growing discontent. we speak to people inside iraq's isil controlled mosul, who say that are hostages in their own city. ♪ this is al jazeera live from our headquarters in doha. also ahead egypt launches military operations in three cities in the sigh any peninsula after a string of deadly attacks. an tack on a mosque in southern pakistan kills at least 35 people.
plus -- >> we feel very sad that in fact we have come home empty handed. 398 days behind bars in egypt, the family of jailed al jazeera journalist peter greste call again for his release. ♪ hello, we begin with the islamic state of iraq and the levant. that's because the group's presence is being felt right across borders. in iraq's oil rich region of kirkuk fighters have killed a senior kurdish commander as well as five soldiers. 46 people have been wounded. while over in egypt, a group that's pledged allegiance to isil has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks that took place in the sinai peninsula. meanwhile there's the fate of a jordanian pilot.
it remains unknown. isil threatening to kill him and their latest deadline has passed. we'll have more on that and the situation in sinai in just a moment. but first we'll take you to mosul. and al jazeera has gained rare access incite into what life is like for people living in that iraqi city under the control of isil. mosul is considered iraq's second-largest city. tens of thousands this fled the violence there. it's a of strategic importance because of the nearby mosul dam that supplies most of the country's water and power. right now kurdish fighters have control of that dam. the city is predominantly sunni. many of whom had become resentful of the government in iraq which is why many of them initially welcomed isil fighters. but as zana hoda reports not everyone is happy living under
isil rule. >> reporter: mosul is under the control of the islamic state of iraq and the levant. it has become almost impossible for its residents to leave. isil demands they provide a garantor to leave. >> they want us as human shields. >> reporter: for security reasons this person has to remain anonymous. he has been communicating to his friends in the kurdish regional capitol. even they hide their identity. they left when isil took over in june. the armed group has cut off most of the communication lines inside of mosul, but the voices that do come out, speak of isil's harsh laws and hardships. >> there is no money. because there is unemployment.
but we can -- we can still have hope that the federation -- it is this hope that keeps us live. >> some of the people welcome them but at the same time there are hundreds of thousands of people who were sitting home crying about the city. >> reporter: in the predominantly sunni city welcomed isil fighters when they first entered in june. the iraqi army was seen as sectarian. now there are reports that opposition to isil is increasing. we can't independently confirm that because we don't have access to mosul. but videos like this one have been emerging showing the mosul brigades targeting isil members. >> since august most brigades the once who announced to fight isil in mosul, they have done more than a few hundred
operations against isil. >> reporter: and outside mosul, mainly sunni volunteers from the city have been training for the fight. their role is important in any counter offensive against isil. the people of mosul may not want isil rule but they have had a bitter history with the shia lead government forces. to jordan now and the latest on those negotiations to free a jordanian pilot. jordan is demanding proof that the pilot is still alive. >> reporter: this has become the effective campaign headquarters for the family who are pleading with the isil hostage takers to show proof that he is alive. the 26-year-old pilot, while no one knows exactly what the situation is his plane crashed in syria more than a month ago now, and no conclusive proof has been given.
the families say that source suggest that he was live when that last deadline -- the second deadline was given by isil of thursday noon otherwise they would kill him, unless there was the release of a prisoner the iraqi would-be suicide bomber. then there's the japanese film maker who is also held by isil. japanese diplomats calling for his release, but really it's very hard to conceive that a three-way deal can be done and right now, time seems to be running out. but calls are being made to isil to say something, and they certainly have the upper hand in this situation. egypt's military as launched operations in three cities in the sinai prens la. it follows a string of deadly attacks there, carried out by a group that has pledged allegiance to isil. at least 45 people were killed
including a brigadier general. imran khan has the details. >> reporter: the force of the explosion can be seen from far way. fighters from an armed group say they are responsible for thursday's attack. they have pledged allegiance to the islamic state of iraq and the levant or isil. the attackers used a barrage of rockets and a car bomb in the provincial capitol and a nearby town in four separate attacks. one journalist told al jazeera why the military base may have been chosen. >> translator: what i have learned is that many were injured and many of the civilians detained inside were seriously wounded. the battalion is a military base and houses prisons and detention centers for what the army describes as extremists. >> reporter: it's being taken very serious by the government.
al-sisi cut short a trip to ethiopia and has returned to cairo. after a previous attack the egyptian government insisted it would increase security measures even going so far as building a buffer zone along the gaza strip. there has been a bombing in pakistan at a mosque. the blast killed at least 35 people and injured more than 50 others. >> reporter: chaos in the moments after. people around the area try to help the injured. they are loaded on to cars motorbikes rickshaws, any means of ferrying them for treatment before the ambulance rives. a shia mosque under attack. this time the bombing happened in the city in the southern
province. the mosque was packed during friday prayers when an explosion ripped through the building. the blast was so powerful that part of the roof collapsed, trapping people underneath. many were killed and others were injured. the shia minority have been caught in recent waves of sectarian violence. a bombing outside of another shia mosque killed eight people. shias make up a fifth of pakistans population. community leaders say the government isn't doing enough to ensure their safety and attacks like this show they are a target. gerald tan, al jazeera. in yemen protesters have rallied in the southern city of aden. it comes just a week after
yemen's president and cabinet resigned after they failed to cobble together a deal with houthi leaders. our correspondent has more. >> reporter: there is some movement on the political front here in yemen albeit very little with no real results in sight in that the different political parties have been meeting in the capitol sana'a the houthis as well as the other political parties to try to set up a presidential council. however, the reason why it doesn't seem that there is a result in sight is that the political parties are demanding from the houthi movement that they relinquish all of the power they have taken by force since coming into the capitol on september 21st. that demand they say must be met before a presidential council could be formed because without it any presidential council would be truthless. it would not be able to run the
capitol of the country, because the capitol is still under the hands of houthi fighters. the houthi movement are very unlikely to agree to that demand. on the ground there is also some developments in that there were protests across several of the governs across yemen. the protests haven't been as large as yemenese have seen in the past but there are a fear factor after they saw houthi fighters attack injure or even kill some of those who had taken to protest against their advancement. so the fact that these protests are taking place, some say there is a sense to prove that that fear factor is broken.
>> i'm ali velshi, the news has become this thing where you talk to experts about people and al jazeera has really tried to talk to people, about their stories. we are not meant to be your first choice for entertainment. we are ment to be your first choice for the news. ♪ hello again, the top stories on al jazeera. people living in the isil controlled city of mosul in northern iraq have told al jazeera it has become almost impossible to leave. they say the group wants to use them as human shields. egypt's military has launched operations in three cities in the sinai peninsula.
it follows a string of deadly attacks there carried out by a group that has pledged allegiance to isil. and air force and ground troops have becomed boko haram fighters. they sent hundreds of troops into cameroon last week to launch attacks against the armed group. to lebanon where thousands have gathered in the hezbollah strong hold. the group's heard is addressing the crowd right now. tensions have been high between the lebanese group and israel after two israeli soldiers and the u.n. peace keeper were killed on wednesday, this follows an attack in israel which killed six hezbollah fighters. crossing over to nicole
johnston who joins us from beirut. nicole what has he been saying? >> so far the speech has been quite long and ongoing. and he has congratulated the families. he called it a quality operation that took place, and he also emphasized the family's sacrifice referring to the fighter who was killed in an attack in syria, the son of a senior hezbollah leader who had previously been assassinated in 2008. he referred to the iranian general who was killed in that syria mission, saying that there had been a mixing of iranian and lebanese blood on syrian soil. he then moved on to the next part of his speech. it seems to have been quite broken up making his case against israel. so very firmly goes back to hezbollah's original roots as a
resistance movement against israel. the talked about the gaza war, palestinian prisoners, and moved on this israel's occupation of the golan heights, criticizing israel of its role in syria, destroying the positions of the syrian government. so that has been the main focus so far. he then move on to the attack in syria. he emphasized the fact that the hezbollah fighters there had been on a field mission he called it a surveillance mission. and he said that israel had decided to escalate the situation. he called the attack in syria an assassination that we believe had been ordered at the very highest levels of the israeli government. that they knew exactly who they were dealing with in syria, that it wasn't an accidental attack.
>> nicole i suppose -- [ overlapping speakers ] >> i suppose it's a little bit too early to see whether there has been any reaction from lebanese politicians to what he is saying right now, but they did come out and they did condemn the attack that took place from the occupied farms on the israeli army a couple of days ago. >> reporter: well the lebanese government released a statement late last night, actually and that statement they had been working on all day. in that statement, they said that lebanon -- they said that lebanon continues to -- to stick by the united nations resolution 1701. now that was the resolution that ended the war between -- between israel and hezbollah, really wanting to sort of distance -- distance the attack
inside the farms in some respect from the lebanese state. they don't want lebanon to be dragged into another war in israel. many of the lebanese politicians have been very keen to sort of try and distance what happened in shaba farms to something that hezbollah has carried out outside of the state. >> okay. thank you nicole. saudi arabia's new king salman has reshuffled the cabinet. one key department where there's no change in fact is the oil ministry. and that is critical because oil prices have plummeted in recent months with saudi arabia refusing to take action to prevent that decline. we spoke to a former membering of the council and he explains why the shakeup will be a good move. >> look what happened to the
council of ministers when king salman abolished the 12 supreme council. all of these were dealing with economic issues issues that have to do with the [ inaudible ], so abolishing these, he made an alternative. he left the cabinet as it is under him, but he issued a decree forming two councils. one council for security and foreign affairs, and one council for economic development. the council for security and foreign affairs is headed by a very young man, compared to me has eight ministers. his [ inaudible ] is the minister of interior. and then you have the other council that has 21 ministers. all of the ministers that have any dealing with the citizen in his common day-to-day life.
electricity, water, housing, planning all of these have been grouped into one council headed by a man in his early 30s. so definitely this is young blood. and these two councils are independent. pro-russian rebels in ukraine say at least seven people have been killed in theisern city of donetsk. a spokesman says 23 others have been wounded in artillery fire. charles stratford has the latest from donetsk. >> reporter: well we're hear at this cultural center which is the site of one of these attacks earlier today. we have been speaking to witnesses, they say it happened around 1:00 p.m. they say there were at least three missiles or explosive projectiles that hit this center. apparently we hear that there
were hundreds of people queueing up to receive humanitarian aid at the time. and as you rightly say one of two attacks in donetsk today. the other one hitting a trolly bus. no one claiming responsibility. five people reportedly killed here and many many injured. gruesome scenes behind me around that car you can see some of the area that was hit. as we have been reporting, this just the latest in what seems to be a big escalation in fighting here in eastern ukraine. we have just returned from north of donetsk, where we met rebels and they told us just how determined they were to continue fighting. no interest whatsoever in any truce talks there. and of course this comes on a day where there have been or certainly initiated efforts at trying to get those peace talks
going again in minsk, and the rebels pulling out of them. so a graphic demonstration of just how difficult it is to stop the fighting. south africa's government has granted parole to a death squad leader. he was notorious for the kidnap torture and murder of a number of anti-apartheid activists in the 1980s. tanya paige has an update. >> reporter: reaction to the news greeted with mixed feelings here on the streets. one woman said that he should be forgiven it's time for the nation to move forward. another man said he has only served a very small fraction of the 200-year sentence that was handed down to him, and he should rot in prison. he admitted to over 200 acts of
kidnapping torture and killing. his existence struck fear in the hearts of millions of south africans. the justice minister said he has the support of the president in granting his parole. that he meets the requirements he is eligible he has shown remorse, he has been helping police identify some of the locations of some of his victims and that the minister of justice said it was in his best interest and the best interest of national reconciliation that he be granted parole. chad's air force have bombed boko haram fighters. they are using the neighboring country to launch attacks
against the group. >> reporter: chadian defense officials have confirmed that their forces stationed on the border between nigeria and cameroon have taken on boko haram fighters in the village in northeast nigeria. they say they first used a jet bomber to attack the fighters and those who fled to the border were then attacked by their ground forces, who were stationed in the cameroonian border town. forces don't have the authority of the nighian government to fight boko haram inside nigeria, and the reluctance by nigeria to allow canadian and cameroonian forces in their country to fight the boko haram fighters is putting at risk the entire regional efforts that have been put in place to fight boko haram. nigerian authorities are said to prefer troops from countries that are members of the economic
community of west africian state. cameroon and chad have also been affected by the boko haram attacks with chad at risk because the road that links it to nigeria is currently closed by boko haram. boko haram is high on the agenda at the african union summit in the ethiopian capitol. members calling for 7.5 thousand troops to eradicate the group. the government in the central african republic has rejected a ceasefire deal signed by rebel fighters. it also demands a trags situational government to be appointed to replace the interim president. thousands of people have die interested in the violence that has gripped car, since the
seleka seized fire. the afghan taliban says it carried out a shooting that killed three american contractors and an afghan man. witnesses say the gunman was dressed in police uniform. an investigation is now underway. the family of jailed al jazeera journalist peter greste have renewed their call for his freedom. they have just returned from egypt where peter has been held in prison for 398 days. he was wrongly accused along with two other al jazeera journal lists, mohammed fahmy, and baher mohamed, of colluding with the outlawed muslim brotherhood. wayne haye reports from brisbane. >> reporter: by now they thought they wouldn't have to be doing this. the family of peter greste spoke to media in brisbane australia to talk about their son and brother still locked up in cairo, egypt. >> it has been a long time of
anxiety and stress largely because we feel very sad that in fact we have come home empty handed. >> reporter: peter greste mohammed fahmy, and baher mohamed were arrested in cairo on december the 29th 2013. in a trial widely dismissed as a farce, they were sentenced to between seven and ten years in prison for aiding the outlawed muslim brotherhood. at the start of this month, a court in cairo ordered a retrial in the case of the al jazeera three. the convictions were set aside, providing some hope that the president of egypt can now intervene. last year he issued a presidential decree that would allow for foreigners to be deported to either face trial or serve time in their home countries. that was encouraging for greste and mohammed fahmy. the president says he wants the
situation sorted out as soon as possible. >> the 25th of january there was quite a lot of talk around the possibility of the guys being pardoned. as yet there's been no news of that, and -- and the -- you know the -- egypt is going to a seven-day period of mourning for the saudi king so that sort of -- that announcement we understand is being put on hold. >> reporter: peter greste's parents just returned from cairo where they visited him several times. >> the last time we saw him, wasn't his best day, but it wasn't his worse. he has had a few grim days but everybody does and -- and of course that would happen if you are in prison but he is holding up okay. and, you know, he's -- he's -- does everything he possibly can to maintain his -- i was going to say
sanity. >> reporter: this was yet another media conference where the family of peter greste were unable to deliver any good news. and once again they hope the next one will be different. just a reminder you can always keep up to date with all of the news on our website, aljazeera.com. today on "talk to al jazeera." astronaut chris hadfield. >> it's the raw human experience that's at the core of anything that matters. >> it was a young boy from ontario that became the first canadian to walk in space. >> it's hard relentless. the selection process to become an astronaut is nearly impossible.