Xinhua Asia-Pacific news summary at 1600 GMT, Dec. 3

GARDEZ, Afghanistan -- Casualties were feared in a bomb explosion at a main traffic circle in Gardez city, capital of Afghanistan's eastern Paktia province on Thursday, local police confirmed.

The blast came roughly at 6:30 p.m. local time when a convoy of security forces members was passing by the area, Hayyat Nezami, provincial police spokesman, told Xinhua. (Afghanistan-Explosion)

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NEW DELHI -- Successful talks were held between the government and the protesting farmers on Thursday, Indian Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar told the media.

The talks lasted more than seven hours, but remained inconclusive and would resume on Saturday, he added. This was the fourth round of talks between the two sides. (India-Farmers-Talks)

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ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan on Thursday condemned the assassination of high-ranking Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, strongly urging all parties to exercise maximum restraint and avoid further escalation of tensions in the region.

Fakhrizadeh, dubbed "father of the Iranian bomb," was assassinated near the capital Tehran last month by "armed terrorists," according to Iran's Ministry of Defense. (Pakistan-Iran-Nuclear physicist)

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DHAKA -- Bangladesh reported 2,316 new COVID-19 cases and 35 new deaths on Thursday, making the tally at 471,739 and death toll at 6,748, the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) said.

The official data showed that 16,807 samples were tested in the last 24 hours across Bangladesh. The total number of recovered patients in the country stood at 388,379 including 2,593 new recoveries on Thursday, said the DGHS. (Bangladesh-COVID-19)

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