Chinese President begins two-day visit to Pakistan
China and Pakistan on Monday launched a $46 billion economic corridor plan as Chinese President Xi Jinping began a two-day visit to the South Asian country. Pakistani officials said that China would provide up to $37 billion in investments for energy projects, and $10 billion in concessional loans for infrastructure projects. The proposed corridor would transform Pakistan into a regional hub and give China a shorter and cheaper route for trade with the rest of Asia, said Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. Xi added that the plan would cement an “all-weather strategic cooperative partnership” between the countries. “Our cooperation in the security and economic fields reinforce each other, and they must be advanced simultaneously,” he added.

46 killed, 300 injured in airstrike in Yemen
At least 46 people were killed and 300 injured in an airstrike on a missile base in Yemen’s capital city of Sana'a on Monday. The base, targeted by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, was allegedly controlled by the Republican Guard, a group accused of siding with Shia Houthi rebels in the country. A number of nearby houses were damaged in the explosion. Yemen’s foreign minister, Riyadh Yassine, said that Gulf countries would launch reconstruction projects to rebuild the country after the conflict ended. The air campaign against the Houthis began on March 26, with Saudi Arabia saying that it would continue until ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was reinstated.

EU to launch military action on human smugglers
The European Union on Monday decided to launch military operations against migrant smuggling networks in Libya while also deciding to boost maritime patrols in the Mediterranean Sea and give their naval mission broader mandates to save lives. The decisions were taken after an emergency meeting of the Interior and Foreign Ministers of the Union, which was called in response to the deaths of at least 1,300 migrants in less than a fortnight. A summit of the leaders of the member-countries of the EU will take place on Thursday to formally agree to the proposals. However, the military action will require a mandate from the United Nations. A pilot scheme to resettle 5,000 refugees in various member countries was also announced.

Bomb blast in Somalia kills six UN workers
At least six workers from the United Nations were killed in a bomb blast that took place in the north-eastern town of Garowe in Somalia on Monday. The bomb was believed to have been attached to the underside of a minibus transporting the workers, said Somalian police official Abdullahi Mohamed. It was detonated near the UN’s office in the city, he said. However, a UN official in Somalia was unable to confirm the death toll. Somalian militant group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that the world body had been targeted as it was “part of the colonisation force in Somalia”. The group has been waging a campaign to overthrow the internationally-recognised government in Somalia. Earlier this month, fighters from the outfit killed nearly 150 people in attack on a Kenyan university.

Lebanese ex-minister admits to ferrying explosives
Former Lebanese minister Michel Samaha on Monday admitted to transporting explosives and money from Syria, which were used for attacks on the Lebanese border. However, he claimed that he had been the victim of entrapment by Lebanese intelligence agencies. “True, I made a mistake, but I wanted to avoid sectarian strife,” said Samaha at the first session of his trial before a military tribunal. Samaha’s lawyer said that he had been harassed for four months by a member of the agencies to transport the explosives. The former minister was arrested in 2012 over allegations that he and Ali Mamluk, the head of security services in Syria, had planned the assassinations of political and religious figures in Lebanon. Samaha faces the death penalty if convicted.