Mactan channel near Mandaue-Mactan bridge. (Philippines-Ship Collision)

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NEW DELHI -- India Meteorological Department has issued a heatwave alert for seven states, officials said on Sunday.

Heat wave conditions are very likely over some areas of Uttar Pradesh and Gangetic West Bengal, Jharkhand, south Haryana, West Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and north Madhya Pradesh, according to the department. (India-Heatwave-Alert)

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FARAH, Afghanistan -- Construction of a major water reservoir dam, the Bakhsh Abad Dam, has begun in Afghanistan's western Farah province.

To be completed in five phases, the dam can irrigate more than 100,000 hectares of land, besides producing electricity for the people of Farah province, officials said at a ceremony to start the work on Saturday. (Afghanistan-Water dam)

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KABUL -- A military helicopter of the Afghan Air Force crashed in Afghanistan's northern Samangan province on Sunday, leaving two pilots dead, Afghan Defense Ministry has confirmed.

"An MD-530 model chopper of the Air Force was on patrol mission when it struck a power transmission line in Khalm district of Samangan province at 09:00 a.m. local time today and crashed and resultantly two pilots were martyred," the Defense Ministry said in a statement posted on its Twitter account. (Afghanistan-Chopper Crash-2nd LD Writethru) Enditem

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