IN China, the country’s foreign ministry has attacked a statement by 22 Western countries at the United Nations urging it to stop holding members of its Muslim population in detention centres.

Spokesman Geng Shuang called the measures necessary for national security and accused the countries of trampling on China’s sovereignty.

He said at a daily briefing that the letter “disregarded the facts, slandered and attacked China with unwarranted accusations, flagrantly politicised human rights issues and grossly interfered in China’s internal affairs”.

“The Chinese side expressed strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition,” Geng said, adding that China had registered “solemn complaints” with the countries involved.

In addition to travel restrictions and a massive surveillance network, China is estimated to have arbitrarily detained up to one million Muslims in prison-like

detention centres in Xinjiang, with reports of harsh treatment and poor living conditions inside.

China denies committing abuses in the centres and calls them training schools aimed at providing employable skills and combating extremism.

TWO children were among seven people killed and more than 100 injured when a powerful storm hit northern Greece.

Wednesday night’s storm in the northern Halkidiki peninsula ripped up trees and power pylons, overturned vehicles and left swathes of debris across the coast.

Police said around 140 people were injured, most of them lightly, in Wednesday’s storm. Paramedics treated 65 of the injured.

Government spokesman Stelios Petsas said 23 people remained in hospital yesterday.

Six of the dead were tourists – two each from Russia, the Czech Republic and Romania.

A PASSENGER train has rammed into a freight train at a railway station in southern Pakistan, killing at least 20 people and injuring 74 others.

The freight train was stationary when the speeding passenger train hit it at Walhar Railway Station in Rahim Yar Khan, in the eastern Punjab province.

Authorities said Pakistan’s army was taking part in the rescue efforts.

AND finally, a £2 billion project to confine radioactive debris at the nuclear reactor that exploded in Chernobyl, Ukraine, in 1986 has been unveiled.

The structure – which took nine years to build – was constructed to secure the molten reactor core and 200 tons of radioactive material at the site.

Officials have described the shelter as the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres and a total weight of over 36,000 metric tons.