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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Cutting Off Homs?

A protester in Homs in Syria sends a message

See also Syria 1st-Hand: Awaiting the Regime's Tanks in Binnish
Yemen Document: The Nobel Peace Prize Speech of Tawakkul Karman
Saturday's Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A New York Times Journalist is Detained, But What of the 40 People Killed?

2125 GMT: A breaking story tonight --- Syrian activist Alexander Page, a leading source of information on the political crisis, has been held in Doha Airport in Qatar tonight and threatened with deportation to Syria. He sent a message, with the last entry at 2056 GMT:


I've been stopped in Doha Airport and told I'm not allowed entry and that they will get me on the first plane to my homeland. I am now being held in transit and telling them that I ca'nt go to Syria because I'm wanted and these idiots don't understand.

I'm not told why, I'm just told that I'm not allowed entry. I said ok, "I'll go back." He said, "You are Syrian, then that's where you go."

Page, whose real name is Rami Jarrah, fled Syria this autumn after his identity was compromised. He went to Cairo with his wife and nine-month-old daughter, where he told his story to National Public Radio.

1952 GMT: Tunisia's constituent assembly adopted a provisional Constitution on Saturday, paving the way for the naming of a Goverment.

1950 GMT: Activists say at least 22 people, including a woman and four children, were killed by Syrian regime forces today. Nine died in Homs, six in Hama, three in Deraa, two in Idlib, and two in the Damascus suburbs.

At least five Syrian soldiers, including a military officer, were also reportedly killed.

1750 GMT: More on the claimed death of the infant girl in Bahrain from tear gas inhalation, this time via activist Zainab Alkhawaja:

Sitting now with the father of Sajida, 5 day old baby who was killed because of tear gas in Bahrain. Sajida's father says, "We took the baby to the hospital, and I did not tell them that it was because of tear gas." Reporter asks the father "how sure r u ur baby died becuz of the tear gas?" The dad answered "not less than 95% sure" Reporter asks the father, "How sure are you your baby died because of the tear gas?" The dad answered, "Not less than 95% sure."

1710 GMT: We have been watching reports all afternoon that an infant girl has died in Bahrain from tear gas inhalation. Now activist Said Yousif writes on Twitter:

I have just spoke with the family of the infant and they have confirmed that she had inhaled tear gas and suffocated last Friday.

I was in the Street of the village [Bilad Alqadeem] that night and the area was choking with tear gas...The journalist Qassim Hussein wrote in Twitter that he had suffered from suffocation.

1645 GMT: In Bahrain, a protester makes a point in front of the Ministry of Labour about her husband, dismissed from his job working on the Formula 1 race scheduled for the Kingdom --- she said that he was fired because he "liked" a post on Facebook about a protest:

A video from Saturday of security forces moving through the village of Bori, as a woman dashes away from them:

1630 GMT: Another sign of the "Strike of Dignity" in many towns and cities in Syria --- the famous Old Souk in Homs is desolate --- at the same time we note, in light of our initial entry this morning, that some video is making its way out of the city:

1550 GMT: A series of videos telling today's story in Zabadani near Damascus, from general strike to protest to smoke from firing by regime troops:

1500 GMT: An image from today's funeral of Mustafa Tamimi, killed on Saturday in the Palestinian town of Nabi Saleh by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces --- three people were reportedly hurt and eight arrested during the procession:

1450 GMT: Footage from this morning's protest by dismissed workers outside Bahrain's Ministry of Labour (see 0755 and 1025 GMT):

1435 GMT: Back from a weekend break to find reports that the "Strike for Destiny" has quieted town and cities through Syria.

Neanwhile, activists say at least 10 people have been killed when security forces fired on demonstrators. Three were slain in Hama, two in Idlib, four in Homs, and one in Daraa.

Activists and residents also claimed that hundreds of defecting soldiers fought with tank-backed regime forces in southern Syria. Troops, mainly from the 12th Armoured Brigade, based in Isra, 40km from the border with Jordan, stormed the nearby town of Busra al-Harir, according to Reuters.

Explosions and heavy machine guns was heard in Busra al-Harir and in Lujah, the rocky hills to the north, where defectors have been hiding and attacking military supply lines.

The Damascus suburb of Qaboun today:

1045 GMT: Confusion still reigns in Egypt over whether the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces will try to oversee Parliament as it writes a new Constitution.

On Wednesday, a SCAF member, General Mukhtar Mulla, said the generals would oversee the formation of a Constitutional Assembly because it did not believe Parliament was adequately representative. However, SCAF's General Mamdouh Shahin assured, "The Parliament is the only entity responsible for forming the Constituent Assembly through its elected members."

1025 GMT: At the demonstration of dismissed Bahraini workers this morning, Dr Ali Alekri chats with Nick Kristof of The New York Times.

Alekri has been sentenced to a 15-year prison term by a military court.

0755 GMT: In Bahrain, dismissed workers have gathered in front of the Ministry of Labour this morning. Hundreds of employees were fired for alleged participation in political protests, and the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry recommended that they be returned to their jobs:

0635 GMT: The Bahrain Center for Human Rights profiles Fadhila Al Mubarak, detained since 27 March after she was "caught" at a checkpoint playing revolutionary songs in her car.

0625 GMT: Claims are circulating that the 1.6 million people of Homs are now cut off. Syria's third-largest city has been beset by fighting, shelling, and snipers for weeks, killing hundreds and turning daily life into an attempt to dodge injury or worse. Activists now say that Internet service was suspended this weekend, followed last night by a halt to electricity.

Few reports and videos are coming from the area, which almost disappeared from mainstream media on Saturday. Indeed, although at least 16 people were slain on Saturday, Syria has disappeared from Al Jazeera English's homepage for the first time in months.

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