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Pakistani Taliban Offshoot Claims Responsibility for Attack that Targeted Lahore Playground; Syrian Government Reclaims Palmyra; Belgian Migrants Describe Their Fears In Wake of Attacks; A Look Into The Contested Island of the South China Sea; Anti-War Protests Overtake Sanaa, Yemen.Aired 11:00a-12:00p ET

Aired March 28, 2016 - 11:00:00   ET



[11:00:11] RAVI AGRAWAL, CNN NEW DELHI BUREAU CHIEF: The familiar sound of tragedy. Ambulances rush to the scene of a deadly suicide



BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: At least 72 people are dead and hundreds are wounded after a terror attack struck a park where Christians were

celebrating at Easter.

Now, Pakistani security forces are reacting.

Also ahead...


UNIDENITIFIED MALE (through translator): I don't think things snapped in one go. It must have been little by little.


ANDERSON: From nights out at high end clubs to terror, an exclusive look inside the lives of two of the Paris attackers.

And recaptured from ISIS, the Syrian army takes back Palmyra. We survey the damage done to what is the ancient city.

ANNOUNCER: Live from CNN Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with Becky Anderson

ANDERSON: A very good evening from here. It is just after 7:00 in the evening.

Well, pakistani security forces are carrying out sweeping raids across Punjab Province, trying to hunt down militants behind what was a

devastating suicide bombing. An offshoot of the Pakistani Taliban says it targeted Christians celebrating Easter at a park in Lahore.

Explosives packed with ball bearings ripped through the crowds killing at least 72 people, including 24 children.

Some 340 people were wounded overwhelming local hospitals where some patients had to be treated on the floor. More now from Ravi Agrawal.


AGRAWAL: The familiar sound of tragedy. Ambulances rushed to the scene of a deadly suicide bombing. For some, it's too late. All you can

do is console the bereaved.

The attack took place Sunday in one of the biggest parks in Lahore, a major Pakistani city near the border with India. It was Easter Sunday.

Muslims and Christians alike were enjoying the spring weather, that's when the Earth shook. Witnesses say the blast took place near a playground

area, several of the victims appeared to be young children. The group claiming responsibility is a Jamat-ul-Ahrar, a breakaway faction of the

Pakistani Taliban.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They have conducted other attacks before, and it seems that their back has not been broken despite the Pakistan military's

offensive against the Pakistani Taliban in Waziristan and other tribal regions of Pakistan.

AGRAWAL: A spokesman of Jamat-uh-Ahrar told CNN the attack targeted Christians. It comes amid a difficult climate for Pakistani Christians who

represent less than 2 percent of the population. They have been caught in the crossfire of a larger debate over the Islamic country's blasphemy law,

seen by some as an excuse to intimidate minority faiths.

On Sunday, though, these scenes of death and destruction cut through the politics to tell a real horror story of families torn apart no matter

their faith.

Ravi Agrawal, CNN, New Delhi.


ANDERSON: Well, Pakistan's prime minister is vowing to destroy not only destroy terror infrastructure, but also the extremist mindset, which

he says is threatening the very way of life in Pakistan.

Let's get more from Nic Robertson. He is following the story from London tonight. And the prime minister promising to meet out justice as he

toured hospitals full of victims earlier today. What is he proposing, Nic?

NIC ROBERTSON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, what he's proposing is a greater crackdown on this group and other groups like it.

However, this group appears to be in essence reacting to what the government has already done, a national action plan that was put in place

after the horrific attack on a Peshawar school in December 2014, more than 150 children gunned down in cold blood in an assembly hall and in their

classrooms. And national action plan that then led to the lifting of the ban on hanging on terror suspects. It led to the targeting of these

terrorists in the tribal region in Pakistan. They criticized the government saying that the people

that are being arrested are just any relatives of anyone who might be a militant.

So part of this attack in Lahore and this group is threatening that this is a new wave of violence that will now continue and this is the same

group that in the past few weeks targeted two U.S. consulate employees in Peshawar with a roadside bomb to deadly effect.

The -- part of what they're doing is responding and reacting to what the government has already been doing. And they chose Lahore because that

is where the government is seen as being strongest in that city, that's where that -- you know, the prime minister's brother is the governor there.

The party is seen as strongest in Lahore.

So what's come now is a reaction to what's already been done. So what the prime minister is

now saying by that effect can perhaps precipitate more reaction like this, although the crackdown that he appears to be promising and should attempt

to tackle that, but it's not clear that it will.

[11:05:52] ANDERSON: Yeah.

Nic, dozens of suspected militants, either arrested or killed in that earlier crackdown which was a couple years ago, as you alluded to, back in

2014 and yet there are clearly factions that have the ability to launch this sort of deadly attack on what was a mainly minority Christian

population in this park. Who is this group? What do we know about them? How big a threat do they pose?

ROBERTSON: Jamat-ul-Ahrar they pose a significant threat. They pose such a threat that al Qaeda on the Indian Subcontinent, so this is the main

al Qaeda affiliate in the region, has criticized their attacks in the past. These al Qaeda members themselves from al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent

have criticized this specific attack.

So they are seen as being on the radical fringe. What we have seen happen to the Pakistani Taliban is a splintering. There's a number of

reasons for that. One of the reasons is that the key leadership has been effectively targeted by drones so that the leaders have been taken out of

the equation, if you will. They have been killed, which has put in place a leadership that hasn't found support through the whole organization, and

therefore you have these splinter groups.

You also have the rise of ISIS, so some commanders that were in the Pakistani Taliban that were strong have moved off to join ISIS across the

border in Afghanistan.

So, you have a splintering and a fragmentation.

You know, we typically think of the Pakistani Taliban as having their roots in the tribal region. And to a degree, this is true, it where their

training camps have typically been. But in those training camps, you will find young men from the Punjab, and this is where this attack took place.

So there is a support in many parts of the country in the Punjab in particular in poorer communities that support for the Pakistani Taliban.

So this is why they can be effective and can have operatives that can literally walk into a park on a crowded Easter Sunday evening and detonate


ANDERSON: Nic Robertson on the story out of London for you this evening. Thank you, Nic.

Well, staying with terrorism, I'm afraid, but turning to Syria now where the army says it is, quote, tightening the noose around ISIS after

retaking the ancient city of Palmyra from the terror group on Sunday. The military tells state-run media it was helped by the Russian air force,

which provided cover from above.

Now, now Damascus is saying its the only one capable of taking on ISIS, a bold claim, especially given the huge number of bombings by U.S.

fighter jets in Syria.

And now these newly released images show us some of the damage caused at the world heritage site since ISIS grabbed control of it last May.

The group has been systemically blowing up antiquities there.

Well, let's bring in our senior international correspondent Arwa Damon now who is following this story for us tonight out of Istanbul.

Arwa, what do we know of the details of this offensive?

ARWA DAMON, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it does seem in the run up to the Syrian forces being able to finally take full control

over the city of Palmyra and of course the ancient site. Hundreds of Russian airstrikes did take place.

The Syrian government claiming, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also stating that hundreds of ISIS fighters are believed to have

been killed in the last days and in the final assault.


DAMON: Syrian soldiers on the streets on Palmyra after weeks of fighting in the desert and backed by intense Russian air support,

government forces recaptured the historic city from ISIS.

KAMA HATHA, GENERAL COMMAND OF THE ARMY AND ARMED FORCES (through translator): This achievement represents a mortal blow to the terrorist

organization and lays the foundation for a great collapse in the morale of its mercenaries and the beginning of its decline and retreat.

DAMON: Though not necessarily the mortal blow it touts it to be, regaining control of Palmyra is a strategic and symbolic victory for the

Assad government. The area connects the Syrian capital of Damascus with ISIS strongholds in the east.

The terror group had seized control of the ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site last May. They publicly executed the city's 82-year-

old retired head of antiquities for refusing to reveal where valuable artifacts were kept.

And leveled many of the site's ancient monuments.

Cultural treasure, some 2,000 years old, were reduced to rubble and flaunted online.

CNN affiliate Expressen (ph) shot this video of destruction inside Palmyra, including the Arc of Triumph. It once framed the entrance to the

city, but now lies in ruins.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): When you think of Palmyra, the first thing you picture is the Arch of Triumph. I feel very sad. It

makes me want to cry. There are no words.

DAMON: No words perhaps for the irreversible losses, but recapturing Palmyra is allowing President Assad to boast that his and Russia's

battlefield strategies are a success.


DAMON: And Becky, the Assad regime is still going to face a very tough battle in the days ahead, especially as it does, if it does in fact

try to move down along that road pushing towards the real ISIS stronghold of Deir ez-Zor, and of course its capital Raqqa, the de

facto capital in Syria since by the regime, as we have been reporting that they believe they have dealt ISIS a mortal blow. This is not by any

stretch of the imagination the defeat of the terrorist organization that still controls plenty of

territory in both Syria and Iraq, Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. Arwa, thank you for that.

Let's move you on, some other stories on our radar today. Here in Abu Dhabi a court handed down life sentences for 11 members of a terror group.

The Emirates News Agency reports they were convicted of planning to bomb malls and hotels across the United Arab Emirates.

Another 23 men belonging to the same group were given prison sentences ranging from six months to 15 years.

And in Iraq, Muslim Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr is leading a sit-in at Baghdad's heavily fortified green zone. Many of his followers have been

camping outside the area for more than a week. They are calling for Prime Minister Hadr al-Abady to speed up anti-corruption reforms and put a

technocratic government in place.

And a prisoner exchange in Yemen follows weekend protests in Sanaa which denounced the year-long Saudi bombing campaign against Houthi rebels.

Saudi Arabia says it has freed more than 100 Yemenis in exchange for nine of its own citizens.

The prisoner swap comes ahead of peace talks next month. And we will get you a lot more on this story later in the hour.

Well, a shift now to the attacks on Brussels, where four more people who were injured have

died in hospitals, I'm afraid, bringing the overall death toll to 35. We're told that 16 of those killed were Belgian nationals while 12 were

foreigners from at least eight different countries.

At least three families are awaiting the results of DNA tests to confirm identification.

Authorities, meanwhile, are still rounding up suspects in trying to track down others including this man seen in airport surveillance footage.

Well, let's go to Brussels for the latest on the investigation. CNN's Alexandra Field joining us


Is it clear what the investigators best lead is at present?

ALEXANDRA FIELD, CNN CORRESPONENT: Is it clear what the investigators -- I'm sorry, Becky, we lost you there for a moment. I'm going to bring

you up to speed, though, on a development that we're following right now.

The investigators throughout the city have been trying to track down anyone connected to the

bombings at both the metro and the airport. We're now learning that the person who they took into

custody on Thursday night, the person who has been charged with the most serious charges that we have, seen terrorists murder and attempted

terrorist murder, is now being released.

This is a person who was picked up on Thursday. He was charged on Friday. There were announcements of the charges on Saturday and now today

the person only identified as Faycal C. being released.

We're learning this from Belgium's federal prosecutor's office who says that the investigating magistrate didn't find the evidence conclusive

to hold this person.

The prosecutor's office had not elaborated on what they believe Faycal C.'s role may have been in the attacks, but those charges seemed to in some

ways speak for themselves. Again, to remind our viewers, incredibly serious charges -- attempted terrorist murder, terrorist murder, and other

terror related activities.

Under Belgium law, of course, Becky, charges mean that there is an investigation. It doesn't necessarily mean, though, that an investigation

will proceed to trial. This is where the magistrate steps in and determines whether or not there is evidence to proceed. All we know at

this point is that this person, Faycal C. is being released. It's going to have a lot of people here in the city of Brussels and well beyond asking

questions about why this person would be charged, what kind of evidence police and prosecutors thought they had if a magistrate doesn't now find it


So these are questions we're certainly going to be asking today as police across this city continue their work to try and round up anyone else

who may have been involved in the plotting. And we know that they are certainly looking for the two possible additional suspected bombers. There

was that third person at the airport who has not been identified and the possibility of a second person at the metro station, Becky.

ANDERSON: And Alexandra, more questions it seems still than answers in what must be a

very, very frustrating investigation for authorities there.

What do we know? Remind viewers what we do know at this point.

FIELD: We have the bombings in the two different locations. There were the three bombers at

the airport. Of course we know that two of them were killed in the blast. There was the man in the white hat, that's the video that's been released

today. We're seeing this video for the first time of a man in the white hat. That's the person who authorities believe may have gotten away.

There was the bomber at the metro station and a possible second person. Authorities launched this massive manhunt here in the aftermath of

the attacks. That's led to raids throughout the week. Those raids continued even this weekend. Raids in 13 different locations. Nine people

were taken into custody as a result of those raids. Three people were ultimately charged

with terror-related activities, but it's not clear if that specifically in relation to the attacks that happened here just days ago or if that could

have been in relation to other plans, other plotting.

This is a very wide net that authorities are trying to cast. They are trying to not only figure out who had information about the previous

attacks. They are trying to thwart any future attacks.

The death toll, Becky, has climbed. It was 31 victims who were killed in these two deadly attacks on Tuesday. It is now 35 as we learned that

four additional people succumbed to their injuries in the hospital.

As of this weekend, there were still more than 100 people who were hospitalized, more than 60 people in critical condition. So a lot of

family members praying, hoping for the best right now, hoping that it their loved ones pull through after suffering some very, very serious injuries in

these bombings, Becky.

[11:17:23] ANDERSON: Alexandra Field in Brussels with the latest very information for you, thank you.

Well, the Abdeslam brothers before they turned to terror.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): Salah took care of himself. He was very neat. Someone who was funny, who you can have a laugh with.


ANDERSON: Former friends paint a dramatically different picture of two men accused in the Paris attacks. Two men who partied, gambled, drank

and smoked they say. That story coming up.

Plus, a tiny group of islands at the center of a major dispute in Asia. We're going to travel to part of the South China Sea that's making

its neighbors very nervous.


[11:20:20] ANDERSON: Your with CNN. This is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson out of the UAE at 20 past 7:00 here.

The Abdeslam brothers may be infamous for the alleged terror network behind the Paris attacks, but up until last year two of their friends say

they remember a much different side of both men, a side that involved partying, smoking and gambling.

Here's what they told CNN's Nina Dos Santos in an exclusive interview.


NINA DOS SANTOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: This was life before ISIS. Salah Abdeslam and his Brother Brahim, partying at a high-end nightclub in

Brussels. It's February 28, 2015, just eight months later, Brahim would blow himself at a Paris cafe. Salah becomes Europe's most wanted man.

Two of their friends shot the video in the club. They talked to CNN, on the condition we hide their identities.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE, via translator: Salah took care of himself. He was very neat; someone who was funny, who you could have a laugh with; a bit of

a ladies' man. It was not unusual for him to have a drink or two but he didn't go out and get drunk. Brahim was a lot more intelligent; he was also

better behaved.

DOS SANTOS: Haram and Rajid, speaking under assumed names, say that they first began hanging out with the Abdeslam brothers in 2011, when they

took on the lease of this bar, Le Begin, which is now shut following a police raid. They say they came here to drink, to play cards, to smoke

marijuana and also to watch the brothers' favorite football team, Real Madrid, play on the TV.

Things could get boisterous. Here, Brahim cheers on some drunken antics.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I used to go there after work, to have a drink, have a laugh with friends, play cards. Anything that involves betting with

money, really.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Basically you felt at home, among family.

DOS SANTOS: Also among that family, Hamza Attou and Mohammed and Abree, seen here in Raji's photos. They were detained after driving Salah

back from Paris, following the attacks, and remain in custody. The friends say they were duped.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was with Hamza Attou, and around 10:30 or 11:00 p.m., he received a phone call from Salah, asking him to come pick him up

in France because his car had broken down.

DOS SANTOS: Not long after this party, they stopped drinking and became more religious.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They prayed more, at the mosque, maybe only on Fridays. Otherwise, it was praying at home.

DOS SANTOS: Praying and plotting. No one, even their closest friends, knows why the Abdeslam brothers changed so much, so quickly.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Brahim got on with everyone. He didn't have problems with black, white, whatever race or religion.

DOS SANTOS: He didn't, until this.

Nina Dos Santos, CNN, Brussels.


ANDERSON: Well, a power struggle is brewing in the South China Sea. Several governments have long claimed difference sectors of the sea, now a

group of islands, rocks really, are at the center of the dispute.

CNN's Ivan Watson was invited to one of the contested islands guarded by Taiwan but claimed by China. This is his report.


IVAN WATSON, CNN CORRESPONDENT: The contested waters of the South China Sea seen from a Taiwanese military plane.

And this is what greets you when you land at Taiping, an island controlled by Taiwan.

Taiping is a tiny island. It basically runs the length of this runway. The Taiwanese government first laid claim to this place more than

half a century ago. But this is the very first time, the government says, that journalists have been invited to see it firsthand.

And it is at a time when tensions are ratcheting up here in the South China Sea.

At least six different countries have competing claims for this body of water. But China claims almost all of it.

And to cement China's claim, Beijing has been building a series of man-made islands atop reefs and atoles in the hotly disputed Spratly


It is making the neighbors nervous.

[11:25:35] BRUCE LINGHU, TAIWAN DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER: We are opposed to militarization, or military expansionism in the area.

WATSON: Enter the U.S. navy. We caught up with the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis, shortly after it sailed through the South China Sea,

performing an mistakable show of U.S. force.

REAR ADMIRAL RONALD BOXALL, U.S. NAVY: Just being in the South China Sea shows that we believe we have the right to operate in international

waters. All ships, not just military vessels, but civilian vessels.

WATSON: Washington calls these operations freedom of navigation operations. They clearly irritate the Chinese.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This is the Chinese navy. This is the Chinese navy. Please go away quickly.

WATSON: Last year, CNN accompanied a U.S. navy spy plane that flew over China's man-made islands.


WATSON: Beijing expressed outrage, issuing formal protests and calling these operations a very serious provocation.

So where do smaller claimants like Taiwan fit in? On Taiping, officials showed off the island's chickens and goats as well as supplies of

fresh water.

If Taiwan proves Taiping can sustain human life, then the Taiwanese can make the case for a

potentially lucrative 200 nautical mile economic exclusion zone around the island.

Amid the contest for control of the South China Sea, Taiwan is trying to demonstrate that it, too, is a player and should not be overlooked.

Meanwhile, other small countries like Vietnam and The Philippines, are reaching out to the U.S. for help at counterbalancing China as it continues

to flex its naval muscle in this contested body of water.

A place that feels like a tropical paradise is instead becoming part of a much bigger regional power struggle.

Ivan Watson, CNN, South China Sea.


WATSON: At 27 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. The latest headlines are just ahead.

Plus, after more than a year of fighting, could Yemen finally be about to find its way out of civil war at upcoming peace talks? We're live in

the capital for expert analysis, up next.



[11:36:45] ANDERSON: Let's get you back to one of the stories that we covered for you a little earlier in the show, an important one, tens of

thousands of people in Yemen's capital flooded into the streets on Saturday denouncing Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in the country and showing support for the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Then just

hours ago, Saudi Arabia says it carried out a prisoner swap in Yemen. It seems the exchange was made with Houthi rebels who are backed by the

Kingdom's long-time rival Iran. All that coming ahead of peace talks that are scheduled for next month.

Well, Hakim al-Hasmari joins me now via Skype from Sanaa where he is editor of the Yemen Post newspaper.

And the war, Hakim, passing its first anniversary on Saturday. How significant is what we are seeing on the ground at this point? And what

chance these peace talks will be successful with so many failures it seems in this past year?

HAKIM AL HASMARI, YEMEN POST NEWSPAPER: Yes, there has been a lot of failures, Becky, over the last year or so, but the last two weeks have seen

a lot in breakthroughs in Yemen and outside Yemen when it comes to negotiation in Saudi Arabia.

We talked about the process in Sanaa which saw a new power emerge in Yemen, or in the Yemen capital Sanaa, with extent that even the Houthis

were shocked. The ex-president's party, hundreds of thousands were gathered in his support and condemning the war in Yemen. And the message

was stop the war. We are the people. We are the ones who decide who rules us. And these hundreds of thousands who showed up caused a new power to

emerge in Sanaa.

Now the Houthis, who were politically on the driver's seat, are now number two when the party of the ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the DPC

party, is now taking the lead and having (inaudible) contact and coordination to ensure that the upcoming peace talks in April happen to be

-- or will be a success to end this deadly war that has killed over 8,000 civilians in Yemen.

ANDERSON: I'm just so surprised having covered this story now for the year. We were in Riyadh last year as these -- as this coalition started

its strike. I'm so surprised to see this many people on the streets of Sanaa in what appears to be a relatively peaceful demonstration against

what is going on. Are you?

HASMARI: Yes, the protest was peaceful, but again there were tens of thousands of armed gunmen in this protest. But it shows how peaceful it

was that no one used their arms and their weapons. They were there to show that they are not (inaudible) want peace. They handed -- the first words

that the ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh said in his speech was we are willing to give -- to offer the hand of peace, but a serious peace deal --

and the people were calling for the end of this war. We are not looking at Grudges. It is an opeing doors of dialogue with Saudi Arabia who has been

killing the Yemeni people over the last year.

So, there were no grudges, there was no anger attitude, there were hands of peace offering showing that we can live in peace as neighbors.

And give it a chance.

But really optimistic after what happened over the last couple of days of the prison swap. The security is a lot and shows coordination between

the Saudi Arabia and the Houthis, but again the power play in the Yemeni capital is not the Houthis anymore, the DPC is back after years of being

sidelined. And those protests that you saw showed that they are in support of the government in Yemen and not the pro-government officials who are

currently in Riyadh.

And it's sad to say that the (inaudible) continues the more al Qaeda and ISIS expand. And that's why the U.S. needs to have a strong presence

in the upcoming peace talks in April to ensure that the fight against terror is limited, and ISIS is fought rather than offers them a chance to

expand wtih this war.

ANDERSON: Hakim out of Sanaa for you this evening. Again, as we look at these pictures of tens of thousands of people demontrating, the

airstrikes on Yemen ahead of peace talks scheduled for the beginning of April. Thank you.

Well, to the U.S. presidential race for you where the battle over big states in the coming weeks is adding pressure for Republicans what may have

seemed off limits at the beginning of the race is now front and center.

CNN's Phil Mattingly takes us into what is the middle of their fight.


PHIL MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Tor the three Republican candidates left in the GOP field, Wisconsin right here, should be where the

focus of the race is. Just a week from tomorrow, 42 delegates at stake, a crucial week of campaigning ahead and yet the focus is on three

totally different things -- personal attacks, a potential lawsuit and Donald Trump's break with the

party's orthodoxy on foreign policy.

DONALD TRUMP, 2016 REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE (via phone): I don't think America is a safe place for Americans, if you want to know the


MATTINGLY (voice-over): Donald Trump claiming Americans are unsafe the day after laying out his controversial foreign policy world view in a

lengthy interview with "The New York Times." He calls into question traditional U.S. alliances, including NATO, describing his approach as,

quote, "not isolationist, but America first."

He says, if elected, he might stop buying Saudi oil unless they commit ground troops to fight ISIS and opening the door to the notion Japan and

South Korea developing nuclear arms of their own.

TRUMP: He started it. I didn't start it.

CRUZ: Attacking spouses and children is off-limits. It has no place in politics.

MATTINGLY: This as he and rival Ted Cruz ramp up the war of words over their wives, Cruz slamming Trump for hitting below the belt.

CRUZ: He sends tweets attacking my wife, attacking Heidi. It is inappropriate; it is wrong. It is frankly disgusting.

MATTINGLY: The front-runner accusing Cruz of knowing about a super PAC ad targeting his wife, Melania, first.

TRUMP: Don't forget, I call him Lying Ted. I call him that, because nobody that I've known -- I've known a lot tougher people over the years in

business, but I've never known anybody that lied like Ted Cruz.

MATTINGLY: Trump threatening on Twitter to, quote, "spill the beans" on Cruz's wife, Heidi, and again on Sunday.

TRUMP: There are things about Heidi that I don't want to talk about, but I'm not going to talk about them.

MATTINGLY: Cruz calling Trump's actions a deliberate distraction, coming down hard on a salacious story in the tabloid "National Enquirer,"

which earlier this month endorsed Trump.

CRUZ: He's pushing these attacks. And by the way, he's been pushing them for many, many months online. These are complete made-up lies. They're


MATTINGLY: Trump also blasting Cruz for courting additional delegates Louisiana's March 5 primary, issuing this threat on Twitter, quote, "just

to show how unfair Republican primary politics can be, I won the state of Louisiana and get less delegates than Cruz. Lawsuit coming."

Now, Republican operatives with deep knowledge of how the delegate process works don't really see a basis for a Donald Trump lawsuit, but what

this does underscore is there are multiple battles going on in this Republican primary process. Obviously, the top line state battles, but

also those battles for delegates going on behind the scenes.

Those could be crucial, crucial contests coming up if there is an open convention. Right now, Ted Cruz, at least in Louisiana and also in a

couple of other states, looks like he has the advantage.

Phil Mattingly, West Salem, Wisconsin, CNN.


ANDERSON: 39 minutes past 7:00 in the UAE. Some news just into CNN. The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has canceled his trip to

Washington to attend a nuclear security summit so that he can stay home and oversee counterterror operations after what was a suicide bombing.

Explosives packed with ball bearings went off near a children's playground at a crowded park on Sunday. The death toll has now risen to

72. A Taliban splinter group says it targeted Christians celebrating Easter. It's promising more attacks to come.

And Daniyal Hassan is in Lahore. He's the bureau chief for Dawn News Television and joining us now.

What more can you tell us about the attack and the response from the authorities?

DANIYAL HASSAN, BUREAU CHIEF, DAWN NEWS TELEVISION: Well, Becky, when we spoke to the government officials they said there were no threats on --

from the intelligence agencies that there would be an attack on amusement park or any recreational park. And as we know that the splinter group in

Pakistan have claimed responsibility and they said that the targets were the Christian community.

But we do understand that no amusement parks or recreational parks in the country, as a matter of fact, restricts its visitors on basis of their

religion. So this was basically a crowded place. It was Easter. People from the Christian community and from different religious backgrounds were

present in the park. It was basically famous for the children.

So this came as a surprise because the actual target could have been the churches in the morning when people actually were busy with the

sermons. Tight security deployment were made over there, but those places remained safe and the attackers attacked the park over here.

And out of 72 dead, interestingly the majority of them are Muslims, around 20 are from the Christian community where the remaining from the

Muslim background, Becky.

ANDERSON: Daniyalm, this splinter, this splinter Taliban group able to launch this sort of deadly attack and vowing more, sadly, on what was a

mainly minority population, but the persecution of Pakistan's Christians not only the preserve of jihadists, all right. What is behind the breakdown

in Muslim-Christian relations in Pakistan? And isn't it incumbent upon

authorities to do more to protect those being targeted?

HASSAN: Well, as far as the Muslim and Christian relationship is concerned, it's kind of becomes critical when it comes to the blasphemy

law, the controversial blasphemy law, as we know, that you know a former governor of Punjab was actually assassinated when he was accused of

committing blasphemy.

So, things become critical then. But of course when the Christian community are attacked otherwise, for instance, last year in March two

churches in Lahore were attacked, around 20 people lost their lives for the Christian community and Muslims did come out in their support.

But then again, you had thousands of people coming out in Islamabad and saying that the blasphemy law which is being considered controversial,

they are coming out in support of it. They are saying that those Christian members who committed blasphemy should be tried, should be hanged.

So it's basically a love and hate relationship when it comes to some of the controversial laws. But otherwise when -- because this time mostly

children were killed, around 25 children lost their lives, it didn't really matter if they were Christians or Muslims, they were children.

Again, a brutal attack on the Pakistani community.

ANDERSON: You have been alluding to the protests in Islamabad. And I just want to get our viewers some pictures of those, thousands of people

marching on the capital of Islamabad in protest of the hanging of a man who was accused of murdering a governor as Daniyal has been reporting.

Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri clashed with police on the streets who responded with tear gas.

Now Qadri, you may remember, was hanged in February for killing a Punjab governor over his

call for blasphemy reform.

Coming back so the events of this weekend, so, so traumatic to have witnessed, so traumatic to have been there, traumatic to be reporting on of


Authorities vowing to meet out justice on this group and others. What effectively should we

expect them to do next? And how likely are they to be successful? After all, they rounded up dozens, killed dozens back in 2014 and groups like

this still able to get out there and cause wanton damage.

HASSAN: Well, Becky, I think the question should be what can the government do, what more can the government do?

We remember that in 2014 when a school was attacked in Peshawar and more than 150 school children were brutally murdered, the government and

the military leadership decided that they want to go ahead an all out operation against the military. The militants across the country in Pujab,

which was much more safer as other provinces they had a crackdown against extremist literature. They had a crackdown against hate speech and

violence, and even went out against those groups involved in sectarian violence. So the government did a lot.

I mean, but despite that, the attack yesterday killing 72 people tells you -- gives you an idea about the penetration the militants have in this


I spoke to the government officials -- I spoke to the commissioner of Lahore, and he said the markets, the mosques and the schools were attacked.

We beefed up security over there. There were no security threats in the parks and now the parks have been attacked. What can you do? How can you

save different places and different institutions?

So the question is that will there be a military operation in this province? The government officials believe that there won't be any need

because like Punjab, like the rest of the country, it's slightly safer, slightly better, but then again yesterday's attack, it displays a different


ANDERSON: All right, we'll leave it there. We thank you very much indeed for your analysis.

Daniyal Hassan out of Lahore for you this evening. Apologies for the slight delay between (inaudible) and I'm sure you understand that.

Live from Abu Dhabi, this is Connect the World with me Becky Anderson. Coming up, Muslims in Brussels speak out against religious extremism, but

some of them fear a backlash. We're going to have that story for you up next.


ANDERSON: Welcome back. Now, terrorist attacks that are dominating our headlines today

like the ones in Brussels and in Lahore in Pakistan are designed to break apart communities, making neighbors suspicious of each other. Well, sadly

in many cases we see it working in just one of countless examples over the years.

On Sunday, many gathered to mourn quietly in Belgium's capital. Anti- immigrant protesters stormed the area. My colleague Saima Mohsin has more on the fear some people are feeling.


[11:50:11] (BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

SAIMA MOHSIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Samoon Ahmed Khan had a lucky escape. He missed both the attacks at the airport and metro by minutes. He's in

Brussels on a business trip and has barely left his hotel since the bombings. But not just because he's afraid of terrorist attacks.

SAMOOD AHMED KHAN, FINANCIAL INVESTIGATOR: I stay in the hotel for two days. I even did not go out because I was scared what will be the people's

reaction because of my beard or because I'm Muslim. I'm from Pakistan.

Second, I was scared because the control of forces, the police. They're doing their job. I'm not saying they're doing it for the people's

safety. But I don't want to be in that trauma situation where they will be keeping me for four to five hours.

MOHSIN: His wife and family were concerned about racial attacks in a backlash against Muslims. His company advised him not to travel.

KHAN: I was scared because of the bag, if I go from one train station to another with my suitcase and with my appearance.

MOHSIN: Samoon's fears are not unfounded. On Sunday, right-wing protesters charged through the memorial in the Place de la Bourse, stamping

on flowers, raising Nazi salutes.

Just a day before, members of Brussels' Muslim community came out to show solidarity with their fellow citizens, laying bouquets of flowers for

the victims. Muslim mothers brought their children to light candles.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): For me, it's immoral and shameful. Not all Muslims are terrorists. We are against terrorists. We are

nice Muslims.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): We are human beings. Our relationship with God is separate. We're not allowed to judge others. We

should put our spiritual side aside and work together, build together.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There are two types of Muslims. There are those who are not good and those who are good. We are

not all the same.

MOHSIN: This little girl wrote a message saying, "I'm against terrorism. Why all this war?" Declarations and questions too big for a

small child. For some in this community, it's unbearable that Muslims could carry out such a heinous attack.

SONIA CHAABANE, BELGIAN MUSLIM: It hurts. These are innocent human beings that are dead. It shouldn't happen. They shouldn't kill innocent

people. They haven't done anything. It's not our religion that kills. It's got nothing to do with it. Islam is a peaceful religion.

MOHSIN: Among the flags of countries that too have suffered from terror attacks, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, France, a banner above them

all reads "not in the name of Islam."

Saima Mohsin, CNN, Brussels.




DOMINIC WILCOX, ARTIST, DESIGNER AND INVENTOR: It's really difficult to categorize what I do. It's somewhere between art, design, craft,

technology, invention.

There's a little switch on the back here. You can switch on and that will cool your tea.

So, this is the world's first robot spoon. With each spoonful of (inaudible) this light grows.

My name is Dominic Wilcox. I'm an artist, designer and inventor. And this is some of the team from the inventor's project.

The idea for the project really came when I'd asked a couple children to draw their own invention ideas after I had shown them mine. And I was

amazed at the standard of the ideas.

So, I thought instead of putting the drawings on the fridge door, as usually adults do, why not really treat them seriously and push them as far

as they can go and make them into reality and show them in a big exhibition.

REBECCA DIRECTOR OF THE CULTURAL SPRING: My name is Rebecca Ball. I'm director of the Cultural Spring.

Cultural Spring is a create (inaudible) and places program. And so inventors came out of visual arts program. And I knew about Dominic's

work. And I had seen his little invention sketches and I thought they were amazing and just really funny, but brilliant and I thought that they would

have a real connection with people, and Dominic's desire to come back to his home town and make a really big different here for young people in the

area and our desire, you know, to get more people involved in arts and culture in the area and increase the amount of opportunities for people.

It just kind of came together.

SUZY O'HARA, CURATOR, CULTURAL SPRING: My name is Suzy O'Hara. And I am the curator and producer of The Inventors Project. We drew very much on

the networks and established relationships that Cultural Spring had with local schools, but also local venues. We did an open call out to makers

and in and around Sunderland area. And we're very keen to ensure that the child when they enter the client and, you know, retain the ownership of the

invention that they come up with.

KAI ROWNTREE, INVENTOR: My name is Kai Rowntree. I attend Witburn Village Primary School and I'm an inventor.

This is a super fast tennis ball. And see on the screen what you do is turn it on and it's got two

things. It's got speed and it's power. And the power basically means like if it can go through a wall, like if it's fast enough, or like strong

enough. And he speed is basically just how fast it is.

It was -- well, it's brilliant because I didn't think it would work the first time and I don't think it did. And then when I got it to work,

and I was like yes.

WILCOX: When the children saw their idea made into reality. They were really amazed at that. It like, it gave them a feeling of confidence

and belief that their ideas are important and can lead to great things.

Given the success of the Inventors Project, we want to expand it so that children around the world can take part.


ANDERSON: The was The Connectors.

I'm Becky Anderson. And that was Connect the World. Thanks for watching.