Parcel firm Hermes temporarily halted work at a depot in eastern Germany after two male workers died within hours of each other and a third was taken ill. Police tested a poisonous substance found in a parcel but said the amount was not sufficient to cause death. Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on the two men, but police say initial medical reports suggest the two deaths are not linked and there are no specific signs of poisoning.
A passenger train headed from Berlin to Russia was abruptly evacuated and decontaminated, as a spike in radiation levels was recorded. No passengers were aboard the contaminated train car when it arrived in Moscow, and a mobile laboratory was deployed to test samples.
An American Airlines flight from London, UK, to Philadelphia, US, landed in Ireland after cleaning chemicals leaked in the aircraft cabin on Monday. Two crew members and one customer were taken to the hospital for evaluation. A passenger on board the diverted flight said that a “chemical spillage” led to a “sickness outbreak” on the plane.
In early October North Korea fired a suspected submarine ballistic missile off its east coast, a day after it announced the resumption of talks with the US on ending its nuclear program. In the days following the incident, working-level nuclear talks in Sweden between officials from Pyongyang and Washington broke down, North Korea’s top negotiator said late on Saturday, dashing prospects for an end to months of stalemate.
In the escalation of the Hong Kong protests a first IED was detonated. The device was hidden in a bush and was triggered by a mobile phone as a police vehicle passed nearby in the Mong Kok district of Kowloon. The bomb caused no damage or injuries, but it was the first time such a device had been employed in weeks of clashes.
Violence and IED deployment in Afghanistan has continued throughout the month of October. Multiple explosions rocked a mosque in eastern Afghanistan which collapsed the roof on worshippers during Friday prayers, killing at least 62 and wounding more than 100. Earlier, a Taliban suicide bomber in a truck killed at least three and wounded 27. A UN report recorded over 4,300 civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan in the past three months.
Amidst Turkish offensive in northern Syria, the OPCW said it was ‘collecting information’ on claims Turkish forces used white phosphorus, whilst Ankara denies any wrongdoing. At least six civilians injured in airstrikes on the border town of Ras al-Ayn were treated for severe burns, leading to the comments by the OPCW. Turkey’s foreign ministry said the country had no chemical weapons in its inventory, whilst Syrian medics shared photos and medical reports showing blistering burns across the victims’ faces, torsos and arms.
At least ten Kenyan police were killed when their vehicle struck a homemade bomb near the border with Somalia in mid-October. Police believe the device, for which no one immediately claimed responsibility, was planted by Islamist group Al-Shabaab. A similar explosion in June killed around a dozen police.
A UN MINUSMA mission peacekeeper was killed and four others wounded when their vehicle hit an explosive device in northern Mali. The soldiers had been participating in a patrol near the village of Aguelhok when the blast hit. Less than a week before, 38 Malian soldiers were killed in a double attack on two army camps in central Mali – among the heaviest losses for Mali’s army in recent years.