Skip to main content

tv   News  Al Jazeera  April 2, 2015 1:00pm-1:31pm EDT

1:00 pm
joining us, libby casey. more news in just a moment. more than 70 dead and hundreds still unaccounted for after al shabaab gunmen attack a college in northeast kenya. >> you're watching al jazeera live from london. also coming up iran nuclear talks reach a climax. a joint statement is expected soon, but is it a deal? we'll bring you that live.
1:01 pm
we begin with breaking news from kenya where at least 70 students were killed by al shabaab gunmen in the northeast of kenya. hundreds of students were held captive after fighters from the somolia-based group stormed the capital near the border with somolia. dozens have been rushed to hospital but police say large numbers of students remain
1:02 pm
unaccounted for. there's human life lost. as it stands now, we are able to rescue the 500 students, 500 students accounted for as i speak to you now. but unfortunately, we also -- are going to have -- we have not confirmed fully but it's in the region of 70. >> once student who managed to escape spoke of the moment gunmen stormed his dormitory. >> we were praying and were about to finish when some people came in from the main door and started shooting.
1:03 pm
there was one gunman firing from the doorway so i had to jump out of the window and that's when i was hit by a bullet in the leg. >> kenya's president expresses his condolences to the victim's families when he addressed the country. >> i also take this opportunity to urge kenyans to stay calm as we resolve this matter and to provide the authorities with any information they may have in connection with any threats to our security. this is a moment for everyone throughout the country to be vigilant as we confront and defeat our enemies. >> i'm joined live with a writer and comment -- common at a timeentate
1:04 pm
-- commentator. the scale is very very disappointing considering the fact that only a few years ago in west gate nearly 67 people were actually killed. i would suggest authorities need to be more prepared. this is a university that is close to the somali border. kenya has been a big target. i think they should have been doing slightly better. but today is very much about people coming together. i think we need to be doing a lot more of what we're doing. >> from what i gather this in particular university was one of
1:05 pm
the very few educational blirnlt establishments in that area. >> it's the highest education in that area. unfortunately without prejudice near to somolia, the vast majority of the people down there make it very difficult. you can't identify people by their national origin. it's quite often commonsense if kenyan forces -- >> like most other schools in the region are the most vulnerable and seeing what happened in nigeria, already in kenya, i think they should be doing more about this. >> i'm quite surprised by kenya
1:06 pm
because kenya probably compared to uganda you would say perhaps they have a much more organized system. but perhaps corruption is one of them. two, i think the last attempt -- attacks in kenya, some people say it has to do with the politics and some of the politicians actually played politics with it. but to be fair to kenya kenya is next to somolia. kenya was actually prompted to go into somolia. at the moment, kenya needs leadership leadership. they need to simply say, look, see what happened at west gate and this is happening today. i think it is possible something bigger could happen. >> we appreciate your time. thank you.
1:07 pm
we're going to take you to switzerland where talks on iran's nuclear program do appear to be making progress. as we know representatives from the u.s.a. the u.k. france germany, china, and russia have all been thrashing out a deal for more than two weeks now but in the last few hours or so there's been a flurry of activities around those talks. james, just tell us exactly what's going on at the moment. >>reporter: well what's going on now is the foreign ministers who have been in the ho tell behind me are now on their way to a technical college on the edge of the town where they will be giving a statement about what has been achieved here. now, what is not clear is the scope of that what exactly are they going to announce.
1:08 pm
is this an agreement? is it simply a statement? is it some sort of understanding. the information we have on what's going to be announced and we think that's going to really be in the next few moments, only comes from a few sources. everyone is keeping it pretty close to their chest. let me tell you those sources. one, the german foreign minister who just got in his car a moment ago. i manage to ask him what he thought had been achieved and as he got in the car and slammed the door he said this is an important step forward. we also have a tweet that's come from the iranian foreign minister who on his twitter in the last 12 minutes said we found solutions. ready to start drafting immediately. there is also a tweet in the last few moments from the iranian president saying they've got a solution on key parameters. he makes things a bit clearer saying we're ready to start
1:09 pm
drafting and have something ready by june 30th. the u.s. wanted something now. they wanted something concrete what they were calling a framework agreement. if all we're getting a statement saying things are going well and drafting is going on towards june 30th and that's maybe what we're going to hear in the next few minutes, we'll have to see, that may not be enough for congress because they have said we want to see that there's progress and many in congress are considering imposing new sanctions on iran. if those sanctions were to go through, then it could completely destroy this deal. that's why this is so crucial. and that's why the exact wording of what is announced and we expect it to be in the next few minutes, is important. let me tell you firstly what we're expecting to hear in this technical college. we're getting live pictures from there shortly i believe. we'll be expecting to hear the iranian foreign minister as well
1:10 pm
as a statement from the eu high representative. she will also be reading a statement. and then we're hearing that each of the individual foreign ministers may decide to say something and possibly take some questions. and we're also hearing it's likely the last one of the foreign ministers to speak will be secretary of state john kerry. remember, this has been a very protracted process and they've been going at these negotiations at all hours of the day. in fact overnight last night, there was a series of meetings that lasted a whole period of eight and a half hours finally finishing just before 6:00 o'clock in the morning. >> james, they're exhausted. i think the entire press corps there is exhausted. you mentioned the technical college where that press conference is taking place.
1:11 pm
you can see the flags of the p5+1. >> rebels are said to have seized the presidential palace in yemen which the president had been residing in up until a week ago. houthis did launch an attack on the site although whether they hold it is unclear at the moment. this youtube video shows a stronghold of the houthi. the attack on the presidential palace is a major blow to the saudi-led coalition which has been carrying out air strikes in yemen for the past week now. saudi arabia has also experienced itself first
1:12 pm
casualty since the campaign began. the interior ministry says one of its border guard soldiers was killed by gun fire across the border from yemen and al quaeda has been taking advantage of the turmoil to expand its foot hold into yemen. fighters have stormed a prison in the east and freed hundreds of prisoners including one of their leaders >> in the past hour the saudi spokesman gave this update on the battle saying houthi rebels are now isolated in the southern city. >> we managed to fend off all the houthi fighters on the outskirts of aden and we can say the situation is calm and stable. following the houthi's coup some of the houthi fighters were able to station inside the city. yesterday those fighters attempted to seize control of
1:13 pm
certain government facilities. heavy fighting erupted. such incidents were expected by coalition forces simply because the tactics and techniques are well known to us. they're also aiming to gain certain media victories. it's a desperate attempt by houthi fighter who is are now totally isolated inside aden. they're being hunted down and targeted at various locations within the city. we're in close contact with popular resistance fighters and we will rid the city of both infiltrate infiltrate infiltrate infiltrators. >> how significant is aden in that particular war against the yemeni hue thes and the saudi-led coalition.
1:14 pm
>> it's very significant. aden is the place where the president has moved the capital to and it's quite a significant place. aden is a very sea port. the influence of the red sea. it overlooks the gulf of aden and it's quite an important, you know junction of a lot of trade routes. it's very much reflected in what's going on in the talks in switzerland. since the former dictator has somehow given some word to show that what he has received as a warning from the saudi defense
1:15 pm
minister that aden is a red line not to cross over and he wants to prove that they can cross over the red line and there are, you know forces behind them which could prove effective. unfortunately, the allied arab forces have to a certain extent you know lost concentration on the ball. yes, the houthis are now in aden and are besieged and so on but this is proving to be very very hard on the civilians in aden. they are very much suffering. the situation is very grave in aden itself. besides that the former dictator is trying to push the so-called al quaeda you know group which is very much related to him. the people who took over are very much related to the former
1:16 pm
president. the whole situation is grave and things are going towards the end which the former dictator was all the time threat enning the world that he would put yemen in chaos and they have got to come back to him, he'll be the only savior of this situation. i think the allied forces needs to be quite, you know have got to put their foot on the ground. they need to bring some sort of presence on the ground.
1:17 pm
i think the situation needs more support from the command and control centers of the whole operation and the need to come and help our people in aden. >> we appreciate your thoughts on what is happening in yemen at the moment. appreciate your time. thank you. >> i want too return now to kenya which is our main story this hour that deadly hostage standoff at the university in northeast kenya. malcomb webb joins me on the phone live from the scene right now. do we know what's happening inside the university right now? >>reporter: a lot of firing a couple of explosions.
1:18 pm
we've spoken to people inside the compound on the phone and they've learned it could be one or two attackers wearing suicide vests and blowing themselves up at the end of the siege. this is not coming from officials. this is from eyewitnesses who are inside the compound. they say there's still some fear amongst the security forces and other people there that there might be one more assailant who could be wearing a citizen vest somewhere inside the building where most of the fighting is taking place. the government has said that 70 people have been killed but people that we spoke to in there said the figure may be much higher than that. they said it's also not been possible to count the bodies yet because people are worried about going in because of the potential risk of a suicide bomber still being inside. >> one of the big problems of course malcomb, it's not clear just how many students and staff
1:19 pm
were in the university at the time. >> no. but the first hostage we spoke to this morning on the phone said it was at least 200 and maybe more. we spoke to another hostage, a survivor who at the end of the siege said that almost all the other remaining hostages had been killed. she was a 22-year-old student who said she was just stepping over more bodies than she could count. >> just horrific. tell us are relatives of the students still being held hostage, are at the university or just waiting to get news? >> there have been several
1:20 pm
attacks in this region by al shabaab. no one is moving around on the streets now. there are kenyan soldiers on the streets. we actually had a couple of altercations with them. they were very aggressive. one of the people on our team was hit with the stick and we were forced away from the area and shouted at and threatened. that's the kind of treatment people will get on the streets at the moment so people are not free to move around really. but we have spoke on the some people who said they specifically warned the government about the vulnerability about this institution and of the teacher training college that's here. they said these institutions are vulnerable because of the concentration of people living
1:21 pm
in unsecured accommodations and a lot of people are not from this area they're from other parts of kenya. so concentration of people that al shabaab targets -- said think spfk clay warned the government about this risk. and then the attack happened and indeed the university proved very very vulnerable. >> malcomb webb live now with the latest on that hostage standoff. thank you for a moment. we promised you that any movement happening in switzerland regarding a possible deal over iran's nuclear program, we would bring it to you. jails once again joins us from the city. what do you know james? >>reporter: well, that news conference, the statement that
1:22 pm
will be read and some questions as well to start shortly but better we're getting some information about what is going to be announced from a number of different sources. and there are some concrete details in what's going to be announced. over that period two-thirds of iran's nuclear facilities we're told, will be frozen. and ten years is also crucial, remember that key sticking point we've been talking about, about research and development when iran would be able to start research and development. we're told after ten years iran may be able to start that
1:23 pm
research and development again. another of the points was about the stock pile of enriched uranium that iran already has. we've heard the majority of that will be shipped out of the country. one source said 95% of it will be shipped out of the country. this is what we're hearing from western diplomats. they will be announced in the next few minutes on this stage in this technical college on the edge of town about ten minutes from here. the foreign ministers who are present, you're going to see the iranian foreign minister as well as representatives of the so-called p5+1 which has been negotiating here in the last couple of weeks. eight days of continuous negotiations here on this particular session. the p5+1 the five permanent members of the u.n. security council, the u.s., the u.k.
1:24 pm
russia, france china, as well as germany. they are the representatives of the international community that have been negotiateing with iran and it appears they have reached an agreement. this news conference this statement, this announcement which will happen in the next few minutes is going to be watched very very closely. will this be enough for the u.s. administration to persuade congress not to impose those sanctions >> >> james, you've been hearing from your western sources. has anything been coming from the iranian contingent? twitter i think has been the most reliable source on that. >>reporter: twitter is where the
1:25 pm
information has been coming from the iranian side. and the main negotiator here the man who's been up with john kerry, they spent one series of meetings overnight, eight and a half hours finishing just before 6:00 a.m. and then a short break before they started talking again, the iranian foreign minister has said found solutions, ready to start drafting immediately. now, he's not talking about drafting what they're going to read out to us now and what we're going to be told now. he's still looking at. other deadline and that's the important thing to remember. you have this deal now but the other deadline is the big deadline. that is the end of june when they've got to get all the technical details. now, another thing i've heard which we'll have to watch closely is we're going to have what's been announced publicly here and i think there's been a lot of debate about what should be said publicly. we believe there are also some other working documents,
1:26 pm
technical documents that perhaps are not being made public to us. that has been suggested to us over the last couple of days that those sort of things exist. will those technical documents which are being kept secret shown to those on capitol hill who have been critical of this as a bit more evidence that sanctions at this time are a bad idea. >> i just got that iranian media are reporting that iran will have to slash centrifuges to 6,000 from 19,000. you can only imagine the details of what they're going to say in this press conference that we hope will happen soon every single word will be poured over. >>reporter: yeah absolutely. 6,000 centrifuges is something we had heard had been agreed in this. but that will still be very
1:27 pm
controversial. i can tell you, benjamin netanyahu doesn't want a single centrifuge so 6,000 still seems like quite a lot if you're a critic of this. and actually if you understand the science, there are different sorts of centrifuges. so the actual number isn't necessarily the key to how fast you can effectively get what you need which is highly-enriched uranium to build a bomb. and that's the other thing they've been working out here and certainly the international countries here have been looking at various scientific calculations for what they say is breakout time. how long it takes iran if it wanted to to enrich uranium to actually put into a warhead and create a bomb. and the whole idea of these negotiations in the hotel behind me has been to try to reduce that breakout time potential. >> the huge -- so many issues but one of them is how to please
1:28 pm
everyone everyone. you mentioned in particular israel. israel is just not going to be happy with any sort of deal is it? the. >> no benjamin netanyahu, the israeli prime minister has made public statements saying he's aware of the deal being done here and the way things are moving and he says this will end up with iran getting a bomb. in fact he's been tweeting that in the last few minutes on twitter. i am sure we're going to see reaction right after this announcement here and the questions that are taken here. we're going to see reaction coming from israel. reaction from critics on capitol hill too. you say felicity about the international dimensions of this. you will see the p5+1 represented on the podium. there have been differences among them too among the
1:29 pm
international partners here. they have not always been on the same page about everything. france has been pushing for a very tough deal and clearly have signed up to what is going to be announced here in the next few minutes. on the issue of u.n. sanctions, because iran is currently subject to an array of different sanctions, the eu sanctions, u.s. sanctions, and the u.n. sanctions. in many ways the u.n. sanctions are the one that have taken so long to put in place and there has been the idea that perhaps you can remove the sanctions with an automatic clause saying iran didn't comply then they would automatically come back. now, russia particular and china guard their status as members of the u.n. security council. they want in any matter of
1:30 pm
international affairs, whenever something happens, the right to have a security council meeting and decide and if necessary use their vetoes. so the idea of automatic provisions is something that russia didn't like and that is something that was some debate and some disagreement among the six international parties that have been leading all this. talking about the international players, when we see them come on the podium the first two people who will speak, the iranian foreign minister, and the eu representative. although john kerry has been here all this time technically, this process has always been led for the international community by the european union. catherine ashton was deeply involved in these nuclear negotiations for a long time. >> for a moment thank you. we're going to keep