a suspect is wounded and arrested in brussels in the latest of a series of raids in several countries. ♪ hello there, i'm felicity barr and this is al jazeera, live from london. also coming up, a senior isil commander reported dead in a u.s. air strike, as the group loses ground to the syrian army in palmyra. two prominent journalists go on trial in turkey in a casein elsewhere as a test of media freedom there. and the band has been banned
there for half a century, now the rolling stones get the satisfaction of a concert in cuba. ♪ hello, police in belgium appear to be stepping up efforts to present further attacks across europe. in the last few hours several loud explosions have been heard during a police operation. footage filmed on a mobile phone appears to show a man with a backpack ground -- wounded in that raid. several arrests have also been made in connection with tuesday east bombings. al jazeera's dominic kane is at the scene of that raid in brussels. tell us more, dominic about what happened. >> reporter: felicity i'm in the scarbeck area of brussels, and you see behind me this is a tram
stop, and the incident that played out here was effectively at that site. what we understand is that man emerged from one of the buildings behind me with a rack sack and a large coat, and the police had been tracking the man, we understand. they called upon him to undo his jacket and remove his rack sack. when he did not comply, they apparently neutralized him. that means they shot him in the legs. but they kept him alive, which means that at some point perhaps he will be fit for questioning. we know the belgian government has previously reduced the threat level, so this incident has happened despite the fact that apparently the threat level had been reduced. and what has happened here today is part of a series of searches and raids taking place across
the city. officers comb a property looking for clues. people living in the area were kept back from the scene. >> translator: i was coming back from school and i found the entire area locked, so i couldn't get home. i asked and they said the police had to do some work here, but i don't know what is going on exactly. >> reporter: that feeling of uncertainty has permeated the public consciousness. this area of brussels has seen many searches and raids since the attacks on tuesday. in this apartment building the bombers assemble their devices and set out from this street to the airport. the brother of one of the bombers has now spoken to the media. he confirmed he had had no contact with his brother since
2013. >> translator: why did you stop contact with him? >> translator: because he was in syria? >> translator: did you try to get ahold of him? >> was it his choice or a family choice. >> translator: no it was his choice. >> reporter: now the soldiers are wearing barrettes rather than helmets, but their weapons are clearly still on show. while the official period of condolence is coming to an end, the official search for answers goes on. and felicity the points to make here is what is happening here is part of what has been happening across europe. arrests have been made in
germany and arrests have been made in france. my colleague nadim baba has been looking into what happened there. this is his report. >> reporter: the day after the dramatic raid in the paris suberb, and france is wondering how close it came to suffering another major attack. security forces moved in on thursday night to secure an apartment here. they found both explosives and weapons. they were still there when france's interior minister addressed the nation. >> translator: this operation follows an important arrest this morning made by the general director for internal security, which has enabled us to defeat an attack at an advanced stage. >> reporter: and this was the suspect. he was jailed last year for being part of a network sending fighters to syria.
inevitably many people in europe are wondering how such suspects can escape capture and carrying on planning attacks. president hollande called for better information sharing between e.u. states. >> reporter: if we have this shared intelligence strategy, knowing where they might be, knowing how they can use their quote skills learned in syria, learned in yemen, better we have the capability of preventing these attacks. >> reporter: in belgium this week's events lead to the justice and interior ministers offering to resign. while here in france, politicians from the ruling party accept there have been security failures. >> translator: we did not do enough. and we did not act quickly enough. there were a number of measures that had been planned for sometime. and need the europe yarn
parliaments app improvemental. especially the npr system to record air passenger's details so we can keep track of people's movements. >> reporter: there was an outpouring of anger in paris. this demonstration requiring a heavy police presence. the issue bringing people on to the streets to protest might be changes to the country's labor laws, but many people in france are very worried about security, and more and more are asking what politicians can do to make them safer. and that's a question echoing around europe right now. nadim baba, al jazeera, paris. ♪ all right. i just want to bring you some news coming in to us from afghanistan where a loud explosion has been heard in the diplomatic quarters of the capitol kabul. at the moment it's unclear what the exact location is, or if
there are casualties. we'll bring you more on that as soon as we get it. the u.s. says a senior isil leader has been killed. in a moment we'll get more details from our correspondent in washington, but first let's hear from the u.s. defense secretary ash carter who made that announcement a short time ago. >> we are systemically eliminating isil's cabinet. inneed the u.s. military killed key isil terrorists this week, including, we believe, hodgy iman who was an isil senior leader serving as a finance minister, and who is also responsible for some external affairs and plots. he dated back as early as being
with al-qaeda in iraq. the removal of this isil leader will hamper the organization's ability to conduct operations both inside and outside of iraq and syria. this is the second senior isil leader we have successfully targeted this month. after confirming the death of isil's so-called minister of war a short time ago. >> al jazeera's alan fisher is live for us in washington, d.c. right now. and alan, how significant is the death of this man? the u.s. has been quite cagey about how and where he died. >> reporter: they gave know information about whether this was carried out in iraq or syria or how the operation was carried out, simply saying that he was eliminating. and ash carter said we believe we have killed him that is because back in may 2015 the iraqis at that point said they had killed him, although the
u.s. said they had no information at that point to confirm, clearly knowing that history, the americans must feel they are in pretty safe grounds saying they carried out this operation. the americans believe they have been decapitating the leadership of isil. they are aware that there are a number of people who will continue to come through the senior leadership, but they believe every time that happens, it makes it much more difficult for isil to carry out operations. and they are particularly keen to stress that they believe he was also involved in funding operations not just in iraq and syria, but further afield. and so by -- drawing a direct line from his death to what happened in brussels, not saying that he recruited or was involved in any of the intricacies of it, but saying that sort of link is important if they are to make the rest of europe and the united states safe by carrying out these
operations. >> it was quite a confident-sounding ash carter about the ability of the u.s. to tackle isil fighters. also more talk, speculation about whether there might be more american forces on the ground in iraq. >> it was interesting the way that was phrased as well. there has been tensions between the house and the pentagon, and how many troops are sent, where they are sent. this was the pentagon showing their hand, saying we would like to see more troops on the ground in iraq as the iraqi army gears to retake mosul. we're told that that operation may happen sometime in the next few weeks and the next couple of months, so by suggesting that this was a recommendation, they were putting to the president and also addressing that issue as they were announcing that they have completed what they see as a significant victory against isil. they are putting pressure on the president to about, essentially saying we can continue these advan advances, but we need the white
house to sign off on these extra people. they are saying it is still up to the president to make that decision, but it's clear where the pentagon and the u.s. defense secretary believes that decision should go, and how important it would be in the continuing battle against isil, but also in the operation to retake mosul. >> alan thank you. isil fighters are losing ground in both iraq and syria. the iraqi army says it has begun an offensive against the group in mosul, as part of a wider plan to retake the province. and in syria government forces backed by russian air strikes are battling to retake palmyra. isil fighters took over the city last may. it's recapture would be a significant victory for president assad's forces. and state television says the army is now inside the ancient city and shelling parts of isil-held residential areas.
bombings. mobile phone footage shows police shooting a man in the leg. the u.s. government has announced a senior isil figure leader has been killed in a raid on thursday. the pentagon says he was in charge of the group's finances. and syrian government forces say they are closing in on the ancient city of palmyra which has been under isil control since last may. thousands of iraqis have been rallying in baghdad to urge the prime minister to form a new cabinet. supporters of iraq's shiite cleric are calling for an end to corruption. >> reporter: this is the main gate of the green zone which holds the officers of iraqi authority and western embassies. the u.s. embassy is also here. tens of thousands of supporters of shiite cleric supporters and
are gathering here, raising flags and banners saying there will be no retreat unless the prime minister takes real measures to fight krup shup. the protesters want those who say they are crepted officials appointed by previous governments to be dismissed. the protests comes at the time when the iraqi prime minister is about to announce a new cabinet. he has said in this long-promised reshuffle, he bring in specialists, ministers, and figures who are not aligned with any political party. in turkey the trial of two europe journalists accused of espionage has been adjourned. they arrived earlier at theist tall bull courthouse. last week the paper released video claiming the government was smuggling weapons to syria.
>> translator: we know that we are right. we stand by our story. we believe that the real culprit should stand optrial. we'll ask for our acquittal and say people cannot be denied their right to be informed. >> translator: journalism is not a crime. today in a country where fears are rising over basic human rights, we will stay that journalism is not a crime. we didn't commit a crime. we will continue to do journalism. >> reporter: and harry fawcett sent this update. >> reporter: inconclusive end to the first day of this criminal trial of these two newspaper journalists. mr. ghoul when he came out, said
since they were released from prefriel detention last month, they had been experiencing a kind of half freedom, knowing this trial date was coming up, knowing they might be put back into prison by the end of these proceedings this friday. in that didn't happen. he said that they would remain in that state of half freedom for another week now, while they awaited the next trial date. this centers this case around the two men's publication in their newspaper last may of a story, and indeed video the newspaper said showing that the national intelligence agency was transporting arms into syria for use in the syrian civil war. the government said the cargo was december nated for ethnic turkmens. there was a fearous reaction from the government, especially the president who said he would pay a heavy price, he and his colleague are charged with
trying to overthrow the government, with espionage, with aiding a terror group. they say they were doing nothing of the kind. this trial will continue. it's one that is very much the focus of a much larger debate in this country at the moment about the issue of freedom of the press. police in egypt are blaming a criminal gang for the murder and torture of an italian student. >> reporter: egypt's interior ministry says gang members posed as police officers, and this is what they say they found at the scene. identity cards, a passport, phones and a bag bearing the italian flag. the 28 year old went missing in cairo on the 25th of january, the fifth anniversary of the uprising in egypt that toppled the president. the student's body was found in
a ditch ten days later. autopsy confirmed he had been tortured. his body beaten, burned and electrocuted. his friends and family have been holding rallies and vigils ever since. the cambridge university student published articles critical of the government of president sisi. and wasry searching egypt's trade union movement. egyptian and international rights groups blame egypt's security forces saying the torture marks were consistent with other cases of torture and forced disappearances allegedly by security services. >> translator: it's very ann annoying and frustrating to hear these accusations and rumors. we're known for integrity and transparency. >> they have a long history of unaccountability, and i believe
this has to do with the way the police -- police force and police -- policemen are being trained right when they are cadets. they -- they are trained to disrespect human rights. >> reporter: an exchange on egyptian state tv two weeks ago does little to dampen suspicions of a government cover up. mohamed is speaking here on egyptian tv. he says we haven't found a scapegoat yet. tv host responds this is funny and sad at the same time. egypt's interior ministry says all four members of the alleged criminal gang were shot dead on thursday. the same men now being blamed for the student's murder. chai that's authorities are believed to have detained at least 20 people in connection
with the publication of an open letter criticizing the president. the letter was published earlier this month on a state-backed news site. >> reporter: a chinese dissident living in the united states says his parents and younger brother were taken by police on tuesday andn't have been heard from since. he says police have been harassing his family members for more than a week after he was accused of helping to circulate a better that was published online, urging the chinese president to resign. he denies any involvement in this. according to him, several employees of the website that published the letter have also been detained. this is also being reported by news agency who say that at least four employees of that website, including the ceo and the managing editor have been missing and out of contact for a week. these developments come about ten days after a prominent
journalist disappeared just as he was about to board a plane. it is widely thought that his disappearance has to do with the letter as well. the letter was first published earlier this month on a news website. the letter was published anonymously. the cignaers to calling themselves loyal communist party members. but they accused president xi of concentrating power in his hands of abandoning the principle of collective leadership, and of cultivating a personality cult around himself. it also urged him to resign for the future of china and its people. these recent developments suggest that the authorities have been deepening and widening their crackdown to the extent of detaining and arresting family members of those expected of involvement, and this is a worrying trend for human rights
activists, and free speech activists because it is suggests that the government is intolerant of krim schism and there seems to be a pattern of going after critics. go leaders this ethiopia are promising to address demands made during recent protests. charles stratford reports. >> reporter: this 15 year old and 8 year old brother say they were shot in their legs. it happened during a crackdown on an anti government demonstration near their house last month. >> translator: i was in the backyard walking to the house when i was shot. my brother was in the house, i couldn't walk. i was bleeding. then i was hit again. i felt the pain, then my brother came to help me, and he was shot too. >> reporter: despite the crackdown by the government, protests continue. anger among ethiopia's largest ethnic group was sparked by the
government's development plan. the government says it wants to improve roads, development and services in the region. they say it is land grab. the government has now canceled the plan. it says it wants to consult the people on how to move forward. but the people have for decades accused the government of corruption and ignoring their rights. there have been protests across the region. both local and foreign journalists have suffered intestimony a decision and been detained. and some local journalists say they have been too afraid to even try to cover the crisis. and human rights investigators say they are literally putting their lives at risk trying to gather information. this rights investigator insisted we hide his identity >> translator: it's very dangerous. think imprison people every day.
people have disappeared. doing this work is like selling my life. >> reporter: this lawyer describes what he says are testimonies from families of the dead. >> many of those people were killed after the protests took place. many of the people were shot in the back. some were shot in the head, which shows that [ inaudible ] demonstrators, and that corroborates the reports we had from the victims' families. >> reporter: the government says the claims are exaggerated. >> people whether they are civilians or security officials who have been involved in -- in excessive use of force, for example, will be held responsible. >> reporter: the two recover at home. young people who, so many say, suffer the consequences of demanding a better life.
in a few hour's time the rolling stones will take the stage in havana. it is a significant concert for a country where rock music was banned for decades. >> reporter: until recently this was the closest that a legendary british rock star had ever come to cuba. now the countdown has started for what promises to be the most exciting rock concert in this country's history. the rolling stones are coming, and no one wants to miss them. >> translator: when i was her age, i dreamed of going to a concert like this, but it was never within our reach. >> translator: it is the first time we will see like this, and maybe the last. we want to travel abroad to see them. >> reporter: the famous british rock band has brought in some 500 tons of equipment, and will be playing before an estimated crowd of hundreds of thousands. ♪
>> reporter: this will be the grand finale of the rolling stones latin america tour, but only here are they performing for free. ♪ >> reporter: the stones sent a message on youtube to the cuban people with mcjagger speaking in pretty good spanish, saying this was an historic concert and hopes the cuban people will see it that way too. but practically no one has seen the video because internet access is so limited. still it will be an extraordinary event. >> translator: cuba is not on the circuit of mayor music tours, so you can imagine. also the stones span three generations of fans. >> reporter: it's also worth remembering for decades the beatles and rolling stones music was banned by the communist government. president obama's visit here
earlier this week was also historic, but this concert is less institutional, cuba is being embraced by a rock band that is a levelling legend. and you'll find more information on our website, aljazeera.com. explosions are heard during a police operation in brussels as officials confirm at least two americans are among those killed in tuesday east attacks. we are systematically eliminated isil's cabinet. >> u.s. special forces take out isil's second in command in syria. and a new law in north carolina that critics call the most an by lbgt legislation in the country. ♪