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Myanmar Security Forces Kill at Least 114 Civilians Saturday; Growing Anger over Georgia's New Election Law; Birx: Most COVID-19 Deaths Were Preventable; Spain Restricting All Travelers from France; Gridlock Growing with Massive Ship Blocking Suez Canal; Thousands Flee Islamist Attack in Mozambique; Biden Administration Braces for Surge of Young Migrants; Colorado's History of Mass Shootings. Aired 2-3a ET

Aired March 28, 2021 - 02:00   ET




ROBYN CURNOW, CNN ANCHOR (voice-over): Hi. Welcome to our viewers, here, in the United States and all around the world. I'm Robyn Curnow.

So just ahead on CNN, the war on voting in the U.S. How Republicans are turning Trump's Big Lie into voter suppression.

Plus, international condemnation after the bloodiest day in Myanmar since the military took power by force. We will have a live report from the region.

And thousands fleeing and dozens unaccounted for in Mozambique after an attack by Islamist insurgents. We have that and much more.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): Live from CNN Center, this is CNN NEWSROOM with Robyn Curnow.

CURNOW: A U.N. human rights expert says Myanmar's military is committing mass murder. And international condemnation is ringing hollow. That comes, one day after security forces reportedly killed 114 unarmed civilians. It's, by far, the bloodiest day of military violence since the coup back, last month.

Now aid groups fear the real death toll is much, much higher. It all happened on the day Myanmar's top general promised to protect civilians and to uphold democracy. But instead, according to local news reports, security forces killed people in 44 towns across the country.

Myanmar's U.N. envoy calls it a massacre and is begging for real international action. Kristie Lu Stout joins me now from Hong Kong.

You have been monitoring all of this terrible violence escalating in Myanmar.

What more can you tell us now?

Hi, Kristie.

KRISTIE LU STOUT, CNN ANCHOR: Amnesty International is now accusing the military in Myanmar of trying to kill its way out of a crisis. International condemnation is growing after a horrific day of terror in Myanmar on Saturday, the deadliest day since the coup on February the 1st, the deadliest day since protests began.

According to Myanmar Now, this is an independent media organization inside the country, at least 114 people were killed across Myanmar on Saturday. Many of the victims were children. A 13-year-old girl was killed in her home in Mandalay. A 5-year-old boy was killed, on Saturday.

We've seen images of a 1-year-old baby shot in the eye with a rubber bullet. Local media have been sharing images of the burnt remains of a father. Last night, according to local media reports, a 40-year-old man, a father of four children, was shot and burned alive by soldiers. Those images are circulating online.

As you can imagine, the international condemnation has been swift. We heard from the U.S. secretary of state, Antony Blinken. He said he was horrified by the violence. We heard from the U.N. secretary general. He said that he was deeply shocked by the violence.

We, also, heard from the foreign secretary of the U.K., who said that, what happened on Saturday, the events on that day, were, quote, a new low. But in a very rare move, we, also, heard a statement that was released by the defense chiefs of the United States and 11 other countries. This is a very significant statement, condemning military- sponsored violence in Myanmar. Let's bring it up for you.

In this statement, it reads as follows.

Quote, "As chiefs of defense, we condemn the use of lethal force against unarmed people by the Myanmar armed forces and associated security services. A professional military follows international standards for conduct and is responsible for protecting, not harming the people it serves.

"We urge the Myanmar armed forces to seize violence and work to restore respect and credibility with the people of Myanmar that it has lost through its actions," unquote.

I should mention that, among the 12 nations signed on to that joint statement, India is noticeably absent.

In recent days, Europe and the United States have slapped new sanctions on the military in Myanmar, targeting its leadership, as well as military-owned conglomerates. But Russia and China, they still refrain from criticizing the coup. In fact, Russia sent a deputy defense minister to attend a military parade in Myanmar to celebrate on Saturday -- Robyn.

CURNOW: Why? Why are China and Russia not doing anything here?

That is the big question because that is, also, the question people inside Myanmar are desperately asking right now. They are sick and tired of the condemnations, of the international criticism.


STOUT: They want to see an international arms embargo. They want to see the U.N. Security Council pass sanctions that will have teeth, that will be meaningful but that is not happening.

As a result, the toll increases in Myanmar. As a result of violence over the weekend, at least 400 people, according to some estimates, have been killed since February the 1st; 3,000 people have been detained. These are massive-in-scale detentions. The economy is in tatters. The crisis grinds on -- Robyn.

CURNOW: And more lives are lost. More terror continues to -- to plague these people ordinary people of Myanmar. Thank you so much, Kristie Lu Stout, in Hong Kong, thank you.

So the U.N. special rapporteur is urging to support pro-democracy protests and top stop the military violence. This is what he says will help.


TOM ANDREWS, U.N. SPECIAL RAPPORTEUR: The Security Council should be meeting. It should be debating what is going on. Action should be put before it. And votes should be taken up or down. Votes should be taken.

The community of nations that care desperately about the people of Myanmar under siege right now can also work together to coordinate things like sanctions, there are dozens of sanctions regimes that are out there right now. We need to coordinate them into one coherent powerful whole.

And an emergency summit of these countries could gather together, establish this coordination and provide a unified front against this military junta.

Also accountability mechanisms could be put into place. The International Criminal Court could begin investigations and quickly begin pursuing charges against those responsible. So there are a number of things that can be done that should be done, that are not being done.


CURNOW: U.N. special rapporteur there on Myanmar, Tom Andrews.

So opposition is growing to the state of Georgia's sweeping, new election law. Protesters vented their anger over the measure in downtown Atlanta, on Saturday. They say, it unfairly targets African American voters.

Among other things, the law imposes stricter identification requirements and gives state officials more power over local elections. It also makes it a crime to give food or drink to people standing in line to vote. Now U.S. President Joe Biden is slamming the law.


JOE BIDEN (D), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: BIDEN: It's an atrocity. The idea -- if you want any indication that it has nothing to do with fairness, nothing to do with decency, they passed a law saying you can't provide water for people standing in line while they are waiting to vote?

You don't need anything else to know that this is nothing but punitive, designed to keep people from voting.


CURNOW: Georgia's governor is defending the measure, saying it ensures election integrity.


GOV. BRIAN KEMP (R-GA): I can, you know, truthfully, look in the camera and -- and ask my African American friends and others in Georgia to simply find out what is in the bill, versus just the blank statement of, this is Jim Crow. Or, you know, this is voter suppression. Or this is racist because it is not.


CURNOW: Natasha Chen was at the demonstration here, in Atlanta. And she has more, now, on this new law and the outcry against it. Natasha.


NATASHA CHEN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: About 150 people gathered outside of Atlanta city hall here on Saturday to protest this Georgia voter bill and also to stand with Georgia representative Park Cannon. She was arrested when she was knocking on the door of the governor's office to try and witness him signing this bill.

And, of course, he did that behind closed doors. He was depicted signing the bill standing next white men. Also in the room was a painting that seemingly shows a plantation.

I talked to one voter who said that she first didn't think much of it but upon a closer look she found that that was the very plantation where her family had worked. Such an emotional moment for some of these people, minority groups taking a look at this moment and feeling that this directly impacts them.

I also spoke with someone who was at the capital when Park Cannon was arrested. Here is how she described that moment. She was not disruptive. So to have that incident happen right in front

of me and for it to end with her being taken away, it was horrific to watch, as a Black woman, to watch her taken into the elevator and watch as the doors closed, it was triggering. It was frightening. I felt her pain, I felt her terror.

CHEN: I spoke to another voter here who described her experience voting in the Georgia primary in June of 2020. She said that she waited for hours in line, past dinnertime, to the point where a local pizza delivery company had delivered some food soda and pizza so that they could still eat and wait in line to vote.


CHEN: She said, of course, the way that the law was written and passed now, that would be illegal -- Natasha Chen, CNN, Atlanta.


CURNOW: Thanks, Natasha, for that.

So police in Virginia Beach, Virginia, are investigating an officer- involved shooting of a Black man later on Friday night. Authorities have not identified the officer, who shot and killed 25-year-old Donovan Lynch. The police chief disputed reports that Lynch may have been unarmed, at the time.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I have seen some of the community concerns about Mr. Donovan or Mr. Lynch being unarmed. I can tell you that there was a firearm recovered in the vicinity of where this incident occurred.

We would like to be more forthcoming but, unfortunately, we don't have body cam footage of this incident. The officer was wearing a body cam. But for unknown reasons at this point in time it was not activated.


CURNOW: The officer involved is now on administrative leave. Police say the incident was one of three unrelated shootings in Virginia Beach on Friday. A 29-year-old bystander was killed in one of those incidents. In all, eight others were injured.

And when we come back, the state of the pandemic in the U.S. Vaccinations are ramping up but one of the doctors in charge of the early response says opportunities were missed to save hundreds of thousands of lives.

Then, in Europe, things are looking quite different. France is having a hard time containing its latest surge. And now, more of its neighbors are trying to defend themselves as well.




CURNOW: So Indonesian police say Sunday's explosion outside a church in the southern part of the country may have been a suicide bombing. They say, the suspects used a motorbike and detonated right outside the Catholic Church and that 14 people have been taken to the hospital.

This Sunday, Catholics are celebrating Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, the most important week of the year in their faith.


CURNOW: Here, in the U.S., more than 50 million people are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. That's according to the CDC and it's about 15 percent of the total population. The CDC, also, says that more than 140 million vaccine doses have now been administered. That's more than three-quarters of the doses delivered, so far.

But despite this good news, a member of the COVID response team, under Donald Trump, now said people died needlessly because of the administration's failures. Here is Evan McMorris-Santoro with more on that and more.


EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): More than a year into the pandemic, a former Trump administration official revealed in a blockbuster interview with CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, airing Sunday night, that she believes many of the deaths in the United States could've been prevented through different policy decisions.

DR. DEBORAH BIRX, FORMER WHITE CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE COORDINATOR: I look at it this way, the first time, we have an excuse. There were about 100,000 deaths that came from that original surge. All of the rest of them, in my mind, could have been mitigated or decreased substantially.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): To look back at the past year comes on the heels of some relatively good news. The total number of vaccine doses in the U.S., on Friday, reaching a new daily record, according to the White House. More vaccine doses are coming.

Next week, Johnson & Johnson expected to deliver at least 11 million doses of its single shot vaccine across the country. More supply means more Americans will have access. And analysis by CNN shows only two states have yet to say when they will make doses available to everyone eligible under FDA guidance.

The other 48 have already made or are planning to make the vaccine available to everyone older than the age of 16 in a matter of weeks.

But experts say this is not the time for Americans to let their guards down, especially as warmer weather and spring holidays may lead to larger gatherings. And more contagious virus variants are still spreading. Over 100 cases of COVID 19 in Nebraska were traced to a child care facility, many with the variant first identified in the U.K.

DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: We have 2.5 million vaccinations per day. That is fantastic but I also think restrictions are being lifted so quickly, including mask mandates. People are getting very tired and, at the same time, we also have these more contagious variants that are circulating.

But we can help people manage their risk and then try to reduce that risk as much as possible. That means encouraging vaccination, continuing to wear masks and, ideally, messaging that, masks and vaccinations are our way out of this pandemic.

MCMORRIS-SANTORO (voice-over): It's a very different story outside of the U.S. Brazil is struggling to get doses of the vaccine and reported its highest single day death toll from COVID-19 on Friday.

The president of France, admitting the European Union reacted less quickly than the U.S. when it came to the initial vaccine rollout.

While it sorts out its vaccine problems, the E.U. is struggling to reopen. In France, increasing cases in schools, leading to new classroom closures. In Germany, imposing new quarantine and testing rules on visitors from France, a country it now labels a high risk COVID-19 area -- Evan McMorris-Santoro, CNN, New York.


CURNOW: Spain is also rolling out new measures, as France struggles to keep its outbreak under control. Starting on Wednesday, all travelers arriving from France over the age of 6 will have to show a negative test taken in the past 72 hours.

Now this was already in place for those traveling by plane or boat but will also now apply to people driving over the border, with some exceptions. So I want go to Jim Bittermann, now.

Jim, hi.

What more can you tell us?

JIM BITTERMANN, CNN SR. INTL. CORRESPONDENT: Well, France is very quickly becoming the pariah of Europe, apparently, because other countries are closing down or at least putting restrictions on the transit of people from France, into their countries in Spain and Germany, particularly.

It's because the numbers here are just not going down. They're going up, in fact.


BITTERMANN: And the numbers are, in terms of like ICU occupancy, for example, they are getting close to what they were during the second wave, in November. And in some areas, like in the Paris region, they are even surpassing what we saw in the first wave, during the very first wave of the epidemic.

So it is -- it's really a difficult situation here. The government is considering ways to clamp down, even further. The president said, on Friday, told a Sunday newspaper that, in fact, there was nothing decided, yet but that there was obviously something being talked about.

And one of the things that's being talked about is a further clampdown on schools. They -- the French have tried, at all costs, to keep their schools open. But one of those costs has been a rising number of cases among school-aged children.

In fact, last week, there were 21,000 new cases, among school-aged children. So now, they are looking at ways to close down the schools or partially close them down a little further than what they already are. So it's a very difficult situation and it's not getting any better -- Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that update there, Jim Bittermann outside Paris. Thanks, Jim.

CNN medical analyst Dr. Rodriguez joins me from Los Angeles.

Doctor, hi. It's quite surreal listening to our report because it seems there is such a contrast. Here in the U.S., vaccines being distributed at record speed. Life looks like it's going to be going back to normal or some sort of normal sooner rather than later.

And then, we have Europe. You heard Jim Bittermann there, talking about France and people there facing this massive wave. Why the discrepancy here?

DR. JORGE RODRIGUEZ, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Well, I think the discrepancy is, A, the fact that Europe has not had the same velocity in distributing vaccines as the U.S. or other countries have had.

I think, we need to really put our -- wrap our head around the fact that, you know, this may never or, at least in the near future, not go to any degree of normalcy until the whole world is vaccinated. And the whole world needs to be doing that, at the same time.

So we're going to have what's been stated many times, sort of a whack a mole type of treating this. It's going to flare up in one place or another. Even the United States. And I think there is a fallacy going around that just because we are going to get vaccinated, everything here is going to be OK.

There is a whole other world that comes to the U.S. and we go there. And until everybody is at the same level playing field, we are going to have these -- these uptakes throughout the world.

CURNOW: And a lot of this, also, might have to do with various variants. We are hearing of a strong resurgence of COVID in Canada, as well, connected to variants. I mean, some are saying this could lead to a third wave there, that's worse than the first two.

RODRIGUEZ: Absolutely. They are saying that. I think that they've found the variants in all 10 provinces of Canada. And even though, overall, the absolute number of the cases they have is still small, in comparison to the U.S., it definitely is on the uptake.

Now one thing that I always want to drive home is the fact that variants happen when people get infected. The virus cannot replicate by itself, in the air. It has to get into a human being.

So even though, for example, a young person may think, oh, nothing's going to happen to me, you know, I'm -- I'm going to get over this in no time, well, what's probably happening is they may be creating a variant that they are then going to spread and is going to become a dominant, dangerous variant.

So everybody has to not get infected. So yes, the variants are everywhere. And some states in the U.S., it's up to 40 percent or more, of -- of the infections that are happening. So we are at a race, against the variant, with vaccinations.

And don't think that's the only thing. We still have to wear a mask, wash our hands and have, you know, sort of, logical distance between people.

CURNOW: Here, in Georgia and many other places across the U.S., you can get a vaccine, if you are 16 and older.

How much longer will it be, until younger children, 12-year olds, 13- year olds, 14-year olds, will get the vaccine?

Because that will really make an impact, won't it, on -- on school life?

RODRIGUEZ: It will make an impact on everything. A lot of scientists think that we're never going to reach herd immunity until we start vaccinating younger people. I think Dr. Fauci stated that he thinks, in the fall, teenagers are going to be able to get vaccinated.

Pfizer has now started rolling out a study on much younger humans, even toddlers, of the age of 6 and 7, to see what dose is right for them. It's estimated that, in the early part of 2022, children will be able to be vaccinated.

But we want to make sure that it's safe. And parents should not fear this because, even though children are not dying at the same rate, they are still getting some very long-term complications from the COVID virus. So end of this year, for most teenagers; early next year, for younger children.

CURNOW: OK. That's good to know if you live in the U.S.


CURNOW: I just want to go back to the issue of variants and you talked about, sort of, unchecked infections creating, essentially, a Petri dish within our bodies to create these new variants. Let's look at Brazil.

How dangerous is what's happening in Brazil, for -- for global health?

RODRIGUEZ: It's -- it's very dangerous.


RODRIGUEZ: Brazil is probably the most dangerous area, right now, in the world. They are out of control with -- with their amount of COVID. And they've had some remote areas, in the Amazon, that they thought people had reached, perhaps, herd immunity because 70 percent of the population, in these remote areas, had gotten infected.

And unfortunately, they got reinfected, because of variants. So listen. We are in one, big village and we call it Earth. As long as there is one area that, still, is out of control and on fire, we are all in danger, which is we're not just about getting the U.S. vaccinated.

After we do this or maybe while we do this, a lot of the first-world countries really need to step up and -- and help places, like Africa and certain places of South America and underdeveloped countries because it's for, not only their good but for everyone's good, that people get vaccinated.

CURNOW: Dr. Rodriguez, always good to speak to you, get your opinion. Thanks so much, have a wonderful weekend.

RODRIGUEZ: Likewise.

CURNOW: So coming up on CNN, that colossal ship that is still stuck in the Suez Canal is having a massive ripple effect and now there is new speculation on what may have caused it to run aground.

Also, the United Nations says Mozambicans are fleeing, we will have a live report from the region.





CURNOW: Welcome back to all of our viewers here, in the United States and all around the world. Thanks so much for joining me. I am Robyn Curnow, in Atlanta.

So we are now on day six of a very, very costly traffic jam in the Suez Canal. One of the largest cargo ships in the world, as you probably know by now, has been stuck since Tuesday. Hundreds of other ships are unable to deliver their goods to port until the Ever Given is out of the canal.

Crews are using tugboats, diggers, dredges to move massive amounts of mud, sand and ballast water. Let's go to John Defterios in Abu Dhabi.

John, hi. Goodness, what a mess.

What is the latest on the efforts to get this ship moving?

I mean, there was a big push last night in -- in Egypt.

Will they make another big effort today, no doubt?

JOHN DEFTERIOS, CNN EMERGING MARKETS EDITOR: Well, if you get a sense of urgency this weekend, in particular, Robyn, you are absolutely correct because they are trying to take advantage of Mother Nature here. The end of the month marks the high tides on Saturday to Sunday.

So they made a push last night. Made some progress, overnight. But the next major push, down the road here or down the canal, is going to be this evening. They are ahead of schedule here, in terms of the dredging operations.

They had this target of 20,000, at the top end, cubic meters of sand and mud to move. That is over 700,000 cubic feet. They did do that. There is no damage to the propeller or the stern and the rudder so this is all very, very good news.

The other thing is you talked about the number of boats backed up. It's 321. That was our projection Friday. But they say on the good side, if they can dislodge the vessel, that is a big question mark, of course, they can rapidly move more than a third of those within the week.

But Volkswagen, for example, out of Germany, said it's not breaking the supply chain, yet. IKEA said there is some products that won't get on to shelves so that is a concern but it's not the rapid dislocation everybody's talking about.

If it carried on for weeks, absolutely, that would be the case but we are not there yet. And you can see this accelerated movement to try to get something done as quick as possible. They had 14 tugs in operation.

And the Dutch and Japanese contractors here are bringing in two heavyweight tugs to try to move this ultra-container carrier. I have been seeing them -- those firsthand, Robyn. You feel like a little ant next to these gigantic things that can hold up to 20,000 containers. This has 18,000 on it, right now.

CURNOW: Yes. I mean, they're crazy big, aren't they?

I mean, this one, if you were to flip it up, would be the height of the -- the Empire State Building, I think was the one -- was the one description.

So these ultra ships, I mean, really, is there enough space to handle them in the Suez?

Have they just got to be too monstery? DEFTERIOS: Well, they're extremely big. But the president of Egypt, back in 2015 -- and they completed it in less than a year -- widened the canal to double the capacity to nearly a hundred ships a day. That was successful. They spent $8 billion, in doing so.

Unfortunately, this is the narrowest point of the canal, the south end of it. And they met this ferocious windstorm which caused most of the problems. But now we are hearing the very first time from the Suez Canal authority there could be involved, technical errors. Like, for example, oil pumps and even human error, as well.

It's early days but they're flagging it. Let's take a listen.


UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): There could also be a human error, which is under investigation. There could be a lot of mistakes but we can't say what they are now. The only mistake that we can be sure of now is the wind and the sandstorm. This is not the main one, like I said. But the rest will become clearer, in the investigation.


DEFTERIOS: Made it very clear, though, let's not go to the investigation and the claims and the challenges between the owner and the marine operator. The pilots, for example. The tugboats, as well. Let's focus on dislodging the vessel.

And they hope to make big progress, tonight. And they said, kind of, the target is the next few days. But let's see what happens on this Sunday with the high tides, Robyn.

CURNOW: OK, thanks for that update, John Defterios there in Abu Dhabi.

So dozens of people are unaccounted for in Mozambique following an attack by Islamist insurgents. This according to multiple sources contacted by CNN. Riot groups say thousands have fled the northern town of Palma, when it was stormed by attackers believed to be affiliated with the terrorist group ISIS.


CURNOW (voice-over): This video was taken on Thursday.


CURNOW (voice-over): But heavy fighting continued into Saturday. Security forces have been trying to evacuate civilians and foreign workers in the area. More than 600,000 people in Mozambique have been displaced in fighting between the Islamist group and government forces according to Human Rights Watch. More than 1,500 civilians have been killed.

(END VIDEO CLIP) CURNOW: Well, I want to bring in Jakkie Cilliers, he's the chairman of the board of the Institute for Security Studies and serves as the head of the Africa Futures and Innovation Program. Joins me now from South Africa, via Skype.

Hi. Good to see you, again, sir. I mean, there's still so much unknown about this particular attack. We are getting some early reports from survivors.

What -- what concerns you about this ambush, the sustained attack on foreigners and civilians and locals?

JAKKIE CILLIERS, INSTITUTE FOR SECURITY STUDIES: Well, Robyn, it seems to have been very well organized and orchestrated. And apparently, rumors that this is going to happen have been circulating for a number of days.

And then, eventually, when it happened, the Mozambican security forces apparently resisted but then melted away. And it was left to a number of private military contractors, particularly a company called Dag Security Advisers, to try and respond.

And something like 185 foreigners were trapped in a hotel and then, tried to escape. Many were killed. So total confusion. But the absence of a response by the Mozambican security forces really is of a huge concern. There is a massive investment in -- in gas reserves in northern Mozambique, which will be at risk with all this violence.

CURNOW: I want to talk about that in a moment but I want to go down to actually what happened and what potentially played out. As -- as you said, it's unclear what -- what took place. But we are hearing reports of many of these foreigners and foreign contract workers trying to get a convoy out of these hotels and then being ambushed. Some air cover provided by these private military teams.

Just what do you know?

And what are you hearing?

CILLIERS: Well, apparently, something like 185 foreigners were trapped in this -- in this hotel. And then, they tried to -- they were trapped in a strong room in the hotel and they tried to flee.

So they put together a convoy of something like 17 vehicles. There was something like 40 to 50 people in these vehicles. And they then tried to leave but they were ambushed as they left the hotel compound. Three vehicles were destroyed. About seven vehicles got through, with about 40 to 50 people.

And some people retreated back or fled back into the hotel, which was eventually overrun. So now, you have a situation where these foreigners have been -- some have left, going up on the road north. Some fled to the beach and now are being picked up by helicopter and taken -- taken away. So it's -- it's unclear, exactly, what's been -- what the current situation is, as it's now daylight in the area. So I assume, that the helicopters, mostly from this private security

company, advisory group. And I assume reinforcements and others will come in but it's apparent quite a few people have died in the course of the night.

CURNOW: What does it tell you, that many lives were saved by private security here, not the Mozambican authorities?

Were many of these people abandoned, left alone to their devices as these insurgents overran the town?

CILLIERS: It does seem that way. Apparently, the Mozambican security forces had a number of helicopters and people around. There are reports of MI-24 I think or MI-17, all accrued by Ukrainians basically in the area.

But they left apparently when the ammunition ran out in the evening. And the locals -- the foreign -- the foreign nationals who are all there, it seems, to work on the -- on the -- on building and helping with the -- this whole massive gas infrastructure, were, in a sense, left and then, gathered in the strong room of this hotel and -- and were -- were basically left defenseless.

This is quite a -- it's a -- it's a bushy area. But if you look at -- at -- at Google map, whatever, Google Earth, it's quite a lot of houses and informal settlements in the area. So it's quite -- actually, quite densely populated around the hotel.

CURNOW: And just quickly, before we go. This group has been linked to ISIS, called Mozambican ISIS.

Is that helpful?

CILLIERS: I don't really think so. We're creating the sense of an omnipotent, large, sort of global-terrorist grouping. These are, firstly, primarily, locals. Apparently, the tourists all speak local languages.


CILLIERS: They are influenced by the sort of evidence, the media copycat insurgencies that we have seen elsewhere. But I think, one must be careful of not creating some giant, big spider problem that doesn't exist.

This is a function of lack of governance, poor governance, corruption by, firstly, by the Mozambican authorities in the northern part of the country.

CURNOW: Jakkie Cilliers, always good to speak to you. Thanks so much.

So coming up here at CNN, hear from an official pleading with the Biden administration to manage the migrant surge along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Plus, horrific gun violence scars a beautiful state over and over again. Colorado's dark history. That is, also, just ahead.




CURNOW: Welcome back. I'm Robyn Curnow. It's 43 minutes past the hour.

And the U.S. is bracing for an influx of many more migrants. Right now, thousands upon thousands of migrants are in U.S. custody. Many of them are children. And the government estimates -- the government estimates obtained by CNN show at least 34,000 more beds could be needed, as more children arrive over the next six months.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are trying to spin the crisis for their own purposes. Republican senator James Lankford tweeted a video showing crowded conditions inside a Texas facility.

Republican senator Ted Cruz did the same as well. Meanwhile, Democratic congressman Joaquin Castro took aim at the Trump administration after his visit to a housing facility my -- my -- housing facility housing migrant children. And this is what he had to say.


REP. JOAQUIN CASTRO (D-TX), MEMBER, INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE: President Biden inherited a situation, where the previous administration had sought to dismantle the infrastructure for processing asylum seekers and settling asylum seekers in the United States.

It was an administration, that was run, in many ways, on these issues by Stephen Miller.


CASTRO: And during the pandemic, the Trump administration took advantage of that fact and sought to expel every single person who was coming to the United States to seek asylum.


CURNOW: Ed Lavandera reports, now, from south Texas, where police and border guards are almost powerless to stop the constant stream of new arrivals.


SHERIFF JOE FRANK MARTINEZ, VAL VERDE COUNTY: The activity has been picking up, I got a feeling that the worst is yet to come.

ED LAVANDERA, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Val Verde County sheriff Joe Frank Martinez is taking us to the edge of the Rio Grande in Del Rio, Texas, to a spot that's become a landing point for several thousand migrants in recent weeks. As we show up one of his deputies and a Border Patrol agent have apprehended a family from Venezuela.

MARTINEZ: This little group right here, I think it's 42 that my deputies have personally handled today.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): When he looks across the river to the Mexican side, they spot another family crossing. We noticed there are two men guiding the family through the safest part of the river, the current here can be deadly. A young girl is being carried on a man's shoulders. The law enforcement agents are waiting. As the migrants reach the shore, one tells me they're also from Venezuela.

One of the guides throws a bag of dry clothes to the Border Patrol agent, after that the two men turn around and splashed through the river back to Mexico.

It's unclear what will happen to these migrants of the most families are being allowed to wait out the immigration cases in the United States.

MARTINEZ: It just hits you. It just hits you -- you know. You feel for them.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Sheriff Martinez frustration is growing over scenes like this unfolding in remote border towns like Del Rio.

LAVANDERA: What's your message to President Biden right now?

MARTINEZ: Well, we don't know what the plan is. In my opinion, you know, the policy makers came in with a policy change, but they had no plan in place to implement that plan. So this is what we're seeing. People are going to continue to come in mass numbers. People are going to die. But something has to be done quick.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): Last week in this area, eight undocumented immigrants were killed in a high-speed car crash. Authorities say the driver was a suspected smuggler trying to get away from state troopers.

And a fisherman captured video of migrants struggling in the Rio Grande, Border Patrol says two people drowned as they tried to get away from agents.

Del Rio Mayor Bruno Lozano, a Democrat, says, his small town of about 36,000 people doesn't have the resources to deal with this surge of migrants.

MAYOR BRUNO LOZANO (D-TX), DEL RIO: Where is the plan of action?

I believe that the things that they're doing now are Band-aids. It's a Band-aid.

LAVANDERA (voice-over): An old Del Rio city building is where the Val Verde Border Humanitarian Coalition helps immigrants who have been released from custody, the group's director says they're seeing about 100 migrants a day now.

Wadner Demeille and his family across the river into the U.S. earlier this week. He says he escaped Haiti four years ago after his brother was murdered because he couldn't pay $100,000 ransom. Wadner says he in a family of travel to South and Central America for four years to get here.

LAVANDERA: He says reaching the U.S., made him cry tears of joy.

He said, I've been looking for this country for a long time.

LAVANDERA: The Biden administration has been airing radio ads in Central and South America urging migrants not to make the journey north, but local officials and charity organizations here along the border in Texas are telling us they're bracing for more migrants to keep coming -- Ed Lavandera, CNN, Del Rio, Texas.


CURNOW: Thanks, Ed, for that.

So you are watching CNN. Coming up next. An update on the investigation into Monday's deadly mass shooting in Colorado. We take a look at the state's history of gun violence.





CURNOW: Officials in Colorado say more charges are expected against a suspected gunman at a massacre in a Boulder grocery store. He's already facing 10 counts of first-degree murder.

Police say the officer who was killed was the last person shot during the rampage. No one else was hit after police engaged the gunman. Investigators say they've still trying to determine motive.

The state of Colorado is truly beautiful but it has an ugly history of gun violence. Tom Foreman looks back at a string of mass shootings that continue to shock the country.


TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The Columbine High School attack more than two decades ago was a shock to the entire country, the murders of 12 students and one teacher.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They just started coming in the library and opening fire and shooting and shot all around me.

FOREMAN (voice-over): The desperate flight, the confusion even after the two teenaged gunman killed themselves. FOREMAN: For hours after the shooting began, police were picking their way through the building.

FOREMAN (voice-over): It all seemed more than any one state could bear. Then Columbine echoed through the nation with mass shooters in some places calling it an inspiration, grieving families and others citing it as a comparison.

But back in Colorado, the next horrific attack was on the way. 2012, Aurora, a young man burst into a midnight movie and opens fire. A dozen people are killed, 70 are injured.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You could just hear gunshot after gunshot and I just started praying.

FOREMAN (voice-over): Unlike the Columbine shooters, the killer is captured and sent to prison, just like them he was heavily armed.

DAN OATES, AURORA POLICE CHIEF: An AR-15 assault rifle, a Remington 870 shotgun, 12-gauge shotgun and a 40 caliber Glock handgun.


FOREMAN (voice-over): 2015, Colorado Springs, a man with an assault- style rifle starts shooting near a Planned Parenthood clinic. Three people including a police officer are killed, nine more wounded. Courts find the suspect mentally unfit for trial and he remains in custody.

2017, Highlands Ranch, another Denver suburb. A gunman barricades himself in the apartment and fires more than 100 rifle rounds. One officer is killed responding, four more and two civilians are wounded before the gunman is shot dead.

2019, again Highlands Ranch. Authorities say a pair of armed students walk into school and one pulls his gun in class, killing Kendrick Castillo who tried to stop him. Others are injured. Police capture the suspects. One confessed and is in prison and at other pled not guilty and awaits trial.

FOREMAN: And now Boulder where in just the last few weeks a judge struck down a local ban on assault weapons. Boulder joins that sad list of Colorado towns asking how could it happen here and what can we ever do to stop it? -- Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.


CURNOW: I'm Robyn Curnow. Thanks so much for the show. I'll be back in an hour. You can follow me on Instagram and Twitter. I'll be back in just a moment, see you then.