>> a bomb explodes in bangkok, killing 19 and many others are injured. hello there i'm julie mcdonald. this is al jazeera live from london. also coming up. one of south sudan's two warring leaders, signed a peace deal but the other says he needs more time. the u.n. humanitarian chief calls for more protection for civilians after one of the worst attacks on the war in syria.
attacking foreigners for threatening a centuries old tradition. hello there, warm welcome to the program. at least 19 people have been killed in a bomb attack in the thai capital bangkok. the explosion happened near a hindu shrine in the heart of the city and in an area popular for foreign tourists. al jazeera's veronica pedrosa reports from the scene. >> reporter: with the fire from the explosion still burning there was a desperate race to reach survivors. as the emergency services moved police tried to secure the area. a bomb had exploded minutes before. and closed circuit television shows the moment fear struck in the heart of bangkok, with people running for their lives. the bomb went off close to the
arowan hindu shrine. twisted metal and debris was scattered across the street in a place popular for worshipers and tourists. several foreigners are among those who died. >> i rushed to the scene right after i heard the explosion. there were destroyed motor bikes as well as body parts laying around. >> reporter: survivors were rushed to hospital. government officials say those behind the attack were trying to destroy thaild's economy and tourism industry. but no group has yet claimed responsibility for this. the thai government is scrambling to deal with the crisis. it may present the biggest security threat to the government of prime minister priuth chan ocha who took control months ago. at a time of political up uphea.
veronica pedrosa, al jazeera. >> and veronica sent us this update. >> there would have been hundreds of people there, at the busiest time there, at the evening rush hour. it's a major intersection the most prominent shopping district. there were high powered explosives used, what we're understanding from the local media is five kilograms of tnt was placed right next to the gate of the shrine. the government has moved in quickly. it was a scene of absolute carnage right after the bomb went off. now, there are officials beginning the investigation as ordered by the prime minister, priuth chan ocha. i think in the next few hours we will see security ti tightened.
and actions taken. for the people to remain calm and trying to salvage the tourism industry, because this is the only growing sector of thailand's economy at this time. there will be profound shock and grief at what has happened here. >> one of south sudan's two warring leaders have signed a peace agreement during negotiations in ethiopia. former vice president and now rebel leaders riek machar seen here on the right has put pen to paper. however his rival president salva kiir says he needs more time. the conflict last killed more than 10,000 people and forced 2 million from their homes. evidence of widespread atrocities including word that women and girls have been gang raped and burned. charles stratford has this update for us.
>> reporter: whatever way you look at it, throughout the last few days and whatever side we've spoken to, there have been reservations about this deal. both sides have expressed problems with what they described as having this deal imposed upon them by igad and by the international community. and the real nitty-gritty of it we believe the staple same problem exists, agreeing on the demilitarization of juba, having a united nations mission in south sudan or au forces would pose problems with respect to sovereignty. there have been questions about how to divvy up power in the upper nile region, which is the very oil-rich region which the rebels control most of now. and there's also been problems with respect to trying to unify the rebels and the government
forces together to try and bring a unified army. whatever way you look at it, both sides here are accused of committing gross human rights violations. and as mr. kiir travels back to juba this evening for what he describes as another two weeks of potential consultations, the suffering of the south sudanese people goes on and there seems to be no definitely end in sight for this conflict. >> the united nations had a called for more protection for civilians after a syrian government attack on the outskirts of damascus. more than 100 people died in the air strike on a market in the rebel enclave of duma. the u.n. called the attack one of the worst single incidents to date. zeina khodr has this report. >> reporter: the plane dropped
the bomb in a crowded marketplace. it is an all-too-familiar scene for the people of the rebel stronghold of duma. this town is regularly targeted by syrian government air strikes but the sunday attack was the worst yet. civil defense workers and others gathered at the site of the destruction when more air raids hit. more than 100 were killed and dozens others wounded. doctors at the field hospital struggled to help those who survived, many of them critically injured. according to activists on the ground, the victims were civilians, women and children among them. u.n. humanitarian chief stephen o'brien visited the battered city of homs. the u.n. has been unable to stop violence or bring about a political settlement but o'brien has condemned duma strikes.
>> i'm absolutely horrified by the total disregard of civilian life by alt parties in this conflict. attacks on civilians are unlawful unacceptable and must stop. i appeal to every party engaged in violence and fighting, to protect civilians. and to r respect international humanitarian law. a military contact was recorded as saying, an army base in harasta. fighting around the capital damascus has escalated in recent days. duma has been out of government control for years but the military still controls the skies and civilians more often than not have been targeted.
harasta like duma is at the door steps of the government's seat of power. that's why sunday's attacks are being seen as a message to the people of the area. the government will consider them responsible for the action he of the opposition. zeina khodr, al jazeera, beirut. the united nations envoy to syria stefan mastour said the government's air strikes were unacceptable in any circumstances. the security council has put together a resolution to get syria to approach a ceasefire. what is in the agreement? >> the u.n. is meeting as we speak and they are basically adopting the u.n. security council staple on syria. it's been one of the rare times that the united nations has been able to agree on anything syria-related.
it first endorsed the new peace plan by stefan de mastour. he has had several different peace plans for syria at least two, so far none of them have gone too far. this latest one however starts pretty small. it mostly focuses on getting four key working groups together trying to bring many of the sides together at the table odiscuss key issues or key disagreements. now ban ki-moon says he is hoping that u.n. working group will begin their work as early as next month. but that's the key aspect of this u.n. security council staple endorsing this plan by de mastour. beyond that it says all sides should look at the geneva communique of 2012 and the key aspect of that was calling for a transitional governing body in syria. but as we know up until now that has not happened.
>> well, the u.n. security council gave as we know has trouble on agreeing about much on syria especially on political issues like this. how difficult was it to come up with the agreement? >> very difficult because the u.n. security council does not agree on much and especially whether it comes to syria. primary because on one side you have u.n. security council permanent member russia and iran on one side they are some of syria's strongest supporters and on the other side, united states, turkey and they are gulf allies. the big divide on where bashar al-assad fits into this traditional government period, even if it happens. this new statement by the security council really doans address that. there'doesn't address that. there is still divide where assad falls into that. syria has said pretty much all
along that no agreement should include assad necessarily leaving power, that that should be something left up to the syrians themselves and the u.n. should not prejudge that to to speak. it has been difficult oreach this point and just to show you how difficult, aside from the russians and the americans to agree on this, you have the venezuelans who are temporary members of the u.n. security council and big supporters of bashar al-assad, they came in last week and said they had some problems with this document and that's why it was pushed back to this week. we're expecting to hear from the venezuelaianvenezuelans who wilt why they have some reservations about this. it is a very contedge contentio. one step further on trying to
get the security council to come together with one voice trying oget this peacto get this peacen track. >> gabriel elizondo, thank you. the rafa border opened for four days allowing palestinians to travel in both directions. 20,000 people have applied to exit. rafa is gaza's only border crossing that isn't controlled by israel. egypt's president has passed a new security law that introduces special courts and harsh he penalties for people seen as a threat. law also gives security forces more power. jerald tan reports. >> the president made a stern process. >> the hands of justice, we will not wait. we will change laws in order to
changes law and justice. >> punishes trorlts accordingly. those found guilty of forming or leading the group the government considers a terrorist entity, is sentenced to death. police who use force while acting in the name of the law while journalists can be fined for contradicting the official version of any attack. some egyptians are concern. >> the law here is a system that is not protecting the citizenry but rather protecting the state. this is becoming indicative of the consolidation of power in the hands of the executive and there isn't a check on not only his power but on his avenues of the dissemination of force.
>> reporter: egypt's military is engaged in an operation against fighters based in the sinai peninsula. they have been carrying out attacks killing soldiers and police and increasingly beyond the sinai and into the capital exierp some arcairo. some are asking are these attacking these groups or anyone owned to the government? jerald tan, al jazeera. >> still ahead on the program, nine dead after shelling in the ukraine as the six month old ceasefire looks shakier by the day. rched of. and why some in the unitedss nutrition meals.
warring leaders signs a peace deal. more than 100 people die in government air strikes in syria. counting is underway in sri lanka for millions of people voted in parliamentary elections. eight months ago sri lankans voted emphatically to elect a if you president liddy dutt has more. >> it was hard to open, bun unlocking, cs election election observers huddled over hand marked piece of paper which will determine which candidates will win a seat in parliament. classrooms were transformed into ballot sorting places. >> separately, the box we are getting separating for parties.
>> reporter: sri lanka's election commission are recorded a voter turnout of 65 to 70%, well below the record number of people who voted in january's presidential election. 15 million sri lankans were eligible to vote on monday. every vote is counted and verified carefully and to make sure every ballot is accounted to and allotted to the right candidate, representatives are assigned. mahinda rajapaksa was voted out in january. >> it is my duty to vote. >> the selection is important for the country in every aspect.
i think people have used their brains and they'll vote wisely. >> reporter: the answers are all here. not only will they determine the political futures of a few sri lankan politicians but also the country's direction. liddy dutt, al jazeera, sri lanka. increasingly fragile ceasefire. nine people are reported to have been killed in an all night shelling exchange between government troops and pro-russian separatists, both sides accuse the other of break down. ukrainian village just south of donetsk. took 20 minutes to reduce this street rubble. ukrainian military said two people were killed as russian back rebels shelled the village. >> translator: a man 30 years old and a woman of 22 were killed. six others were wounded.
the most serious injuries were those sustained by a mother with a child. >> reporter: yet the separatists are blaming ukrainian forces for the shelling. this part of the country has borne the brunt of several attacks in recent days. there continues to be sporadic fighting, enough to attack a ceasefire that has been in place since february. >> translator: we are worried by the latest developments. it was like that last august when ukrainian soldiers received the order to attack. when that attack failed then they agreed to start the talks. it was also that way this past january, that also failed and ukrainian side agreed to more talks. we believe that one shouldn't be experimenting in trying one's luck one should simply fulfill
what was agreed in miption. >> reporter: more than 6800 people have been killed since the conflict began. it's driven nearly 1.5 million civilians from their home. while there have been repeated efforts to stop the fighting several units on either side have refused to obey their political commanders. the gulf of mistrust between moscow and kiev grows wider. sonia gallego, al jazeera. results of the postal ballot to be announced flex month. as nadim baba reports now from london a surprise leading candidate could be about to take them back to their socialist roots. >> until this summer most brit britons probably have not heard of jeremy corbin but while some point out his antiausterity
message have attracted tens of thousands to sign up, they are warned that a victory for him could be a kiss of death. >> the one grouping in the party is likely the get the most votes, the one group that its supporters isupporters say is ly to be able to form a reform group. we must pay heed. >> when my heart says i should really be without politics well, get a transplant because that's just done. >> in recent weeks the party says it's caught thousands of activists from rival parties, presumably backing jeremy corbin and now yvette cooper seen here campaigning on monday and fellow
candidate liz hendor, refuse to admit they collaborated. a role in rebuilding the party if he won. some westminster watchers are predicting the process of picking a new leader could actually split labour. >> you need just the right political environment and suddenly these splits star occurring. it's quite common for left wing parties to split. they are usually unified when the parties split. >> the person who leads this ballot it is unclear will be leading the election in 2020. in just a little while we'll learn who the winner is, but in many marginal constituencies and
visual thvirtually the whole of. >> now described as food deserts areas of the united states where poverty and remoteness prevent people from getting proper nutrition. as andy gallagher reports from the mississippi delta. >> it's known as the home of blues music but these days the mississippi dale is more known for its extreme poverty. this is poorest corner of the poorest state of the united states. and access to healthy affordable food is a big problem. >> leah what would you like for dinner. >> leslie has never heard the phrase food desert before but she is living in one. the nearest supermarket is 15 kilometers away. >> my husband and my family members we have to work together
to try to get food. we have to carpool, bum a ride as you call it to get food. it's hard. >> food deserts aren't a new phenomenon in the delta and it's often the 81 that pay the price. almost a quarter of ten to 17-year-olds are overweight or obese. something officials say is directly linked to access to good food. but the delta's chief nurse says poverty is also a big factor. >> they can't afford to eat healthy and nutrition foods. if you have six kids at home. you come out to buy groceries, and buy 30 pounds of grapes, that's going to be gone. >> if i were shopping for my family, the options are limited. the selection is a couple of
canned foods and processed meats, the owner of this business wants to stock more healthy and affordable food but the cost of getting produce of what many view is a road's end is too expensive ... experience typical for the entire region. >> fruits freuts and vegetables is part of the food chain some of the main essentially you need it it's kind of art when you can't supply it. we just don't have the resources to do it. >> the irony is the delta is one of the area's most fertile places yet it continues to struggle to provide fresh food for its own residents. andy gallagher, al jazeera, mississippi delta. >> for generations, the indigo dye pits of nigeria, has been the source of income for many in the area. but as ahmed idris reports.
>> trying to keep alive a centuries old tradition but workers here are losing the battle. the dye pits as old as a city have been a source of income for many cities for generations. for 64 years, mahmoud earned a living here. now things rnd looking good are. >> translator: we had customers from all fai neighborg countries and the arab world. i can't understand, we make quality products. >> even though some continue to refine their art, the results aren't encouraging. the chinese have come to town. and the locals allege the art has been copied and used against them. >> it's flooded with cheap
imported fabrics from asia, fabrics dyed in china, as a result thousands are out of work. they used to be more than 300 dye pits here. now only a few remain and most of them are disused. new technologies have arrived. localities watch helplessly as foreigners push them out and establish a near total monopoly. >> when they come to this business, sincerely speaking it's affected us because we spend at least three to four days without doing nothing. without doing nothing. we become almost jobless because of this -- their invasion into our business. >> reporter: people like mahmoud, the lost income is not as painful as the rapid decline of the art. he fears that his may soon be the last generation to carry on
this once highly respected tradition. ahmed idris, al jazeera, cano, nigeria. >> you can find out more owrn website, the address is aljazeera.com. ] to and thanks to to the media representative and i would like to thank my very good friend lavrov for inviting me here and for his invitation. [ inaudible ] russia are not only two neighbors they are two countries have common interests and we have very close cooperation russian government and lavrov has played a very