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Coal block auction likely to fetch Rs.3,35,370 crore for states
The auction of 67 coal blocks is expected to fetch a revenue of nearly Rs.3,35,370 crore for seven states where the mines are located, besides additional benefit of Rs.69,310.97 crore to consumers "in terms of reduction of electricity tariffs", parliament was informed on Thursday.
 
"Out of 204 coal blocks cancelled by the Supreme Court, the government has so far allocated 67 coal mines through auction and allotment in 2015 in accordance with the provisions of Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Act, 2015, and the Rules made thereunder," Power and Coal Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha in a written reply.
 
According to a statement from the central government, Jharkhand owns the highest number of coal blocks at 20, followed by Chhattisgarh at 14 and West Bengal at 11.
 
The other states who will benefit from the auctions are Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Telangana.
 
"One coal block, namely Ardhagram (in West Bengal), where the successful bidder was declared, has been handed over to designated custodian in view of a court case," said the central government statement.

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Top IS commander killed in Iraq
A top military aide to Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has been killed in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, the al-Hadath TV channel reported on Thursday.
 
A crack team of former Baathist soldiers shot dead Wisan Kanan, one of the militant group's top commanders in Mosul, the channel said.
 
"A special force of the Free Officers Movement gunned down Wisan Kanan," Mohammad Bahaj, a member of the Free Officers Movement, told al-Hadath.
 
The Free Officers Movement has claimed the killing of several IS leaders in recent months, including Abu Shahab al Suri, the group's commander in the western area of Mosul.
 
It was established in June last year by 490 former officers from the Baathist regime of late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
 
Kanan, a former Al Qaeda leader, was one of the most prominent IS commanders in extremist-held Mosul, Bahaj was quoted as saying.
 
He had joined hardline rebel group al-Nusra Front in Syria and was earlier arrested by the US forces in Iraq in 2010, according to Bahaj.

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