Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Coalition Attacks

Footage from Britain's Channel 4 of the aftermath of coalition airstrikes on Libya

2210 GMT: We're going on an overnight break. Coverage continues via the Live Feed from Al Jazeera English.

2145 GMT: Little confirmed information tonight, but several blasts have rocked the Libyan capital Tripoli, with a plume of smoke seen from the direction of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's home in the Bab el-Aziziya compound in a south Tripoli suburb.

1920 GMT: Latest from Libya....

There was a spate of fire from anti-aircraft guns, apparently from nervous troops expecting airstrikes, in Tripoli. The capital is now quiet.

The Libyan military spokesman announced a new ceasefire for 9 p.m. local time (1900 GMT).

An Italian tugboat has been escorted out of port by officials of the Libyan port authority and military. The 11-member crew had been detained this weekend.

Yemen Analysis: Bracing for a Massacre
Libya Video: The Last Broadcast of Mohammed Nabbous --- The Message from His Widow
Latest on Libya: Live Feed from Al Jazeera English
Libya Fighting and a No-Fly Zone: Scott Lucas on the BBC
Libya Video: Libya Alhurra's Mohamed Nabbous "We Want Our Freedom" (19 February)
Libya, Yemen, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: No Cease-Fires

1810 GMT: Embattled Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has dismissed his entire Cabinet. No further details were given in the statement.

Saleh's action comes after senior clergy and the leader of his own tribe, the most powerful in Yemen, asked that he step down (see 1010 GMT).

1725 GMT: The French Ministry of Defense says four Qatari warplanes have flown missions over Libya. Earlier 15 French planes overflew the country without incident.

1720 GMT: A striking image of the coalition airstrike in Libya, taken by Goran Tomasevic of Reuters:

1715 GMT: Two journalists working for AFP, Dave Clark and photographer Roberto Schmidt, and a photographer for Getty, Joe Raedel, are missing in Libya.

The three went missing Saturday morning while working near the eastern city of Tobruk, not far from the border with Egypt.

1710 GMT: Claimed footage of the protest in Daraa in southern Syria, the third day in a row that demonstrators have gathered despite the threat of gunfire --- three protesters were killed on Friday and one reportedly died today:

1700 GMT: A video has been posted of Yemen's Attorney General appearing in "Courtyard of Change" outside Sanaa University and listening to young demonstrators.

"Tens of thousands" turned out at the square earlier today for the funerals of about 30 protesters who were killed on Friday. The bodies were laid out in rows as mourners gathered despite tight security and a state of emergency.

1627 GMT: Musings on Iraq offers a detailed post on Baghdad's clampdown on recent protests.

1625 GMT: A diplomatic source says Bahrain has expelled the Iranian Charge d'Affaires. Tehran's ambassador had already left the country.

Bahraini officials have accused Iran of fomenting unrest, while Tehran has criticised the Bahraini regime's suppression and killing of protesters.

1615 GMT: YouTube audio has been posted from an eyewitness in Darra, in southern Syria, saying four people have been killed today but 10,000 are still demonstrating. He claims pictures of leader Bashar al-Assad have been defaced.

1605 GMT: Foreign Minister Franco Frattini has confirmed that the 11-member crew of an Italian tugboat has been seized by armed men in Tripoli: "We cannot exclude a kidnapping."

1510 GMT: Bahrain's opposition Wefaq Party says that Abdulrusul Hassan Ali Hajair, detained on Friday, has died in custody.

1505 GMT: Gregory Johnsen, whose analysis of Yemen is featured in a separate entry, offers a list of the dozens of Yemeni officials who have resigned, including three Ministers, 14 MPs, and two Ambassadors.

1500 GMT: An activist in Yemen, who says that today's crowd at mass funerals in Sanaa was "the biggest I've ever seen", adds, "The wall used to trap protesters in Friday's attack has been destroyed and replaced by protesters with a memorial to the dead."

1455 GMT: Residents say one person has been killed by security forces during today's protests in Daraa in southern Syria (see 1430 GMT).

1440 GMT: The symbolic monument at Pearl Roundabout in Manama in Bahrain, destroyed by the regime on Friday:

1435 GMT: Reports have been arriving that thousands continue to protest in Daraa in southern Syria, where three demonstrators were killed on Friday. Security forces have reportedly responded with live ammunition and tear gas. AFP is saying 60 people are injured.

There are also claims of protests in Damascus and Hama.

1430 GMT: As thousands turned out in Sanaa today for the funerals of protesters killed on Friday by security forces, Yemen's representative to the United Nations, Abdullah Alsaidi, has resigned.

1415 GMT: Reuters reports that Russia has called on Britain, France, and the US to "stop the non-selective use of force" against Libya.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has said that, despite its opposition to coalition action, it make the necessary and appropriate contribution to implementation of a no-fly zone and measures to protect civilians: "Within that framework the necessary preparations and studies are being made by civil and military authorities in co-ordination."

The outgoing Secretary-General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, has criticised over the coalition airstrikes: ""We requested only that a no-fly zone be set up to protect Libyan civilians."

Moussa was in the meeting yesterday of coalition partners when planned military operations was discussed.

The Arab League had offered its political support for the no-fly zone last week, just before Thursday night's UN resolution for the zone and "all necessary actions" to protect civilians.

1410 GMT: Back from a break to find the latest on Libya....

Witnesses said regime forces made an incursion into the centre of opposition-held Misurata, 210 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli, with three tanks. They claimed one of the tanks was destroyed. Artillery and cannon fire into Misurata was also reported, and the port is said to be surrounded by the regime's ships.

A CNN reporter has reported from the scene that a military convoy near Benghazi in eastern Libya was destroyed by multiple airstrikes, leaving charred bodies, tanks, and trucks. Chris McGreal of The Guardian adds that Qaddafi's troops "appear to have died as they slept" in the 4 a.m. (0200 GMT) airstrike.

1055 GMT: In Yemen, Minister of Human Rights Huda al-Baan has resigned after Friday's killing of 52 protesters by security forces.

1035 GMT: Reports indicate a new regime attack on Misurata, Libya's third-largest city, has been launched. One witness says, "They are shooting anything that moves."

1025 GMT: AFP says 94 people were killed on Saturday in the regime assault on opposition-held Benghazi.

1010 GMT: A mass funeral is currently underway in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, for some of the 52 protesters killed on Friday.

Meanwhile, several religious leaders --- including Sheik Sadiq al-Ahmar, the leader of Hashed, Yemen's most powerful tribe --- have issued a statement asking President Ali Abdullah Saleh to respond to the people's demand and leave peacefully.

Saleh is a member of the Hashed tribe.

1005 GMT: Dozens of Saudi men gathered outside the Ministry of Interior in Riyadh on Sunday, despite heavy police presence, to demand the release of jailed relative.

An activist said about 15 were taken away by police vehicles. The Saudi regime has banned public protests. There were at least 50 police cars surrounding the ministry.

0940 GMT: Qaddafi said the Libyan people were ready for a "long, drawn-out war" and invoked the US intervention in Somalia in 1992-93: "Do you remember what happened? The Americans ran away."

0935 GMT: Back from a break to hear the voice of Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi on State TV, carrying the picture of the statue of a giant hand crushing a US warplane.

Qaddafi has called the coalition attacks "terrorism", telling Europe and the US, ""You are just barbaric...a new Cold War against Islam." He said, "We will defend our land from foreign enemies bent on exploitation," and asserted that all Libyans had been armed to repel the assault.

Qaddafi continued, "Who are you? We are stronger than you. You are the new Hitler." He declared, "Libyan people will win and this Christian crusade will be defeated. [Opposition-held] Benghazi won't allow traitors....If the men are killed, then the women will take over. They will hold the green flag high."

0845 GMT: Bahrain's "official" opposition groups have eased their conditions for talks with the regime.

Led by the largest Shi'a opposition party, Wefaq, the groups issued a statement on Saturday night calling for the freeing of detainees, an end to the crackdown, and the withdrawal of troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council states. This would "prepare a healthy atmosphere for the start of political dialogue between the opposition and the government on a basis that can put our country on the track to real democracy and away from the abyss".

The groups withdrew conditions such as the creation of a new government which was not dominated by the monarchy and the establishment of a special elected council to redraft Bahrain's Constitution.

0835 GMT: A Reuters correspondent reports burned military vehicles lining the Benghazi-Ajdabiya road in east Libya after Western air strikes on the regime's forces.

0810 GMT: Nabeel Rajab of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights said that he was handcuffed, blindfolded, and beaten during a two-hour detention today.

Rajab said about 25 people in about a dozen cars pulled up to his house early Sunday morning and took him to the offices of the Interior Ministry's Investigative Department.

"They said that they were looking for a suspect who was armed and thought I might know him," Rajab said. "They beat me, punched me, kicked me, handcuffed me. Blindfolded me."

0800 GMT: Video from Benghazi points to the intensity of the fight, as insurgents show dead regime fighters in their jeeps (Warning: Graphic):

0630 GMT: France 24 Arabic reports the Libyan regime has asked for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

0620 GMT: A woman with the Libyan opposition fires her AK-47 on hearing that Qaddafi forces have pulled back from their attack on insurgent-held Benghazi:

0600 GMT: Last night the air forces and navies of the US, France, and Britain launched a series of strikes on the air defences and military installations of the Libyan regime. The coalition began with French aerial attacks on four regime tanks and continued with a wave of 110 cruise missiles against regime anti-aircraft positions, airbases, and fuel and ammunition depots.

The USS Barry launches a Tomahawk cruise missile

American CBS News is reporting that three US B-2 "Stealth" bombers dropped 40 bombs on a regime airfield.

Libyan State TV has shown pictures of injured patients, claiming 48 civilians have been killed and 150 wounded by the coalition.

In contrast to the tumult around Tripoli, opposition-held Benghazi is "remarkably quiet", according to an Al Jazeera English correspondent. At this time Saturday morning, the regime was launching a furious assault to try and claim parts of the city, killing more than 30 civilians including the journalist Mohammed Nabbous, but this was finally repelled. Now the coalition intervention has changed, for the moment, the balance of the fighting.

There is some disapproval of the coalition action. China has "expressed regret," the African Union has called for an "immediate halt," and Russia has "reacted with regret". Moscow said the UN Security Council resolution on Libya, which authorised "all necessary measures" to protect civilians against regime attacks,  was "hastily adopted".

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Iran Video: President Obama's Message for Iranian New Year | Main | The Latest from Iran (20 March): Anticipating a Happy Nowruz »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>