Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Oct. 27

TOKYO -- Japan confirmed 644 new daily COVID-19 infections on Tuesday, bringing the nationwide total to 98,262 cases not including those related to a cruise ship that was quarantined near Tokyo earlier in the year.

Of the 644 new cases, The Tokyo metropolitan government said that 158 of them were reported in the capital city.

The latest figure for Tokyo marks the eighth straight day that COVID-19 cases in the capital of 14 million have been in triple digits. (Japan-COVID-19)

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KABUL -- Several terrorist attacks including car bomb, roadside bomb and suicide attack claimed the lives of 16 people including seven attackers in Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials confirmed.

In the latest violent incident, a roadside bomb struck a car in Siory district of the southern Zabul province on Tuesday evening, killing four civilians aboard and injuring three others, provincial police chief Hekmatullah Kuchi said. (Afghanistan-Attacks)

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TOKYO -- The Japanese government endorsed a bill on Tuesday to make novel coronavirus vaccinations free to all residents here.

The bill will also compensate the suppliers of the vaccines should serious side effects be caused and free health care will be offered to recipients of the vaccine should they experience any adverse effects. (Japan-COVID-19-Vaccine)

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KUALA LUMPUR -- Two crew were killed after a ship hit an oil platform operated by Malaysian state oil company Petronas off the country's northern Borneo state of Sarawak on Tuesday, said the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), the country's coast guard.

The ship, Dayang Topaz, is believed to have hit the oil platform after one of its anchors broke during bad weather some 7.7 nautical miles (14.2 km) from shore, MMEA said. (Malaysia-Ship-Oil Platform)

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HONG KONG -- Ant Group, the parent company of China's leading mobile-payment business Alipay, started its initial public offering (IPO) in Hong Kong on Tuesday and plans to list on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) on Nov. 5.

According to its prospectus, the company's H share will offer over 1.67 billion shares at a price of 80 Hong Kong dollars (about 10.32 U.S. dollars) per share, and is set to raise around 132 billion Hong Kong dollars. (Hong Kong-Ant Group-IPO)

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