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Libya, Bahrain (and Beyond): Foreign Interventions

2200 GMT: We will be back in the morning with analysis of developments, including the United Nations Security Council's vote on Libya. Overnight coverage continues on our Live Feed of Al Jazeera English.

2125 GMT: More than 10,000 protesters have rallied in Armenia's capital Yereva. The demonstrators demanded that President Serzh Sargsyan implement reforms, carry out elections, and release detainees.

2120 GMT: Claimed footage of a regime jet shot down by the opposition in Bohadi in east Libya:

2115 GMT: Video of a protest in Sawya in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, expressing sympathy for the people of Bahrain after the crackdown by that country's security forces:

2050 GMT: The media advisor to the Bahraini King has denied reports of "systematic excessive force" against protesters, and described opposition leaders who were arrested overnight as "instigators looking to topple the regime".

Nabeel Al Hamar claimed that "had there an excessive use [of force] in yesterday's operation, we would have [had] a higher number of casualties". He declared that "their number [of casualties] from the official side is higher because they were facing armed groups."

"All that was used in clearing and liberating the Pearl Roundabout was tear gas canisters to disperse [people]. Neither live ammunition nor any kind of heavy weapons were used," Al Hamar said.

Meanwhile, leading opposition figure Khalil Almarzooq said that government security forces were attacking villages and towns: "The current situation is devastating."

Almarzooq, who resigned as the country's first deputy speaker and joined protests against the government, said security forces had taken action against some doctors at Suleimaniyah hospital, including one doctor allegedly being pulled out of surgery. The situation at the hospital is "a crime against humanity".

2045 GMT: The Associated Press reports that the closest known position of regime forces to Benghazi is about 130km (80 miles) to the south.

2020 GMT: In contrast to Muammar Qaddafi's promise to liberate Benghazi this evening, Al Jazeera English correspondent Tony Birtley in Benghazi says that he travelled up to 50km (31 miles) outside Benghazi this evening and saw no evidence of regime forces approaching the city.

2010 GMT: Back from a break to find a series of developments on Libya, as the Security Council nears a vote on the resolution authorising a no-fly zone and measures against the Libyan regime....

Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has appeared on radio to claim that his forces are on the verge of freeing Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city, from the opposition despite the prospect of international condemnation and a resolution for action:

They are finished, they are wiped out. From tomorrow you will only find our people. You all go out and cleanse the city of Benghazi. A small problem that has become an international issue. And they are voting on it tonight...because they are determined. As I have said, we are determined. We will track them down, and search for them, alley by alley, road by road, the Libyan people all of them together will be crawling out. Massive waves of people will be crawling out to rescue the people of Benghazi, who are calling out for help, asking us to rescue them. We should come to their rescue.

And I, Muammar Gaddafi, I will die for my people. With Allah's help.

Al Jazeera English has lengthy extracts from the speech.

1700 GMT: The Libya story of the afternoon is in New York, where the United Nations Security Council is debating the resolution which includes a no-fly zone.

The US has joined France, Britain, and Lebanon in pressing for timely approval, apparently changing its position not only to endorse a no-fly zone but also further measures including possible strikes against ground and sea targets to protect civilians (see 0530 GMT).

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar are reportedly offering support, but Reuters reports that the Egyptian Foreign Minister has objected to foreign intervention.

1500 GMT: According to Al Arabiya, Libyan state television is saying that the Libyan army will stop its operations on Sunday to give rebels a chance to surrender.

1225 GMT: A senior hospital official has said that 30 people have been killed and at least 80 injured since Tuesday night in fighting for the city of Ajdabiya in eastern Libya.

Libyan State TV is also claiming that the regime has re-taken Misurata. The opposition has denied the report.

1030 GMT: Al Jazeera reports that regime jets have bombed Benina airport, 10km (6 miles) south of Benghazi.

1020 GMT: Bloomberg reports that about 1000 people continued protests in Saudi Arabia’s eastern city of al-Qatif on Wednesday, defying a ban on demonstrations.

Protests in Qatif have focused on calls for reforms and releases of Shi'a detainees, but yesterday's march added chants and signs calling on the government to stay out of Bahrain.

0950 GMT: Medical sources in opposition-held Misurata say at least 80 regime fighters were killed yesterday in their attempt to take over the city.

0945 GMT: Al Wasat reports another death in Bahrain: Steven Abraham, 48, an Indian expatriate working as a security guard, was shot in the chest last night and bled to death as he could not be taken to a hospital.

0735 GMT: The New York Times describes the dispersal of a Wednesday protest in Syria by security forces.

About 200 people gathered in front of the Interior Ministry, but armed officers arrested 36, including the 10-year-old son of a political prisoner.

Amnesty International has condemned the crackdown.

0730 GMT: Two more names of those arrested in Bahrain overnight (see 0530 GMT) --- activists Abdul Wahad Hussein and Hassan Hadad.

The wife of opposition leader Ibrahim Sharif describes the raid that took him away:

About five minutes to two o'clock in the morning the doorbell rang. And when I looked from the window I saw about 40 men. All of them were putting a mask around their faces....

They rang the doorbell and we came down very quickly. They said, "You have to open the gate." We told them, "Why should we open the gate? Who are you? What do you want from us this time of night? It's not fair, 40 people of you coming here." They said, "Open the door, open the door, we will tell you, open the door."

At that time one of them, a younger one maybe 25 years old or something, he climbed over the wall, he jumped into the garden. He had a gun. He pointed a gun toward Ibrahim.

Ibrahim was very calm. He told him, "You don't have to use the gun, please put the gun down, we will talk."

At that time I came inside the house. I pushed the button and the gate was open so all of them came inside.

0715 GMT: A story from Bahrain via Nicholas Kristof:

My New York Times colleague Michael Slackman was caught by Bahrain security forces a few weeks ago. He said that they pointed shotguns at him and that he was afraid they were about to shoot when he pulled out his passport and shouted that he was an American journalist. Then, he says, the mood changed abruptly and the leader of the group came over and took Mr. Slackman’s hand, saying warmly: “Don’t worry! We love Americans!”

“We’re not after you. We’re after Shia,” the policeman added. Mr. Slackman recalls: “It sounded like they were hunting rats.”

A CNN reporter was expelled from Bahrain yesterday, Yemen has thrown out at least six foreign journalists, and four New York Times staff are missing in Libya (see Wednesday updates).

0530 GMT: For the Bahraini monarchy, the intervention of Gulf Cooperation Council forces, led by Saudi Arabia, seems to have achieved its immediate purporse.

The GCC units deployed in villages across Bahrain, while Bahrain's police carried out a short, sharp clear-out of the centre of protest, Pearl Roundabout in Manama. Amidst reports of arrests and a 4 p.m.-4 a.m. curfew around the Roundabout and the Bahrain Financial Harbour, there were few public signs of opposition overnight.

Among the opposition figures arrested were Hassan Mushaima, who had returned last month from Britain after he was one of more than 308 political prisoners pardoned by the King, Ibrahim Sharif, head of the Waad political society, a secular group comprising mostly Sunni members, and Abduljalil al-Singace, a leader of the Haq movement, who was jailed last August but was also freed by the late February pardons.

In Libya, discussion of a different foreign intervention. The distinctive --- and, for me, rather suprising overnight development was the declaration of Susan Rice, the US delegate to the United Nations, that steps "beyond a no-fly zone" were needed in the resolution being considered by the UN Security Council.

That points, for the first time, to American support for a no-fly zone, but it also indicates that other significant steps are being put forward. Diplomatic sources are saying that Rice's position, and presumably that of the Obama Administration, shifted noticeably between Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi continued his posturing in an interview, warning the international community not to intervene while pronouncing on his campaign against some armed men of Al Qa'eda.

That campaign was inconclusive on Wednesday, notably around the cities of Misurata and Ajdabiya. Libyan State TV stepped up the propaganda assault on Benghazi, the centre of the opposition, presenting an ultimatum by the army for the opposition to clear the city. An on-screen text told Benghazi residents,  "The army is coming to support you and to cleanse your city from armed gangs. "It urges you to keep out by midnight of areas where the armed men and weapon storage areas are located."

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