at least 30 students and a professor are killed as a university comes under attack near peshawa in pakistan you're watch al jazeera live from doha. also on the program, iraq's prime minister vows to crackdown on sectarianism after reports of attacks on sunni businesses and mosques. china deobtains a swedish-- detains a swedish rights activist. the seench for a president. a palestinian reality show like
no other we begin with breaking news out of pakistan where gunmen have attacked a university killing at least 30 students and a professor. army unity taking on fighters in the area some 50 kilometers companies from peshawa. some attackers have also been killed. what is the latest right now? >> reporter: according to the latest reports, about 70% of the students have been evacuated from the compound. the first to respond to the attack was the elite police unit after which the commandos were sent in to clear the premises. according to the latest reports coming from the military, 90% of
that compound has been cleared. however, they are still facing stiff resistance from those attackers from a particular section of the universities which also houses the hostels for both women and men. according to the reports, because of the heavy fog which was over the area, it was confusing in the first few hours as to what was really unfolding there. people were hearing loud explosions, gunfire as well, but we are told that the casualties are quite high. the attack is coming at i time when there was already a red alert for such an attack, and especially after that deadly attack on army public school which happened in december over a year ago. so that, of course, is something that the security forces are now trying to clear the compound. people are in a state of shock.
we've heard that families have rushed to the hospitals to try and see if their students, their children, are in okay condition just give us an idea of how big this campus is and what kind of security there might have been at the time such as it was? >> reporter: security was definitely not up to the mark. this university is situated close to open fields and because of the fog it was with relative ease that the attackers were able to come inside. according to sources, there are thousands of students enrolled at this university. there were over 3,000 students there, there were about 600 guests who had all come to commemorate one of the leaders. the university is named over him. a report that many of the guests were wounded in that particular
attack. however, as i mentioned, the operation is still underway. even though the provincial sources are saying that dozens have been killed, the fear is that the casualties are going to be quite high especially after this operation is over and people are able to peace together what has happened inside university thank you for that. iraq's prime minister has vowed to go after those fuelling sect tearian divisions in the country. he made a visit just north on tuesday. fighters have attacked sunni-owned businesses and mosques in the town. the same groups are responsible for security after pushing out i.s.i.l. >> translation: any weapon out of the control of the state is in the hands of i.s.i.l. or
those that support them. all of these weapons threaten citizens, security and people's properties. those who carry such weapons are supporting i.s.i.l. fighters iraqi kurdish forces are deliberately killing arab villages under their control. that's from a report released by amnesty international. it says forces blew up houses and they could amount to war crimes. diplomats are meeting in relation to people trapped in besieged areas. they're burning garbage to warm their home. a report. >> reporter: winter is harsh in eastern ghouta. scraps of wood, pieces of garbage, in fact, anything that burns are pushed into the
home-made stove. >> translation: my dad and i made this heater. we don't have diesel fuel so we burn garbage. the smoke chokes us sometimes because it's strong. >> reporter: she and her father use pots and pans, old pipes and bits of metal to build the family's only source of warmth. it is almost impossible to get heating fuel. the things they would normally burn now cost far too much. >> translation: you see this, the charcoal? we can't even use this. it is too expensive. every now and then we use some so we can keep everyone warm. >> reporter: bargaining and hagg meddling used to be common at the local wood market. now among the wreckage there's no negotiation. for most people prices are impossibly high. >> translation: some of the wood here is from old houses.
people have pulled it down because this is all they've got to sell. some of the wood i sell cost up to 100 syrian pounds. people can't pay that price. they don't have the money. some people can't make 100 liras per day so how can they buy this? >> reporter: this man and his neighbors are cut off from fresh water, food and medicine. even winter seems to have turned against them defense ministers from seven countries part of the coalition are meeting in paris on how to step up their campaign against i.s.i.l. meanwhile i.s.i.l. has confirmed the death of jihadi john who became notorious after appearing in an execution.
it is confident he was killed in syria in november. libya's rival factions have announced the make up of a new unity government. the two signed a deal. the challenge will be able to provide stability and counter the growing threat of i.s.i.l. critics say the 32 members don't represent libya fairly. >> reporter: a significant step forward in libya's struggle to end political deadlock. the creation of a national government hoping to unite the country's two rival parliaments. >> translation: this was not achieved easily. i can assure you that we went through major difficulties, challenges and slip-ups that we knew we had to address. knowing that the phase our country is going through requires a lot of self-control. >> reporter: the new government has to convince all armed groups to put down their weapons and join the national army.
it will have to move quickly to try to end libya's humanitarian crisis. >> we would like to encourage the other stakeholders who still have difficulties with the agreement and with this new government really now no take their responsibility. people of libya deserves it. the humanitarian situation is dire. >> reporter: members of the general national congress in tripoli and the u.n. security council recognised parliament in tabruk still don't back the agreement. the groups are not represented by the 32 ministers appointed to the new government. it will have to take on the growing threat from i.s.i.l. which seems to expand along the libyan coastline. the u.n. which has been coordinating intense talks in morocco sees this as the best chance so far of reuniting libya which has been fractured by fighting for nearly five years
police have fired tear gas and struggled to control crowds in at least four tunisian towns. unemployment had gone up more than 15% by the end of 2015 compared to 12% in 2010. the arab spring up rising in 2011 sparked a tunisian market vendor to take his life. the economic forum is meeting in the swiss ski report of daros. it is being over shadowed by increasing worries over the global economy and the plunging price of oil. on tuesday, the international agency warned that the world could in their words drown in oil because of over supply. the iea has cut estimates for global oil demand this year because the slowing chinese economy. rank crude has fallen 2 fors on wednesday to just above $28 a barrel. a polish prime minister has said
the company has not breach laws. it was in response to the investigation into charges that warsaw was undermining the principles. they were asked for an explanation and they have said it sets back the work of the constitutional court. the inquiry could result in a suspension of poland's voting rights in the e.u. block. the chinese government has accused a detained swedish national of engaging a group that endangered china's national security what more do we know about this? >> reporter: we know that they set out the sequence of events. he is a swedish national and co founder of a nongovernmental organization known as the
chinese urgent action working group. he disappeared earlier this month along with his chinese national girlfriend. it emerged about ten days after his disappears that he was-- disappearance that he was being held. he appeared on state tv on tuesday night confessing. in his statement he said that he admitted that he had violated chinese law through his activities. he said that he knew he had caused harm to the chinese government and that he had hurt the feelings of the chinese people and he apologised sincerely for what he had done. his group, according to a statement by the chinese urgent action working group, what necessity do is promote the rule of law in china and they do that by providing legal aid to chinese people who allege their human rights have been violated. it says his detention is part of a police operation to smash an
illegal organization that sponsors activities that jeopardize's china's national security. it went on to say that this group actually gatheres, distorts and fabricates information that would hurt china. they've accused the group of stirring up disputes and provoking disputations with the government. it also accuses him of pongting large sums of money and pocketing the profits himself. he said they're baseless and an attempt to deal with humanitarian rights. this is in the background of human rights defenders in china. it has been happening since 2015. amnesty international estimates that 248 lawyers have been arrested, more than 20 are still in custody. this also comes as chinese officials are suspected in
having a hand in the disappearance of five book sellers and publishers. two of these five book sellers have since - it appears - it is confirmed that they are now in china. one happens to be a swedish national who also not long ago appeared on tv saying that he had returned on his own. all this, of course, is part of a worrying trend and points to a deterioration of human rights here in china thank you for that. we have more to come here on al jazeera when we come back thailand offers a financial incentive to encourage parents to have more children. the oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050 so says a new report. ew report.
a reminder of our top stories. at least 15 students and a professor have been killed in north-west pakistan. four of the gunmen have been killed in the ongoing battle with the military. iraq's prime minister is vowing to go after those fuelling sectarian divisions in the country. he made the pledge in the town where shia fighters there have been accused of attacking sunni businesses. the chinese government has accused a detained swee dish national of operating an unlicensed human rights group in china. according to state tv the man
endangered china's national security. more on the ongoing attack in pakistan. retired retired army general joins me now. thank you for being with us. based on your experience of something like this, talk us through what the security forces would be doing right now in trying to bring this whole operation under control. >> well, i think the safety of the students and of the staff is the most important thing and this is exactly what they have been trying to do. whereas they've been trying to eliminate or capture the terrorists who had entered the college, but at the same time they were wanting to protect the students and also the staff, but at the moment i think the operation is more or less completed and as you know there are about 16, but i'm told it's about 20 casualties in all and
there is one professor and some students in it who have been unfortunately the victims of in terrorist attack. so it has been somewhat a repeat of what happened on 16 december when similar school was attacked in the same province as the one that has happened today. it's very easy for these people to cross the border and to come in from afghanistan and to attack these students. previously they have been targeting hard targets, but now there will be a greater impact and much easier to attack the soft targets. it is simply impossible to sort of guard all the schools and colleges whereas there has been a greater level of vigilance and also they've been trying to improve the security of these
institutions, but nonetheless it's impossible to have a fool-proof security and there have been a greater frequency of attacks in the last few weeks and days whereas in the past there has been relatively greater calm. does it mean that these people are getting more active and are these people getting stronger in afghanistan so that they can cross easier into pakistan as you say, its unfortunately not the first time something like this has happened in pakistan. the country has suffered for years from this kind of violence from groups like this. there have been successive crackdowns on these groups by the government. what more can the government and what more can pakistan do at this point? >> i think the best thing they can do is improve the intelligence, improve the security forces, get the full
cooperation of the people because unless you have the full cooperation of the people, it's very difficult to sort of target them. then also, of course, manage the border between afghanistan and pakistan and also make sure that you have really good relations and confidence between pakistan and afghanistan, especially the security forces, because if they can cooperate at the intelligence level and operational level, much more can be achieved. as you know, there has been a history of lack of confidence and blame game. that has to really go away and it has to turn into cooperation so that both the countries benefit. otherwise it is really these terrorist groups which will have their way. i think there are several things which can still be improved and i don't think we should be satisfied that what has been achieved so far because as you can see, these groups have their
both cells - sleeping cells and active cells and cities and also crossing the border and attacking and they do have sympathy and support within pakistan as well, although not as much as it was in the past, but still there are people who are prepared to give them some support and that is how they're able to launch these attacks thank you for joining us. in the u.s. tea party favorite sarah palin has officially backed donald trump as the nominee for president. >> giving our support for the next president of our great u.s. donald trump he is the highest profile republican so far to be endorsed. palin was the party's nominee for vice president eight years ago. the governor of the u.s. state of michigan has apologised for
the water crisis or for the city of flint. he is facing calls for his resignation over claims he mishandled a water problem. the government tried to save money by taking water from the river. explosions in a fireworks factory have devastated a village in china. at least one person has been killed. three others are missing and dozens were injured. further explosions caused shock waves which damages homes in the eastern province. around a thousand villagers were moved to safety in freezing temperatures. police are questioning executives to try and pinpoint the cause. cash incentives for babies. that's what the thai government is offering families to try to tackle low birth rates and a rapidly ageing population. not many are convinced the plan will work. >> reporter: you have a house full of children and a town fill
of grandchildren. that used to be a common thai agreeing for the new year and at weddings. now it is only said by older generations. in fewer than 50 years the fertility rate here as the average number of children per household from six to 1.6. for mothers such as this lady a single child family is all she can afford. >> translation: for us it is best to have only one child so we can provide as best as possible for our kid. >> reporter: just three months after he was born, she and her husband sent their baby boy off to live with her parents outside bangkok. to encourage families to have babies, the government launched a child program that provides a child allowance of $14 per month. the government is reviewing a proposal to remove its cap on child tax deductions. the maximum now is three
children. each deduction is about $450 a year. many feel that it's not nearly enough incentive to encourage parents to have more children. >> translation: this declining birth rate is considered as the river of no return. the most concerning issue is the shrinking workforce over the next 20 years. >> reporter: that works out to be six million fewer workers not paying taxes or helping to boost the thai economy. it's not just about the number of people in thailand. it's also about the quality of early childhood care and education as they both directly affect how the next generations will contribute to the country. right now in early childhood about 30% of thai children are under developed. >> thailand needs to consider the quality and quantity of the children. if it is important for thai
society. >> reporter: he feels there should be more money and resources dedicated to programs helping the growing number of mothers who need to or want to work. such as this woman who could continue providing for her family without having to sacrifice family time another dire warning has been issued about pollution in the sea. the world economic forum says there may be more plastic debris than fish within the next 35 years. it found a third of all plastic packaging escapes waste collection systems. diane acohen is the ceo of plastic coalition. >> the alan ma carthur foundation published a report. an important point to make is that we all have the power to do something to reduce the amount of plastic that we use on a
daily basis. when we talk about plastic, one of the role big problems and what we focus on is single use and disposable plastics because they have been designed with the intended obsolesence, intended to be used for one time. there is no system in place that helps to take these materials back nor do something with them. many are down cycled or land filled a tv show is giving palestinians the chance to choose a new president. at least in theory. >> reporter: it is all the ingredients of a reality tv competition. dramatic music, nervous contestants, a tough panel of judges and a major prize, but the program al rais, or the president, isn't awarding a record contract or cash.
it is offering the palestinian presidency. at least hypothetically. these auditions in the occupied west bank are for the second series of the president. here contestants have to explain why they should be the one to lead the palestinian people and offer solutions to joblessness, political infighting and the conflict with israel. this lady is hoping to be a finalist. she says it's time young palestinians had a say in how they are governed. >> translation: the gap between the youth and the leership is getting larger and larger. we have so many capable young politicians who can take over. >> reporter: while the president is popular with viewers, the actual president is ropdly losing support. a recent poll by the palestinian center for policy and survey found two-thirds of palestinians want him to resign and that if elections were held today, his
party would likely be defeated by its rival. this is a proposal unanimity analyst. he said it will leave behind a largely disappointed legacy >> i think most palestinians would view him as a leader. his legacy will be that he took small steps and to be very, very slow in implementing them >> reporter: the 80 year old leader made a televised speech in which he dismissed concerns that his self-rule government might collapse under mounting tensions with israel. >> reporter: despite the president's attempts to reassure the palestinian public, there are still concerns about the lack of a successor or even a process in place to pick one, and although hundreds of reality show competitors believe they could do a better job, it would appear that even that he won't
be stepping down any time soon don't forget there's lots more on our website aljazeera.com. get the latest on all the stories we're following, including that ongoing security operation in that university attack in pakistan. good evening. welcome to america tonight. i'm lisa fletcher in for joie chen. only one day after west africa was announceol