the taliban appears set to announce a new government for afghanistan within days, but the european union and britain have said they won't be recognising it. it comes as the taliban claim progress in their battle to eliminate the final resistance to their rule in the panjshir valley. president biden has praised people in louisiana and mississippi for their response to hurricane ida last sunday. but he noted the frustration at delays in restoring power, and promised that infrastructure would be "built back better". he said the white house would make sure that private insurance companies paid customers who had to abandon their homes. the us president has admitted employment figures showing a sharp drop in employment growth are disappointing. but he said that, with employment still rising, america's economy remained durable and strong.
the senior british commander on the ground in kabul has been speaking for the first time about the evacuation operation. the last of the 1,000 british troops returned home at the weekend, after helping to rescue more than 15,000 people. brigadierjames martin says his troops did their duty in the midst of the most harrowing scenes. he's been talking to our defence correspondent, jonathan beale. this is what british troops faced soon after they landed in the cauldron of kabul airport. the desperation of thousands of people trying to flee a country now under taliban control. soldiers trained for combat, trying to instill some order in the chaos. a massive humanitarian mission that's taken its toll. when you are dealing with a very large crowd that is fearful, in fear of its life, crushing, pressing against you, when women and children are being crushed and, yes,
dying, in some cases, in yourarms, your agency to deal with the situation and change it is very different than when you're on combat operations. there was emotions all the way through the operations. you can't see a young child, a baby, a woman crushed to death in front of you and then you having to deal with the aftermath of that, you can't see any of that without being emotional. there've been tears? yeah, of course there've been tears. and they did all this while their own lives were under threat. it culminated in a suicide attackjust over a week ago. 13 of their us comrades were killed in the blast, along with more than 150 afghans who were hoping to get on a flight to freedom. it was carnage, it was carnage. when that level of explosion and combination of shrapnel is detonated, there is only one
result, and that is carnage. but the way in which i witnessed our soldiers react to that incident was, you know, one of the finest things i've seen. they ran towards the explosion. they provided immediate medical succour and support to the afghan civilians that had been wounded. brigadier martin himself has done several tours fighting the taliban, who are now back in control, so the question — was it worth it? what price 20 years of freedom for those people? what price no terrorist attacks emanating from afghanistan? so, you know, i put the ball back in your court. is that worth it? in the end, they helped rescue more than 15,000 people. and while questions still remain about the speed of the government's response, who can question the courage, commitment and compassion shown by britain's armed forces? jonathan beale, bbc news. now on bbc news, our world.
it should be the safest place a child could be. why do you study? from there, to go back towards what? but schools in northern nigeria are being targeted by kidnappers. since december, more than 1,000 students have been abducted in the region. and it's affecting everyone from the youngest to the oldest pupils, rich and poor. save this country from the hands of these evil people! she said: "mummy, they came to our school yesterday night and kidnapped us. " she now says: "mummy, come and see, they are just beating us."
so, why are criminal gangs kidnapping schoolchildren? to find out, i've travelled across northern and central nigeria, speaking to those affected. this banditry is not some mere criminality. and the only way to deal with it is to launch a full—scale war against the bandits. under the cover of darkness, criminal gangs are disturbing the peace. armed men are targeting boarding schools, stealing children away as they sleep. since the kidnapping of the chibok girls in 2014, the mass abduction of schoolchildren has become an increasingly common phenomenon here in nigeria. and every time, it follows
a similar, chilling pattern. armed gunmen storm dormitories in the middle of the night, often arriving by foot or by motorbike, and take dozens of students with them into nearby forests. 39 students and staff were seized from the forestry school in the northern state of kaduna in early march. a video of the hostages was sent to the parents on social media. victory sani and her sister, rejoice, were among those abducted. since that day, their parents have been trying to secure their release. victory is my first daughter, she has done a lot of schooling, she's a brilliant student.
rejoice is someone who loves hairdressing, she plaits, she braids. the two of them are too addicted to themselves that they are always finding it difficult to live with each other. mr sani, since the incident, have you been contacted by the bandits? first contact that we was from the bandits, demanding for 500 million naira from the state government. and when we got a video of our children being flogged in the bush, i was sent
to the social media by the bandits. we decided to go in protests. chanting. after ten days with no news of the 39 pupils seized at the forestry school... chanting. ..friday sani and other parents took to the street to protest. the government threatened to prosecute anyone negotiating with the kidnappers, including parents. the government came out again with another press statement, that anyone caught negotiating with the bandits would be arrested and prosecuted. but we would prefer to be arrested, provided our children would be in their home, at home. so, you are saying the strategy is not working? it's not working. if there is any strategy at all! people are dying and look as if nobody cares. it looks as if nobody cares.
and we are still calling on the government to do something, fast. because those people will lose their patience and do something irrational. over the past seven months, a wave of kidnappings targeting schools and universities has swept the region. there have been nine mass abductions of students across five states. many believe the payment of ransom has created an industry. more than 1,000 students and staff have been taken and nine students have been killed. this round of kidnappings started in december, when more than 300 schoolboys were abducted from their dorms in the town of kankara. the town lies in a rural part of nigeria's north—western katsina state, vulnerable to attack. at the time, i travelled to kankara to cover the story.
back then, i met usama, a student with sickle cell, who had managed to escape the kidnappers. i also spoke to ruqayya bello and bello sidi, whose asthmatic 14—year—old son, umar, was still missing. the kidnapped boys were released after six days. now, the school remains closed, leaving many boys at home without an education. the situation remains precarious. less than six months ago, we drove down this road to the town of kankara, to cover the kidnapping of over 300 schoolboys by armed men. since then, the area has become even more unsafe,
with multiple reports of attacks. usama and others in his year have been relocated to a school in a safer location, closer to the state capital. why do you study? from there, to go back toward, what? what about the second one? he's one of the lucky few attending class, so he can take his school leaving exams. z is what? y? that moves from 2 to y. while he's pleased to be reunited with his friends, the past is hard to forget.
in katsina, where ransoms were allegedly paid, umar and others were safely reunited with their families. but one state in nigeria's north has taken a different approach. i am travelling to neighbouring kaduna, where the state's governor has taken a stand against the payment of ransoms. he has repeatedly appeared on local media to say he won't speak to, let alone negotiate with, armed gangs that are attacking rural communities. it's had devastating consequences — the number of kidnappings have increased.
# we sing his praise. # we rise to see ourjesus.# mr and mrs yoanna's daughter dorothy attended the private greenfield university. 0n the day after she was abducted, mrs yoanna got a phone call from the kidnappers who put dorothy on the line. she said, "mummy, they came to our school yesterday night—time, they kidnapped us, we are in the bush. she now said, "mummy, come and see, they are just beating us." then the man collected the phone and he said they need money. if you want them to release our children, we must be 800 million. i shouted and screamed, i said "800 million?" so they asked for 800 million naira.
that's about $2 million. did you have that kind of money? no. and i told him, "how did you expect us to get such money?" that was the last i spoke to her, and the man. we are still asking questions. as to how this thing happened, why our daughter? just two days later, mr yohanna got a call from the university telling him to come to a local hospital to identify the bodies of three students. when i went inside, the first person i saw was my daughter. i screamed, i said "they killed my daughter!" ijust wept and then it was when i came to the home that i broke the news to them that dorothy is no more. that was when i started crying. that is when my voice now ceased, that very day. you both had the worst
possible news that any parent could hear. are you satisfied with the response from the authorities? i'm not satisfied because this thing happened on tuesday, and they called me on wednesday, and on friday, they killed my daughter. there is nojustice in that. i don't believe there is justice in that case. kaduna's state government says it has a strict policy of not negotiating with criminals, they don't pay ransoms. what do you both make of that decision? the people whojudge, the whole world should judge on that. therefore we will be praying for our whole nation, - nigeria. this nation is burning. if they are not ready to negotiate with criminals,
i also hope they have the way of getting the criminals because if they don't get the criminals and they are not negotiating with them, then we are in trouble. father, keep watch over your children. | you are the keeper of zion, | you never sleep or slumber. save this country from the l hands of these evil peoples. you know, the more you speak to parents whose children have been kidnapped, the more overwhelming this problem is. i became a parent myself a year ago so i understand, if your child has been taken, all you want them is for them to come back home. but then there is the other side of the argument. if you pay ransoms, the kidnappings continue, it's an industry that is
growing, so if you are a parent in nigeria right now, it's frightening because you want it to stop, but then you want your children to come back, and there are no clear answers. two more students from greenfield were killed after dorothy. eventually, the remaining abductees were released after the parents paid the kidnappers 150 million naira. that's $360 , 000. but nasir el—rufai, the governor of kaduna state, is refusing to pay ransoms, a policy which only seems to have emboldened the kidnappers. they have decided that they have to bring this state government to its knees by concentrating their attacks in this state. so you think that one
of the reasons why they may be targeting the states is because you've made it clear that you won't pay ransoms? yes. do you think then that by making that statement, you're putting your citizens, your residents of kaduna state, at greater risk? not necessarily. i think, in the long run, or even in the medium term, it actually makes the state safer. we still have kidnappers, we have individuals being kidnapped, we even have attempted kidnap of students, they have been successful in two cases, but not on the kind of scale you've seen in other states. here in kaduna just last week, three university students were kidnapped. yes. so how can you tell their parents that their children were safer? i commiserate with the parents, i sympathise with them, but that will not change our stand. the only way to end kidnapping is for societies to stake a stand that we will not pay. i know the pain of losing children, but i have to subordinate that to the overall interest of the society which elected me to provide leadership. the nigerian government has long denied the links between criminal groups operating in north—western nigeria and the extremist group boko haram in the north—east. but in recent months, they have acknowledged that the two security crises may now be connected. we have to branches of islamic state active
or building up here, and it's quite worrying, and this is why i said that the country is at war. this banditry is not some mere criminality, it is war, and the only way to deal with it is to launch a full—scale war against the bandits because the bandits and terrorists are linked, and they are one and the same. if boko haram's influence is spreading, doesn't it show that the federal government doesn't have a handle on security at all in nigeria, like many nigerians are saying, they haven't handled security well. no, security has definitely improved. those that are, yeah, yeah... i think many parents would disagree with you. when we came into office, boko haram occupied how many local governments in borno state? today they are restricted.
should they have been wiped out? yeah. we work with the security forces to try to rescue the students. they are doing their best, but they can do better. the resources available to them can be improved, definitely. criminal gangs are not only targeting schools. they also regularly abduct civilians travelling by road. some think that negotiation is the only way to end the the kidnapping pandemic sweeping rural areas. villages have been raided and the death toll is rising. according to the international crisis group, many but not all of these gangs are made up of members of the semi nomadic fulani ethnic group. traditionally they made their living from cattle rearing but climate change and competition for resources has left many of them without an income. controversial islamic cleric ahmad gumi has made acted as a self—appointed mediator between groups of kidnappers and the government but the
sheikh says the marginalisation of the nigeria's fulani population is counterproductive. they are voiceless in nigeria so they express themselves in a violent way. it's dangerous for a nation like nigeria that has a lot of money to allow a big segment of this population, without any formal or informal education, to behave in a certain manner. i understand that they might be unhappy with the way they've been treated by the authorities in the past. do you think that that killing, that action is justified? it doesn't justify crime at all from whatever angle it is. when you put people in the middle of a war, they feel it is right to kill the opposite. that is what is happening in nigeria now.
the press has been saying, fulani men are criminals, killers, the nation is charged against fulani. innocent people. while we were filming, there is news of victory and rejoice, the missing sisters from the forestry school. they finally made it home. theirjoyful prayers this time, as the girls are reunited with their family. rejoice and victory, you're home. welcome home. ijoined them on a video call from lagos.
what about you, rejoice, are you scared? especially if you have to sleep there? the students' release was negotiated by sheikh gumi. the return is not an uncommon experience. the majority of children who have been kidnapped in the last eight months have gone home. but there is no doubt that education here has been deeply disturbed. the subject is what, plural. the answer is plural. even before the kidnappings, nigeria was home to the largest number of out—of—school children in the world. it is correct. in the north of the country, only one in two attend school. now schools here are no longer secure. many have been forced to close.
families continue to live in fear that their child could be the next to be taken. hello. weather changes on the way — many areas that have been stuck under cloud for the past week or so, especially in england and wales, gradually breaking out into brighter skies on sunday. if not then, at the start of next week. why? because high pressure is moving away, a flow of air around that bringing something clearer and warmer in from the south—east. where we have seen some sunshine occasionally this week in northern ireland and scotland, a change here to something wetter, gradually, during sunday. it may not be a bad thing, though, where things have been so very dry recently. it's as you were, though, as we start off on saturday morning. a lot of cloud around, some hill fog, some poor visibility, some patches of fog in wales and south—west england, where there may well be a few sunny spells around to begin the day.
the cloud in the east thick enough for some drizzly rain at times, and for many, it'll stay cloudy. a few sunny spells trying to come through northern scotland, northern ireland, more especially wales and south—west england. this easterly breeze, with the cloud, the chance of drizzle as well on the eastern coast of scotland, north—east england, keeping the temperature around 15 celsius. for many, 17—20. into the low 20s, though, in wales and south—west england with prolonged sunny spells. and there mayjust be an increase in sunny spells more widelyjust before sunset on saturday. 0vernight and into sunday, cloud continuing across eastern parts, some clear spells to the west, double figure temperatures as sunday begins. and then on sunday, well, that changes to something a bit brighter and warmer across england and wales. there will still be some stubborn areas of cloud through eastern and central england that will be very slow to clear. but overall, it's a brighter story in england and wale. it'll feel warmer. the breeze picks up in scotland and northern ireland, and still with a bit of uncertainty about timing. we'll see some outbreaks of rain moving in as the day goes on.
that moves south overnight and into monday before fizzling out, but on monday, we could well start across central parts of the uk with cloud and some outbreaks of rain. south of that, in some sunny spells on monday, it's going to be warming up, with the warm spots here into the mid—20s. and that warmth on monday is, for tuesday and wednesday, going to spread northwards. so for tuesday and wednesday, most of the uk are going to be warm to very warm for the time of year, some temperatures reaching into the upper 20s, before another weather change later next week, as we see temperatures come down again and an increasing chance of showers and thunderstorms.
this is bbc world news. i'm maryam moshiri. our top stories: the uk and the eu say they won't recognize afg hanistan�*s new government. taliban ministers are yet to be announced, but every day it's clearer what their agenda might be. the taliban have told decorators to paint over all of this, replacing it with these black and white slogans. this one reads, "the blood of the martyrs have washed away the occupation". a glimpse of what the new afghanistan is going to look like. president biden promises to "build back better" after america was ravaged by hurricane ida. a sharp slowdown in job creation in the us, as the spread of the delta variant hits hospitality and leisure.