27/03/2016 World News Today


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This is BBC World News Today, broadcasting in the UK


A suicide attack kills more than 60 people near a children's


The Pakistani Taliban claim responsibility.


Far-right protestors storm a square in Brussels dedicated to the victims


Syria says its forces have recaptured the city of Palmyra -


famous for its ancient ruins - from so-called Islamic State.


Also coming up - Dublin marks the one hundredth anniversary


And in one of the highlights of the British sporting calendar, Cambridge


beat Oxford for the first time in four years in the men's Boat Race.


More than sixty people have been killed and hundreds injured


by a suicide attack at a busy park in the Pakistani city of Lahore.


Police say a suicide bomber detonated explosives close


to a children's playground, some families were celebrating


Many of the victims are women and children.


A state of emergency has been declared at all major hospitals


A faction of the Pakistani Taliban has claimed responsibility.


Here's our correspondent Shaimaa Khalil who is in Lahore.


A senior police official has told us that this appears to be a suicide


bombing, a man has detonated explosives in the middle


In. It is a popular bar. It would have been crowded. It is a


residential area. It is very near a playground. -- it is a popular park.


People talked about horrific scenes, pools of blood in the park,


scattered body parts, bodies were being collected by rescue workers.


Quite consistently we have been hearing sirens as ambulances have


been rushing to the scenes, trying to get casualties to hospitals. A


state of emergency has been declared in the hospitals in Lahore. Families


rush to these hospitals trying to find their loved ones and find out


what has happened to them. This is Easter Sunday. We understand that


many Christian families would be out and about celebrating. We were just


out on the streets driving around. It was very busy. This is just


speculation that this could be targeting the Christian community.


Another speculation connects this attack to the man who was the former


police guard who killed the governor of Punjab because he spoke out


against blasphemy law. He was hanged 40 days ago. Today is the


commemoration, the 40 day commemoration, of his death.


Police in Belgium have carried out 13 separate anti-terror raids,


in the hunt for more suspects after last week's


Also riot police used water cannon at far right protestors in a Square


Some confronted Muslim women, paying their respects to 31 killed.


Our Europe Correspondent Damian Grammaticas reports.


Belgians of all creeds and colours, Muslims, Christians,


Jewish and more, they all came together today.


They had been told not to march so they gathered quietly.


Suddenly, the serenity was shattered.


Far right thugs seizing the opportunity.


A couple of hundred had come from outside Brussels


to spread their anti-immigrant message.


This man tried to stop them trampling the memorial.


Officers here are overstretched already by the terror alerts.


When the riot squad moved in and there were cheers.


I am really shocked. It is a place of mourning and showing respect. I


suspect they are football hooligans. They don't have to show up here.


Calm has returned here and people are actually


restoring the tributes they had left here which were damaged.


The scenes we saw here were exactly what the Belgian


An increase in tensions following the attack.


In Brussels Cathedral, they paused, as well.


The city's Archbishop said that the attacks


TRANSLATION: They attacked the very foundations of our society,


Across the continent in Italy, another arrest.


An Algerian man accused of providing false


identity papers for the Brussels and Paris attackers.


The far right thugs gone, Belgians formed a human


chain to show that they stand together against both fear


The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says the recapture of Palmyra


by Syrian government forces shows the success of the army's strategy


seized the ancient city in May last year -


drawing international outrage when it destroyed ancient


The three-week battle for Palmyra appears to be all but over.


Syrian state television and other local channels have been showing


soldiers patrolling the streets of the modern city today.


As with other IS-held towns, progress is cautious,


navigating the bombs and booby-traps the jihadists have left behind.


It's not only a major strategic victory, but also a big propaganda


coup for the Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and his Russian backers.


Mr Assad was quoted on state TV as telling a visiting French


delegation that the recapture of Palmyra showed the success


of the strategy pursued by the Syrian army and its allies


World attention was focused on Palmyra for one reason -


the fabled ruins of a 2,000-year-old city on its outskirts.


The colonnades and columns are still standing, but no one yet


knows how much damage IS has done since it seized control


The jihadists taunted world opinion by carrying out and filming a mass


killing in the Roman theatre, and the destruction


For IS, the loss of Palmyra follows that of one of its main strongholds


It's yet another big blow to the jihadists' aura


Well let's get more - we can speak to Diana Darke


Palmyra, historically important, but strategically important, as well.


That's right. Across the ages it has always been in this strategic


location on a desert oasis. The largest oasis in Syria. Halfway


between the Mediterranean and the Euphrates valley. Weather controls


that strategic crossroads can control is so much of the country.


-- whether controls. The Isis strongholds are in the east. So


Palmyra opens the road up to that. You have visited Palmyra. How have


you experienced the city? I have been many times. Since the 70s I


have been going. Before the revolution began five years ago


Palmyra was the crown jewel of Syria's tourism industry. It had a


bigger concentration of hotels there than anywhere outside Damascus. It


is very important to the future economy of Syria. To rebuild it and


come you know, it is a massive propaganda coup, however you look at


it, whatever your view is on how President Assad lost it. This timing


is fitting his narrative. The perception is he is the good guy,


bringing back the crown jewel of Syria to the Syrian people. As you


point out, it is good PR for President Assad. Does this shore up


his position now? It is bound to, inevitably. The timing is spot on


for him. The Russians were helping him to secure his position by


bombing the moderate opposition up in Adan and the Northern areas. Now


with the ceasefire that has been agreed, the Russians are not allowed


to do that any more, but they can now with the eyes of the world upon


them focus entirely on Isis. Moderate opposition up in --


moderate opposition up in Idlib. The timing now is absolutely spot on for


them. Thank you very much for being with us.


Religious and political leaders have used their Easter messages to call


for hope, in the face of terror and violence.


In Rome, Pope Francis said people shouldn't let fear imprison them,


a thought echoed in a sermon by the Archbishop of Canterbury,


And David Cameron says the UK should stand together,


Here's our Religious Affairs Correspondent,


On a square bathed in sunshine, the pilgrims gathered to hear


a message of hope after a week in the shadow of death.


At this, the Easter celebration of the risen Christ,


Pope Francis reminded the faithful not to forget the migrants,


the men, women and children fleeing from war.


Then, from the balcony, he urged the faithful to use


the weapon of love, as Christ did, and fight the evil of terrorism,


TRANSLATION: May he draw us closer on this Easter feast


to the victims of terrorism, that blind and brutal form


of violence which continues to shed blood in different


It was a theme echoed by the Archbishop of Canterbury


Justin Welby said that after Brussels, hope could seem far


away, with fear and natural human reaction.


But, he told worshippers, Jesus Christ overcame death,


Easter proclaims to us in flesh and blood that fear and death


God has spoken life, hope and purpose.


The Royal family attended their Easter service


at Saint George's Chapel in Windsor, with an Easter bouquet for the Queen


Stay with us on BBC World News, still to come:


The 100th anniversary of the Easter rising. It has been commemorated


with the largest public event in the country's history.


The bodies of three people have been found at a house in Leeds.


They are believed to be those of two women and a man.


Police said there had been a small fire at the property.


East Park Street in Leeds where the bodies of a man and two


Emergency services arrived here, there had been a fire


in the property behind me, it is understood


there were no signs of violence in the house but police have


stressed enquiries are at a very early stage.


The fire is thought to have started in the living room and later burnt


out, police believe the three people may


have died in the early hours of Saturday morning.


Detectives don't yet know exactly what happened that night.


Forensic postmortems will take place to determine how the people


died and West Yorkshire Police is asking anyone with information


A bomb blast in a crowded park in the Pakistani city of Lahore has


killed at least 50 people and wounded many more.


Far-right protestors have stormed a square in Brussels where people


have been paying their respects to the victims of last


Hundreds of thousands of people have lined the streets in Dublin to watch


commemorations marking the centenary of the Easter Rising.


The failed rebellion against British rule left almost 500 people dead,


but is seen as key stepping stone - to the creation of the Republic of


Our Ireland Correspondent Chris Buckler reports.


In 1916, O'Connell Street was at the centre of conflict.


100 years later, it has become the focal point


for the commemorations, a place to remember the Rising.


Its leaders made Dublin's General Post Office its military


It was here they declared a rebellion, a republic and the end


of British rule with these words, the proclamation.


We hereby proclaim the Irish Republic as a sovereign independent


And we pledge our lives and the lives of our comrades


Today people lined the streets of Dublin for a parade that passed


some of the sites where there was battle, honouring those who died


during six days when the city was engulfed in chaos.


By the time the revolt was defeated, much of Dublin was destroyed.


But just years later, a republic did emerge.


In part, that was as a result of the execution of some


of the Rising's leaders at Kilmainham Gaol.


We cherish, 100 years later, the principles and ideals contained


in our proclamation for which they fought.


Among those remembering the events of 1916, relatives of those who took


The century since has seen the city change and the birth


Our correspondent Nuala McGovern is in Dublin where commemorations


In the rebellion took place here in the GPO 100 years ago. I won't


introduce you to my guest John Connelly, the youngest grandson of


James Connolly, one of the signatories, one of the seven, on


the proclamation that declared an Irish state. Just a few steps away


from where we are now. Absolutely, just up the road. Tell us about your


grandfather and how he changed probably the tide of history in


Ireland after he was captured. My grandfather was a general at the


Dublin forces in GPO. After he got wounded he was taken not to Dublin


Castle. He was taken to a hospital. Then after he was taken away. This


was one of the turning moment in world opinion for the sympathies to


go with the rebels and the fighters. Whereas a week before they were all


being castigated. With that it has to be said that that moment has been


dramatised. It is something people find incredibly poignant, the death


of James Connolly. What about all of the people who came out today. They


say a quarter of a million people lined the streets, something your


grandfather stalked -- started. Thank you to everyone for coming


out. It was great. The Army did its duty well. They performed admirably


as they always do. What is next? They want people to reflect and


reimagine. Is there a lot of work to be done to reach the goals of


proclamation? Of course. Democracy is a work in progress. You have to


go step-by-step, step-by-step. We will get there eventually. Denied


you are going to Dublin Castle, also up the road, the seat of British


rule at one point, but tonight? It is the seat of Irish rule. And you


will? Be there. And it is a state function for the descendants of...?


Yes. Thank you. One of the grandsons of James Connolly. One of the


signatories who took part 100 years ago. Ireland will continue to


commemorate this moment in the days and weeks to come.


India are through to the semifinals of the world the 20 cricket. The


hosts produced a late surge of runs to beat Australia by six wickets.


Skipper Virat Kohli finished unbeaten. India chased down


Australia's total of 260-6 with five balls to spare. Our correspondent is


in India. Can one man and one cricket bat lift


the nation of 1.3 billion? Answer is, if it is Virat Kohli definitely


yes. You may get a sense of the fireworks going off around Delhi


this evening. They are all for Virat Kohli. India's progress has had this


country transfixed with cricket, even more than normal. India were


outplayed in their first game, beaten by New Zealand. Then all the


tension from the game against Pakistan. Against Bangladesh they


had somehow lost but somehow came back to win. And now this


performance against Australia. The semifinal is also a dream scenario


for the organisers. The only other team which attracts crowds to


anything like the same level as India is the West Indies. Especially


when Chris Cairns is playing. Virat Kohli against Chris Gayle, I am sure


that is the way the media will sell that match if it needed selling. --


Chris Dale is playing. One philosophy which I think will exist


throughout India, when it comes to the final the T20, just set India


any target, if Virat Kohli is at the crease they can chase it down.


The semifinals take place in Mumbai on Thursday.


England's women set up a semifinal with Australia at the women's T20


after finishing at the top of their group. England made 148-5 and


Pakistan were bowled out for just 80 with 13 balls to spare. West Indies


women secured their place in the semifinals, beating India in a tight


game. The home side falling just three runs short of their target. It


is Australia against England in Delhi on Wednesday. The second


semifinal between New Zealand and the West Indies takes place on


Thursday in Mumbai. The annual Oxford Cambridge boat race has taken


place. The first was held in 1829, it has been held annually since


1856. Cambridge, the heavy abode in both races, won the men's. But for


the women's eight nearly meant they went underwater.


It seemed anyone watching, never mind taking


part in the boat race, would need oil skins and an anchor.


By the time the women's race started in its


second year on the famous course the skies were clear.


But the wind kept the water turbulence.


In such conditions it is about plotting


-- a path as much as producing power.


Oxford headed for the safe shallows, Cambridge almost succumbed


By the time Oxford crossed the line for a fourth straight win,


Cambridge were more concerned with staying afloat.


The men could use that as a cautionary tale for their race.


Cambridge have lost the last three so made their move over


At times it became about hanging on and hoping.


These are not waters to keep chasing.


Oxford fought their bodies and the waters to keep in touch.


It is a feeling like nothing I've experienced before.


These were the boat races when the river fought back.


To all crews credit, there were no sinkings,


but tradition has it that not everyone can stay out of the Thames.


That is all of your sport for now. Thank you very much. Let's go back


to that victory by India in the world 2020 semifinals after they


knocked out Australia. -- the world T20.


A great victory for India, especially given the fact it has


been played on Indian soil. Yes, that's right. You join me in a


GB did and somewhat relieved Delhi. It is always said that cricket is a


religion here. -- in the capital, fans are, as you can


imagine, packed around TV sets, moved by the drama unfolding on the


pitch. They had an extra interest because it was a local boy Virat


Kohli, who we heard was the star of the show tonight, he was born and


raised here in Delhi. He once again proved India's here on the pitch by


backing up that unbeaten 80 runs leading India to the victory and a


place in the semifinals. We were looking at some of the


reaction by Indian fans. What has been the mood there?


As you would expect, the mood was nervous early in the evening. India


went into this tournament as favourites but hadn't really found


their gear in the tournament up until now. As a result, it got more


and more clear India would do this, they were safe and in the


semifinals. It became very excitable. Delhi is never quite at


the best of times, but it was particularly noisy. We had a routing


of horns, cheering fans and even if you fireworks. I think these were


probably seems echoed right across the country.


Have they got a chance of winning this?


Chances of winning? Well, they face the West Indies next in the


semifinal on Thursday. The West Indies suffered a shock against


Afghanistan. West Indies fans thought it would be theirs for the


taking. There is a cent in India that maybe, whisper it quietly,


India could be peaking just at the right time to do this. Take this


title in front of their home fans. Imagine what the reaction would be


if that happened. -- there is a sense in India.


Thanks very much. A bomb blast in a crowded park in


the Pakistani city of Lahore has killed at least 60 people and


wounded many more. The explosion took place in an area popular with


families. It is thought it may be targeting Christians celebrating


Easter. The Pakistan president has strongly condemned the act of


terrorism and has said that such cowardly acts could not shake the


nation's resolve against the menace of extremism and terrorism. That is


it from me. Thank you very much for being with us.


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