a pakistani taliban attack kills at least 65 people, mostly women and children in a park in lahore. ♪ ♪ hello, this is al jazeera live from doha i am adrian finnegan. also ahead, iraqi cleric begins a one-man protest in the heavily fortified green zone in baghdad. riot police in brussels disperse protesters marching to a memorial to tuesday's bombings. russia offers restore palmyra after syrian forces say they have driven isil out of the
ancient city. plus. >> reporter: i am way hay reporting from the first day on the lower mekong river. it's a continue controversial pt one the government says has to happen to help boost the economy. ♪ ♪ a suicide bomber has killed at least 65 people, mostly women and children in a park in the pakistani city of lahore. it happened during easter holiday celebrations. a group linked to the taliban says that it's behind this latest attack on religious minorities in pakistan. we have a report. >> reporter: an explosion at a children's park in the heart of lahore. this was the latest taliban attack to claim lives in pakistan. a food cart vendor described the moment of the blast. >> translator: i was cooking a burger and syed suddenly i heard an explosion so bigism couldn'tt
understand what was happening. >> reporter: it was a weekend and the park was full of family as as a result most of the dead are women and children. witnesses reported bodies strewn everywhere. with emergency services stretched and a number of casualties so high people used tax is and rickshaw to his moved injured. lahores hospitals on high alert. these kind of attacks are not new to the people of pakistan. the country has been fighting a taliban insurgency for over a decade. whereas in the past the punjab province has been spared the worst of the violence, the taliban carried out this attack in the ruling government's political backyard. with this attack in lahore, it seems a period of relative calm in the country may now be at an vend. al jazeera. >> let's hear from a fellow at the southeast asia center. he says they have taken the
easiest target to challenge the government. >> the message is no part of pakistan is safe from the taliban even though they have been ousted from their own territory in the federally administered tribal area which borders afghanistan by the recent military action, they have chosen to attack soft targets inside pakistan and the softest of the soft targets, of course, the minorities, because they have very little to protect them. there has been a battle for the soul of pakistan that's been raging now for a couple of decades at least. and most recently the government announced a national action plan to fight militants and terrorism. in which they have targeted sectarianism and hate speech. and it is quite clear that the right wing -- extreme right wing militants of sunni islam which are divide e divided in to two s that fight each others are
trying to get the most amount of public space, by targeting the minority groupings they are basically challenging the government of the prime minister in his own hometown and in punjab where his government runs the provincial assembly. an influential iraqi shia clear i can has began a one-man protest inside baghdad's heavily fortified government area which thousands of his followers massing outside. he entered the green zone on sunday to press the government in to making reforms. later he presented his demands to prime minister al ba al badi. he and his supporters are frustrated with what they all government inaction. jane arraf reports now from baghdad. >> reporter: this was seemingly a very simple jes gesture it, aw small steps in in to the green zone but carries huge political ramificationses and speaks volumes. this is one of the most revered shia clerics from a long line of revered shia clerics.
formerly leading a militia that rose up against american and iraqi forces and now a mainstream political figure. for weeks he has been rallying his supporters, hundreds of thousands of them at a time in public squares here and lately near the entrance to the green zone. where iraqi and foreign diplomats work and it's heavily protected. he's threatened his followers will actually storm the green zone if these political did he plants are not met. instead of that he appeared today and told them they showed great discipline they had to continue doing that and they were to stay put. instead, he said, he would go in to the green zone. now, the reason this is significant is that he railroad rarely leaves, this is one of the few case where his his followers have seen him up close. people were weeping as he spoke. he went in to the green zone, he was kissed and greeted by senior iraqi security officials. and he sat down on the sidewalk. that, again, speaks volumes.
he says he is a man of the people, speaking for all of iraq, and this is a way to put pressure iraqi government. he says he intends to stay there until reform are made. the prime minister wants the reforms, he's trying to reshuffle the cabinet. but there is a lot of political resistence to this so he has on his doorstep almost literally one of his leading political rifles sitting there basically waiting for him to do something. and very frantic political negotiations going on and expected to continue to go on until he can find a solution to this. four people have been arrested in the latest police raids across belgium. five others who have been did he find in previous operations have now been released. a protest in brussels over tuesday's brommings was canceled at the request of police, but not everyone complied. as paul brennan reports. >> reporter: sunday's intended memorial rally was already postponed but security was tied
around the gathering place where so many have come to pay their respects since last tuesday. while soldiers watch here. special prison units were launching a dozen new raids and arresting new suspect. and the postpone the. police rally created a vacuum which others were keen to fill. they marched and muscles their way on to the steps which had become the focal point for the solidary movement. >> just a statement to say we love belgium. it's our country. and just leave europe alone. >> reporter: then the mood turned ugly. the sense of sorrow and grief which has been the overwhelming emotion here in buts else since the tuesday bomb attacks is giving way to a small and very focal mind or at this to
violence and anger. with water cannon and pepper spray police units pushed the group back towards the railway station where they disbursed but not before unfurling their banner one last time. belgian prosecutors have charged a man with terrorist murder and attempted murder but still won't confirm belgian media reports thawhat his full name is. more reports are merging. this refugee who has asked to remain anonymous arrived in belgian last year and lived for several weeks in this park. he clearly remembers the man coming to the park regularly, behaving strangely, agitating and using a megaphone to try to provoke violence against supposed infidels. >> he was stopped for a few days by the police and then he came bah check these microphones and yelling and talking a lot of things. and some people told me he was trying to gathering us to make force, i don't know, to make --
>> reporter: to get violent. >> violent and stuff, yeah. everybody was like please stop it. especially because the moroccans because they totally understand what he was saying. he was calling anybody not muslim infidel. that's very isis or al qaeda, because shia muslims or sunni muslims or whatever they don't call the other infidels and trying to make these kind of problems. >> reporter: but he has doubts whether he really is the third bomber. the man in white on the airport cctv. but the picture in the cctv, from the airport. >> it's not clear it's not clear. i couldn't -- he's a skinny guy. when they said it's limits not possible or maybe because it's been six months, maybe he eat a lot of burgers. >> reporter: investigators have a long way to go before they complete the full picture of who
has involved. paul brennan, al jazeera, brussels. dutch police have arrested a french national suspected of planning an tack in his home country. the 32-year-old man was taken in to custody in rotterdam after a request from french police. he's now awaiting extradition. three other people were also detained in raids in the city. syrian government forces say they are now in full control of palmyra. russia says that it will help to remove mines in the ancient city to restore the historical site. president vladimir putin has offered experts from the museum in st. petersburg. violence may have eased in syria since the cessation of hostilities, but the u.n. says not enough aid is getting to we sieges areas. we have a report now from neighboring turkey. >> reporter: the towns, this is one of syria's most devastated
areas. it's 250 -- its 250,000 population have mostly moved away. just days before the truce started last month people who stayed behind have lived under this. and this. leaving behind a town in ruins and largely destroyed. >> translator: civilians took a break, bombardment has stopped. the regime used everything on, barrels, rockets, everything. >> reporter: nothing is spared. many mosques were hit or damaged. at this catholic church, there is no easter mass this year. the worshipers have gone. but around 8,500 people remain in this rebel-held town. they have been stuck here since 2012. and now they are hungry and
desperate. the world food program says people were forced to eat grass, families endured days without a meal. he is taking care of his plants. he may be forced to eat them. >> translator: the bleeding has stopped, but we didn't get any aid. each minute passes we lose time in the besieged areas and my children are losing their childhood. >> reporter: a neighbor in turkey this opposition official says conditions are disastrous. >> translator: it's catastrophic. there is a shortage of everything, food, medicine, milk, the regime wants to end the ref luke in areas that surround damascus by forcing them in to submission using these tactics. >> reporter: the syrian opposition also a cases the government of using starvation as a weapon of submission. the u.n. is calling on the syrian government to allow unrestricted access to about half a million syrians in besieged areas, including there. so far the government has
refused to give that permission, the u.n. says preventing aid is a violation of international l law. life under siege is hard but it goes on even without food, medicine, and milk. omar al saleh, al jazeera. still to come here on al jazeera. a new political party in japan aim to his challenge prime minister abe's rule. we'll tell you why. ray new initiative in argentina to bring dental care to those who can least afford it. we'll be right back.
♪ ♪ hello again. reminder of the top stories here on al jazeera. at least 65 people have been killed in a suicide attack in the pakistani city. victims were christian families celebrating easter. four people have been arrested in the latest police raids across belgian. a protest by football fans meanwhile, has been broken up as they marched towards a vigil for the victims of tuesday's bombings in brussels. and the influential iraqi shia cleric al-sadr is staging a one-man protest inside baghdad's heavily fortified government area. thousands of his followers are gathered just outside the grown seen they are demanding government reform. the damn in haa loas is the first of its kind its construction is ahead of schedule could start generate he
go lex trigg at this earlier than pictures go ahead. that's good newt for the communist government. but opponents say not enough research has been done on the impact on the environment. wayne hay is there and explains why this project is vital for the country's economy and is at the same time so controversial. >> reporter: but it reaches laos. mekong river has already been through six dams, but this will be the first high bro damn on the lower mekong. because so many people use the river for fishing and transport it's a controversial project, but laos says it needs the income and is planning many more damages o dam on the main extremes. >> commemorations in ireland to mark 100 years since the east are rising. thousands turned out to remember
the events in 1916. it paved the way to the eventually creation of the irish republic, phil lavelle reports. >> reporter: 100 years have now passed but what happened here a century ago poignantly remember today this day. the only sound here a piper, a drum beaned and boards of remembrance from the acting prime minister. >> in honor of all those who died. >> reporter: as crowds gathered outside the general post office in dublin. there was the same place it happened on easter monday. when 150 men stormed the g.p.o. replacing the british flag with the irish, did he player independence, they celled erred five days later after the heavy shelling by the british. defeated and executed. but it galvanize the the independence movement and five
years later british troops were gone. with part of the north staying within the u.k. on sunday the president stood in front of a crowd of thousands to watch the flag lowered and blown in the chill of a spring irish morning. many more watched from a distance, paying respect to the 500 who have lost their lives. among them, faces who have dedicated their lives to reunifying all of ireland. people like martin mcginnest, he wants the north back under dublin respects control, but in the north there are many who don't want to leave the u.k. this is a country that still has some divisions. on sunday, their descendants were together in their mourning and reflection. phil lavelle, al jazeera. in pakistan's capital islambad, police have used tear gas to hold back thousands of protesters marching on the center of government. around 25,000 demonstrators came from nearby angry about the hanging of a policeman. he shot dead the governor of punjab in 2011.
the man he was assigned to protect. more now from kamal hyder who is in islambad. >> reporter: after thousands of supporters marched on parliament, the pakistani military was called to restore order. and to secure key government buildings which includes parliament, the foreign ministry, pakistan television and the diplomatic enclave. now we are told that the city administration has been able to convince this large crowd not to go near parliament to cause any damage to government property and that they have been told that the crowd will stay in front of parliament. however, they will not budge. so a situation evolving here in islambad and the next few hours being critical because the crowd says they have asked their supporters from across the country to come and join them. u.s. airstrikes are reported to have killed 14 suspected al qaeda fighters in southern yemen. the attack attacks targeted buis
use ed by al qaeda. it's one of the largest u.s. strikes on the group. since the civil war broke out over a year ago. also in yemen a prisoner swap between houthi fighters and saudi forces has taken place, a houthi official says the group released nine saudi soldiers in exchange for 100 people who had been captured in south generally. the swap is part i've second round of talk between saudi arabia and the shia houthis. the refugees camped at the town -- village on the greece macedonia border say this they are angry and frustrated over worsening conditions there. most have already sold their belongings and spent their savings to get that far. zeina khodr tells their story. >> reporter: yet again they make their way towards greece's border with macedonia. they have been told that the migrant trail to northern europe has reopened. these refugees and migrants pack their belongings left their
makeshift camps and walked for kilometers in the cold. >> translator: we are going there because they are opening the border. we read it on social media and facebook pages we were celebrating last night. >> reporter: but they were not given the correct information, this is what they found. dozens preparing to breakthrough greek police lines and push their way forward. >> translator: this is the only hope we have left. they want to take us to military camps and the e.u. relocation program could take months or two to three years. i am confident we can three through because we are many people. >> reporter: a few dozen did gather. but it didn't take long before they changed their minds. we won't be marching they said. not unless the red cross is with them and there is a decision by the european union to let them in. these refugees and migrants know that crossing by force will not change anything. two weeks ago, some of them managed to breakthrough a barbed wire fence only to be arrested
by macedonian authorities and sent back. instead they held peaceful protests in front of the world's cameras in the hope that their voicvoices will be heard and thr suffering not forgotten. >> we will endure the cold and stay even with no food we we won't leave her our families are in europe already. we will stay here until we can cross. >> reporter: this is where they say they will wait while their asylum requests are processed. they are now relying on activist to his support them. >> what is going on here is a tragedy for a continent who are announcing to our history and our humanity. >> reporter: the main road through which hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees used to each northern europe has been closes for weeks. there is no indication that will change. and more and more people are realizing that europe's open-door policy has been shut. zeina khodr, al jazeera. in japan, a new opposition party has been formed ahead of elections this summer. i a merging of smaller
opposition groups looking to put pressure on the ruling conservative party ran by prime minister abe. rob mcbride reports from tokyo. >> reporter: this merger is deemed by many in the fragmented opposition as being the best chance of trying to derail the ruling conservative coalition government of prime minister shinzo abe ahead of upper house elections this summer. abe still has a lot of forward momentum, that's in spite of sandals involving cabinet members and a faltering economic strategy. he has majorities in both houses of the japanese parliament. if he can extend that to 2/3 of the seats in both. he has an unprecedented opportunity to change the country's pacifist constitution, given the military a -- giving the military a more assertive role. the opposition has promise today prevents that. this merger sees a further sad demise of the main opposition democratic party of japan. they spectacularly swept to power no 2009 but equally
spectacularly were dumped by the he lock tour at a few years later. they have never been able to recover. the new merged party will be known as the democratic party has no guarantee, though, that they are going to fire up this lex touelectorate. many people here believe there is no alternative to abe. north korea has released a new video showing what a calls its largest ever exercise of long-range artillery training. state media showed leader kim jong-un inspecting the drill. tension has been high on the korean peninsula since they conducted a nuclear test in january on a long range -- and a long range rocket launch last month. in el salvador a video contributed to many street gangs offering to end the killings if a government stops an offensive of it. the video shown by local media
shows a masked man said to represent the barrio 18 gang, he said that killings would be stopped as soon as saturday if the government cooperated. >> translator: we have ordered all of our people who are members of our gang to halt all types of homicides nationwide so to demonstrate to the public, the government and international agencies in our country that there is no need to implement measures that only violate our constitution. the salvadoran police say even if the video is verified they won't negotiate with the gangs. >> translator: we don't have to stop anything. we don't have to act around such a group, criminal or not says anonymously. police in mexico have arrested one of drug lord joaquin el chapo guzman's money launderers. he operated through companies
and through money exchange he was detained in a southern state on a provisional extradition warrants from the united states. the volcano in the southeast of mexico has erupted spewing a two-kilometer high column of gas and ash. the government has imposed a security area around the mountain. thousands of people who live in the shanty towns o towns done much to smile about. many live with cavities or no teeth at all. that is starting to change as daniel reports. >> reporter: vienna does smile when things go well. she's been attending one of the clinics since she was eight. and knows how to look after her teeth. but most people in the shanty town where she lives either don't know how to do that or don't have the money to buy toothbrushes or toothpaste.
>> translator: i think that a smile is one of the most important things a person has. when looking for a job, or going out. >> reporter: founded 10 years ago funded by donations mostly from the u.k. and the united states. she says the state has never prioritize dentistry for the shanty towns and go government-n services are under funded an he have mated 90% of children suffer tooth dee kay. >> i opened a second clinic and that wasn't enough and we opened a third but we can't support more than three clinic is right now. >> reporter: as well as free inning which i cans they provide education on diet and oral hygiene. christian says his teeth won't have bacteria. >> translator: i see 15 year olds who have never brushed their teeth their mouths are terrible.
cavities broken teeth that all have to be taken out. >> reporter: parents who never had access to dental instrument recognize the benefits for their children. >> yes, they brush their teeth in the morning after lunch and at nighttime as well. >> reporter: loving, tea care ad attention, constructive advice and the small donated gift for grove are you encourage patients to continues their treatment. >> translator: they often don't know how to clean their teeth or they don't know what a toothbrush is. and then there is the diet. what they owed and the fizzy drinks. >> reporter: sound advice but applying it is tough in the shanty towns where finding enough to eat is a daily challenge. poor living conditions a bad diet, often a lack of running water new york toothbrushes or toottoothpaste. all contribute to bad dental hygiene the reluctance of many, especially young people, to smile. diana now with a baby of her own encourages some of their eight siblings to look at their teeth and tells her friends that with the right diet, less sugary
drinks, regular brushing and check ups they will have something to smile bah. al jazeera. plenty more video along with the latest news, analysis, and comment at our website. take a look at aljazeera.com. >> it's not just feelings that my mind tells me i'm being followed, no. they know how to track you. they're everywhere. they could be in the street, they could be in our shop, they could be your friend without you knowing. that's why it's very hard for