Montage video of Thursday's protests in Bahrain
See also Syria Video Feature: Friday's Protests Across the Country
Syria Video Feature: Friday's Protests Across the Country --- Set 2
A National Day in Bahrain Special: Protests, The Arrest of Zainab Alkhawaja, A Death, & Tear Gas Everywhere
Thursday's Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Catchphrase of "Many Dead"
2345 GMT: It has been another important, memorable, historic, messy Friday. By the end of the day, tear gas clouds were still settling in Bahrain, fires still burning around the Egyptian cabinet building, and, in the most under-covered story of the day, 23 people died today in Syria, "among them are 4 children and 4 women, 9 martyrs in Homs, 5 martyrs in Hama, 4 martyrs in Daraa, 2 martyrs [in the] Damascus Suburbs and one martyr each in both Deir Ezzor and Idlib."
In Egypt, we have reached yet another turning point, with the news that many members of the advisory council to the ruling Supreme Command of Armed Forces. will resign over today's violence. This is yet another sign that the old ways have yet to be erased, and the revolution, taken for granted for many months now, is far from over.
In Bahrain, protests have not "returned," as some completely out-of-touch headline writers have suggested, but it is fair to say that recent violence, and the arrest of some prominent activists, will further fuel a protest movement that has been exponentially growing for several months.
But what happened in Syria? Missing in the "more deaths" headline that the mainstream media keeps running, is a serious analysis of the conflict. Even in Homs, besieged for months now, the brutality of attacks in Baba Amr marks yet another escalation, or perhaps even a sign of a desperate regime that has run out of tools besides shells and bullets. In Hama, we see yet more signs that the city may be facing Homs's fate. In the Damascus suburbs, the strength the security forces in the streets suggests that the Assad regime is also desperate to keep the protests from growing any further close to the capital. The reports from Deir Ez Zor, a serious crackdown against protesters and an escalation that we have not seen in several months, suggests that the regime is worried that if it does not continue to rotate its targets then it will lose control.
However, today's media coverage had far more problems than bad headlines. The media struggled to keep up on stories in Egypt, a location with a large media presence. Furthermore, coverage of stories like Syria and Bahrain have been nearly non-existent. In fact, a major Syrian activist voiced his displeasure at the media's coverage, then turned to EA to keep the story rolling.
This lack of coverage can have significant consequences. Bahrain, Syria, and Egypt (just to name the three that were busy today) all play key roles in the world, and in US and European economic and geopolitical strategy. Beyond that, the activists in those countries, and the citizens in those countries, deserve to have these stories covered. The media, once again, has failed in that respect.
We thank EA's readers for helping to change that, and we'd ask that, as things continue to develop here, you keep in mind how important independent media organizations like EA are in changing and influencing how the media covers the Middle East, and beyond. EA's writers depend on you, but the people in the places that we cover depend on you too.
We're closing the LiveBlog for the day, though we'll be reporting again in the morning. Again, thanks for reading and contributing.
2233 GMT: This video was reportedly taken near the Ghasan Aboud roundabout in Deir Ez Zor today. Protests have gone into the night, but activists are reporting that security forces are attacking the city.
2159 GMT: Within the hour, an EA correspondent saw this tweet from Waleed Rasheed, claiming that 8 members of the advisory council to SCAF had resigned over todays attacks on protesters in Egypt. The document, a picture of a handwritten letter that was hard to translate, reads approximately as follows:
Dear Mr. President of Council, Mansour beik (sir) Hassan;
I hereby submit my resignation from your respected council and that is as a protest to the way or method in which the officials responsible for handling crisis in the state have dealt with the events related to the Minsters' cabinet. This method of handling the crisis remind us of Mohammed Mahmoud and (I couldn't read this word), and they foretell of a great danger to our beloved Egypt.
I wish you sirs and members of your respected council best of luck.
Sharief Mohammed Zahran
Labieb (not sure of the last name)
(not sure of first name) Abedelfatah
Manar (not sure of last name)
Now, Daily News Egypt is reporting that 4 council members have resigned, Ahmed Khairy, Moataz Abdel Fattah, Nevine Mosaad, and Ziad Aly.
Mosaad, who is in Beirut, confirmed her resignation to Daily News Egypt via a text message.
"I resigned, but Dr. Mansour [Hassan, head of the Council] prefers to meet first with members tonight [Friday]," she said. "There may be a collective resignation," she added.
Both reports suggest that more resignations may be on the way.
2053 GMT: According to the LCCS, at least 19 people have been killed by security forces in Syria, including "2 children and 4 women, 9 martyrs in Homs, 4 martyrs in Hama, 3 martyrs in Daraa ,2 martyrs Damascus Suburbs."
2038 GMT: There appears to be yet another significant escalation in Cairo. Gunfire can be heard, the sound of rocks hitting makeshift barricades is nearly constant, and several fire bombs have been thrown, both from above and from below. While the scene is highly chaotic, and the dark makes it even more confusing, there appears to be a desperate situation on the ground in Cairo.
2014 GMT: Another dramatic, and tragic, video from Baba Amr, Homs, as anti-personnel shells and heavy machine guns tear into the district this evening:
Sahar Abdel-Mohsen, an Egyptian youth activist, says that she accompanied two bodies to the morgue at a Cairo hospital today, the AP reports.
She says both had gunshot wounds, and identified one of them as a 22-year-old man.
Abdel-Mohsen said the blood was "still dripping from his head" when the AP spoke to her.
1953 GMT: There seems to be some confusion about the identity of one of the reported "martyrs" in Cairo. Earlier we reported that Semoon Nasif was one of the martyrs. We were citing Waleed Rashed, co-founded of the April 6 movement. Several activists in Egypt have reported that "Simon Naseef" is alive. We're not sure where the confusion is, though it's possible that there are multiple people with this name in Cairo.
When we have a more concrete list of names, we will post them.
However, many sources are reporting that Sheikh Emad Effat and Alaa Abd ElHady were both killed today in Cairo, as we reported earlier.
1941 GMT: An important video from Syria. Activists report that this protest left from Kafer Souseh, an important suburb of Damascus. Activists in the video light a fire behind them to serve as a roadblock:
1933 GMT: Activists share this picture, which reportedly shows the building next to the cabinet sit-in on fire. The activist who posted the picture reported that police were throwing stones from that building as well:
1927 GMT: This video reportedly shows an injured protester rushed from the cabinet sit-in in Cairo. According to the video, this protester died, though his identity is unknown and we cannot confirm that detail:
Also, this is reportedly the picture of Alaa Abd ElHady, who was reportedly killed today in Egypt:
1906 GMT: Dramatic footage. The videographer describes the scene as machine gun fire, explosions, and smoke fill the air in Baba Amr, Homs:
Car transferring five people was shot at by the check-point .. two people were dead.
Voice: there are three children inside the car
Deir-Baalba ... Homs
1842 GMT: According to Waleed Rashed, co-founded of the April 6 movement, four people have now died today in Cairo: Semoon Nasif, Adel Abd ElRahman Moselhy, Alaa Abd ElHady, and Sheikh Emad Effat Amin. Effat Amin, we believe, is from the "Dar Al-Iftaa (the Islamic research academy that issues what most scholars agree are binding fatwas)," and was husband to Nashwa Abdel-Tawab, of Al-Ahram Weekly.
1831 GMT: The defiant chants drown out the sound of exploding shells and heavy machine guns in Homs, as the sun sets today:
30 minutes ago we posted that 2 have been killed. Several other news agencies, within 10 minutes of us posting that, have also reported that 2 people have been killed today in Egypt.
1745 GMT: EA Correspondent Josh Shahryar, citing many Twitter accounts, reports that there may be fatalities in Cairo today:
Reports from Cairo suggest that at least two people have been killed today so far. Reportedly, the two killed are a 20 year old in Kasr Al Aini Hospital and a 14 year old at a field hospital. Furthermore, a doctor in Kasr Al Aini also confirms that at least 59 injured have been brought there - 19 of them suffering from live ammunition wounds. The Ministry of Health hasn't confirmed that anyone's died yet.
This video is reportedly from Qaboun, just north of the center of the city:
This last video, taken from a moving car, shows heavy security in the streets of Jobar, just to the east of the center of the capital:
1731 GMT: The clearest picture yet of a hose being turned on Egyptian protesters from the roof of the cabinet building:
1723 GMT: Two images are circulated on Twitter that could quickly become iconic. The fist, two women hide from Egyptian police, the second shows an old woman nearly beaten. If they are not photoshopped, then they are truly disturbing. Reverse image search has turned up zero hits, suggesting that these were posted today:
1700 GMT: More screenshots of the chaos outside the Majilis (palriament) building in Cairo:
1654 GMT: Outside of the Egyptian parliament building, the police have started to spray something down at the protesters. The volume of rocks being thrown down has also increased, and several large fireballs have been seen on the ground. The protesters have begun to chant even louder, but the situation has clearly flared.
1638 GMT: According to Al Jazeera Arabic, the Health Ministry is reporting that 99 people have been injured in the clashes in Cairo. Looking at the video, it's very hard to believe the number is that low.
Journalist Steven Cook reports:
Bigger crowd just materialized at Qasr al Aini and Sheikh Rehan. Someone is arguing with soldiers at barbed wire. Can't tell what happened.
Huge fire on Qasr al Aini. Just saw guys with a gas cannister heading toward parliament bldg.
Soldiers near US Embassy compound in full riot gear. Protestors up against the line.
Molotovs heading AT the cabinet building; first floor of adjacent bldg in flames...closdets to cabinet bldg.
Watching Al Jazeera Mubasher's live feed, the protesters are calling for hard hats and flood lights while constructing a makeshift defense against the police who are throwing objects down on the crowd. Also, protesters seem to be harassing the police with laser pointers.
As EA Correspondent John Horne notes, it's extremely chaotic, and very hard to make out the protesters' strategy. That's probably because they don't have a strategy.
This fighting in Ebita, in the northwestern province of Idlib, continued throughout the night and into the early hours on Monday. At least one fighter was killed and another injured in the assault.
1611 GMT: Activists have lit this small building on fire, apparently for more light. Earlier, activist Alexander Page was complaining that as the light was growing dim it was harder to see the objects (expecially the rocks) being thrown at the protesters:
1601 GMT: EA Correspondent John Horne is keeping an eye on the live video feed from Egypt (see below) and has taken several screen shots. In one of them, the ppolice on the roof had just thrown something that was on fire at the protesters, though sadly the screen shot software was not fast enough to capture the moment:
1550 GMT: Al Jazeera Mubasher has posted yet another live video stream from Cairo, showing the dramatic situation on the ground. Fires, and small explosions, can clearly be made out:
1546 GMT: A dramatic, if low quality, video reportedly taken in Deir Ez Zor. Protesters in the al-Jabile district run from gunfire. We'd note that we do not yet have any reports from Deir Ez Zor, suggesting that, as is often the case, today's violence was more widespread than we have yet learned.
1540 GMT: Easily forgotten among the fires in Egypt and injured protesters in Bahrain, Syria has once again seen another bloody day, and it is far from over. According to the LCCS, 17 people have been killed by security forces so far today, including "2 children and 4 women, 9 martyrs in Homs, 3 martyrs in each of Hama and Daraa and 2 martyrs Damascus Suburbs."
The LCCS also posts this video, showing tanks and soldiers dug in near the Sebahi roundabout area in Hama:
1534 GMT: Turning once again to Bahrain, the major opposition party, AlWefaq, is reporting that 18 people have been seriously injured by police, but they cannot go to any of the major hospital complexes for fear of arrest.
We continue to receive a flood of pictures of injured protesters across the country.
These don't look like molotovs. They look like fire bombs, all aflame before they hit anything. #occupycabinet #cairo
Regardless, EA correspondent John Horne is taking screen shots from the feed, and the danger is obvious:
The feed is going offline, until activists can find some flood lights, as the situation is growing very dangerous.
1511 GMT: While the situation is intense in Egypt, activists are reporting a steep escalation in Bahrain. According to the leading opposition party, AlWefaq, the riot police have begun opening fire on protesters. This picture was reportedly taken in Abu Saiba, Bahrain:
Meanwhile, there are multiple unconfirmed reports of severe injuries. This activist posts a bloody picture, claiming to show a man being treated in a field hospital because of fears that he would be arrested if he went to an official hospital.
Another activist is reporting that if more medics don't arrive soon, people could die of their injuries. This report was accompanied by two graphic pictures, claiming to show injured protesters:
Medics arrived secretly in some area & more is needed.
These reports cannot, at this time, be independently verified, though we will continue to seek more information.
1458 GMT: The video below is reportedly live video from the events in Cairo today. It has been shared by Egyptian Activist Alexander Page (Rami Jarrah) who is now reporting from Cairo:
NPR's Andy Carvin is also watching the feed. A few minutes ago, this is what he saw:
"Limp injured protester carried away. More molotov cocktails from the army. #occupycabinet"
Moez Abdel Fattah, a member of the advisory council set up by SCAF recently, meanwhile, has resigned his position in protest against what he calls the attack on protesters.
Sultan Al Qassemi reports that there are now fires burning on the ground floor of the cabinet building:
1426 GMT: This video was shared by an EA source in Bahrain. Apparently, this man is suffocating from tear gas inhalation in the village of Abu Saiba, which we described in several updates below. We do not know his condition:
The London-based Syrian Observatory of Human Rights is also adding details of an attack in which children were wounded:
2 children were wounded in gunfire by security forces attempting to disperse a protest in Kefer Laaha, Al-Hawla, in Homs. And the town of Talbeesa the security forces opened fire at the barriers of Post Office and Al-Karama (Dignity) Street to scare people returning to their homes after the protest
Despite the fact that many sources are reporting violence in Homs today, the SOHR is reporting that, in a city of 500,000, as many as 200,000 have taken to the streets in protest. That number will be impossible to verify, but several impressive videos show large crowds, in multiple districts and suburbs of Homs, protesting on this protest that is named "The Arab League is killing us."
This video was reportedly taken in Palmyra, Homs:
El Waer district, Homs:
The embattled suburb of Hulay, Homs:
1408 GMT: An EA correspondent shares this video, showing protesters running from tear gas in Abu Saiba today:
1404 GMT: An EA contact in Bahrain reports:
We went to the graveyard in Abu Saiba, waiting for the funeral to start, then news came saying that the funeral might be delayed until tomorrow, so a march got organized, and it started moving toward Budaya Street.
That's when police mercenaries started attacking with tear-gas... a very heavy attack. The place was full of white and yellow clouds of tear gas.
More teargas was shot when the youth tried to confront police by throwing rocks at them, but it didn't work. Since the use of tear gas was very heavy, we had to retreat back until we reached the graveyard again. After gathering there for about 30 min, police thugs surrounded the place and started shooting again, pushing people back to the village.
I stood there watching men carrying suffocated youth into houses, then I started helping other youth from the village, blocking the roads with obstacles.
Police didn't stop, they started getting into the village, and that's when I had to get back to my car and leave. It was useless and too risky to stay more.
A different activist have posted this picture, reportedly showing the tear gas in Abu Saiba:
1349 GMT: Journalist Reem Abdellatif, of the Dail News Egypt, has two disturbing tweets, though in totally different ways:
AlJazeera live: A journo on the phone just told anchor that 10 yr old named Ahmed just died 45 mins ago in clashes. #occupycabinet #egypt
1336 GMT: So far this Friday, the Local Coordinating Committees of Syria are reporting that eight people have died at the hands of Syrian security forces, "2 children and a woman, Four martyrs in Homs, 3 martyrs in Daraa and a martyr in Hama."
They also share two protests that once again suggest the size of protests today. The first was reportedly taken today in the Damascus suburb of Daraya:
This video shows a very large protest, reportedly today in the Arbeen district of Hama:
James Miller takes the liveblog from Scott Lucas.
1325 GMT: Our correspondent in Bahrain amidst security force operations in Abu Saiba (see 1230 and 1235 GMT): "One of my friends is trapped there going back to get him....Had to get back to another friend house, the forces have stormed in the village so it's too dangerous to get in."
1305 GMT: Amidst the many clips of protests today (see our separate feature), a distinct moment in these two videos from Idlib Province in the northwest --- note the Free Syrian Army troops protecting the rallies:
1300 GMT: Al Jazeera English's Evan Hill follows up on earlier reports (see 1133 GMT) that he was assaulted by security forces in Cairo: "Soldiers and men in plainclothes beat me with batons, wooden sticks and once with a crowbar before I was taken inside."
1255 GMT: Claimed footage of security forces firing on protesters inside a mosque in Hama:
1235 GMT: Our correspondent in Bahrain continues after security forces broke up a funeral, even before the procession began, in Abu Saiba: "Still there's smell of teargas. But it's a bit better here Sounds of shooting very clear....Lots of teargas suffocation they are being carried and taken inside houses."
1230 GMT: An EA correspondent has written us from the funeral in Abu Saiba in Bahrain of protester Ali Alqassab, killed on Thursday when he was struck by a car:
They are attacking us in the graveyard....I can hardly open my eyes....Shit, it's very bad....Have moved out of the graveyard.
Another activist sends the message, "Police mercenaries prevented us from going 2 Abu Saiba village 4 the Funeral & they R suppressing in Karrana village now."
1020 GMT: Protesters outside the Cabinet building in Cairo throw stones at security forces, after serious clashes earlier this morning:
Demonstrators at the gates of the Cabinet building:
Another video of the military atop teh Cabinet building, throwing stones upon the protesters below:
1015 GMT: The National Day gathering outside Al-Fateh Mosque in Bahrain this morning --- pro-regime activists say the crowd, mostly Sunni, was calling for "justice" and "equality":
0945 GMT: Al Jazeera English's Rawya Rageh sends a message from Cairo, where security forces atop the Cabinet building are throwing stones on protesters below: "CNN reporter on the scene w me now called police general. General responded 'not our deal, it's the military'."
Witnesses and a security source claimed that the trouble began when demonstrators, who have been staging an occupation in front of the building since the end of November, set cars alight and threw stones at military police.
Police fired in the air shortly after dawn to try to disperse around 300 protesters, angered by images that showed a badly-beaten activist, Abboudi Ibrahim.
0815 GMT: Reports have been coming in that Egyptian security forces, atop the Cabinet building in Cairo, have been throwing stones on the protest sit-in outside the building, causing injuries:
0800 GMT: Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has raised a significant query over the death of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi: "I think the way in which Mr Gaddafi was killed creates suspicions of...war crimes. I think that's a very important issue."
Moreno-Ocampo said he had written Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the head of Libya’s ruling National Transitional Council, asking about the plans to investigate alleged war crimes by all parties; however, he added that the ICC would step in only if Libyan authorities were unwilling or unable to act.
Moreno-Ocampo also said his office was working closely with Libyan authorities on the cases of Qaddafi's son Saif al-Islam and Qaddafi's former intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senoussi. Both were arrested last month and face ICC charges of crimes against humanity.
The prosecutor said the Libyan government must tell the ICC by 10 January whether they will hand over the younger Qaddafi. The NTC has said it plans to try him in Libya.
0740 GMT: Thursday in Syria was marked by the claim --- supporting evidence of the development of an armed insurgency --- that at least 27 soldiers and security personnel were killed by defectors in Daraa Province in the south.
Activists said nine other people were killed by security forces --- four in Homs Province, two in Idlib Province, one in the Damascus suburbs, one in Hasaka Province in the east, and one in Hama Province.
On the diplomatic front, Russia has tried to check a push against the Assad regime, putting forth a draft resolution in the United Nations Security Council strongly condemning violence by "all parties, including disproportionate use of force by Syrian authorities". The draft called on all parties in Syria to "immediately stop any violence irrespective of where it comes from".
0730 GMT: Later this morning we will post a round-up of the many developments in Bahrain on Thursday, setting the protests, arrests, and clashes against the regime's image --- propped up by a diplomatic offensive by the US and Britain --- of "marked progress" after the demonstrations and crackdown of the spring.
For now, we will note that the protests continued into the night in Bahrain's villages:
And so did the encounters between security forces and youth --- from Sitra: