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Egypt, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Dramas with State Security --- Continued

2050 GMT: Two claimed videos from Az Zintan, 160 km (100 miles) southwest of Tripoli, where the opposition says it attacked regime forces on the outskirts of the city: the first is of questioning of captured Qaddafi troops, the second is a brief clip of the pre-1969 flag flying over the town:

2040 GMT: A video from last night at the pro-democracy sit-in outside Sanaa University in Yemen:

1930 GMT: Riot police in Yemen have fired warning shots and used batons to disperse prisoners in the central jail in the capital Sanaa after they called for the downfall of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The inmates chanted, "The people want to overthrow the regime."

1925 GMT: Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa has said the US, Britain and France are engaged in "a conspiracy to divide Libya" by contacting rebel groups.

1715 GMT: Tunisia's Ministry of Interior has announced that it is dissolving the State Security Department, widely accused of committing human rights abuses during the rule of the ousted President Ben Ali.

The announcement comes soon after interim Prime Minister Caid Essebsi made ministerial changes, with the new government free of members with ties to Ben Ali.

The Ministry of Interior said its move was a "definitive break with any form of organisation resembling the political police at the level of structure, mission or practice....These practical measures are in harmony with the values of the revolution, in the wish to respect the law, in word and deed, and in consecrating the climate of confidence and transparency in the relationship between the security services and the citizen."

1630 GMT: Al Jazeera English's Ayman Mohyeldin reports that Egypt's Prosecutor General has ordered the arrest of 47 state security officers for their involvement in destruction of documents.

Over the weekend, protesters laid siege to State Security Headquarters because of their suspicion that documents were being destroyed to cover up evidence of abuses during the regime of ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

Ekram Ibrahim, writing for Ahram Online, gives a first-hand account of the protests, met by violence from the Army and "thugs", last night at the State Security Headquarters in Lazoughly Square in Cairo.

1610 GMT: Back from an academic break to catch up with latest developments in Libya....

The most substantial fighting seems to be in Zawiyah, 55 km (35 miles) west of Tripoli, in the fourth day of the regime offensive to retake the city. An opposition activist reports an other attack by regime tanks and artillery shelling of the buildings overlooking Martyrs Square. The activist says, however, that young opposition fighters are returning to the square to hold it.

In Tripoli, according to BBC Arabic's Abdel Rahim al-Farsi, "The situation seems to be normal. Checkpoints have been removed, the shops are open, and there is no army presence on the streets."

In north-central Libya. The ports at opposition-held Brega and Ras Lanouf have been closed because of fighting in the area. Al Jazeera is reporting three killed in a regime airstrike on Ras Lanouf.

A doctor has said 21 people, including a child, were killed and dozens wounded in the opposition-held city of Misurata, 210 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli, during the regime assault on Sunday.

In Britain, Foreign Secretary William Hague has given a lengthy statement on Libya, including comments on the weekend headlines of the detention by the opposition of eight special forces (SAS) and a "junior diplomat". Hague said they were withdrawn after a "serious misunderstanding about their role" which led to the detention.

Of more substance may be the revelation, from a British diplomat, that Britain and France have drawn up elements of a UN resolution authorising a no-fly zone over Libya. The diplomat said this was contingency planning, and there are no current plans to table the resolution or launch negotiations.

1045 GMT: In Bahrain, protesters have gathered outside the US Embassy in Manama, criticising Washington for showing less support for the campaign for change in Bahrain than it gave to uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty says "hundreds" were present; an Al Jazeera English correspondent claims only a "few dozen" attended.

1035 GMT: In an interview with France 24, Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi says international media have been spreading lies about the situation in the country. He has also declared that Libya is playing a vital role in keeping sub-Saharan Africans from entering Europe illegally.

1030 GMT: Al Jazeera reports that the opposition-held Ras Lanuf is under attack by Grad missiles. In Bin Jawad, reportedly re-captured by the regime, seven people have been killed and 50 injured.

1000 GMT: Insurgents in Az Zintan, 160 km (100 miles) southwest of Tripoli, attacked regime forces on the outskirts of the city yesterday and arrested 10 of them, eyewitnesses said. The leader of the regime brigade, a colonel, is reportedly in hospital with severe wounds.

0955 GMT: In Turkey, a court has charged seven journalists with involvement in an alleged plot to overthrow the Government of Recep Tayyip Erodgan.

0900 GMT: Following up on the news that Saudi Arabia's authorities have banned all demonstrations, video of Friday's protest in Riyadh:

0815 GMT: Al Jazeera English correspondents are reporting, without details, that regime forces have counter-attacked in north-central Libya, taking back Bin Jawad --- which had fallen to the opposition on Saturday --- and challenging the opposition in Ras Lanuf to the east.

AFP quotes one opposition fighter, "We retreated from Bin Jawad. Ras Lanuf will be our line of defence."

0805 GMT: Bahrain's Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has warned demonstrators, "These rallies must not infringe upon the freedoms of other people. This is a basic principle. I urge all parties not to escalate matters or to slide into sensationalism. Some people do want this to happen, so we have to be fully committed and to speak out bravely against it."

The Crown Prince said, ""I hope that everyone will be brave, patient and optimistic and motivated to engage actively in the dialogue."

0715 GMT: A member of the opposition's city council in Misurata, 210 km (130 miles) east of Tripoli, just gave the BBC a vivid account of the fighting in the city from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. local time on Sunday.

The opposition activist said the regime sent in seven tanks and 25 machine guns, who reached the central square. They were repulsed by insurgents with rocket-propelled grenades, mortars, and Kalashnikov rifles.

Asked if the opposition could hold out against a larger regime assault, the activist was blunt: "Not indefinitely."

Yesterday, standing outside a courthouse, a resident gave a more upbeat account of "jubilation" and celebration after the regime's assault was turned back:

0500 GMT: The two big stories that opened yesterday continue to hold centre stage.

In Libya, the headline is another appearance by Muammar Qaddafi above Tripoli's Green Square, but that is only a side not to a military conflict which dissolved in skirmishes, propaganda, and uncertainty. Despite all of the regime's efforts to portray advances, it appears that the opposition has held out in Bin Jawad, Misurata, and even Zawiyeh, its vulnerable front-line city just west of Tripoli. 

So the outcome --- so far --- is that the insurgency advanced across the north of Libya over the weekend but is under repeated attack closer to the capital. That points, along with the regime's pronouncement of support through the Qaddafi appearance and supportive rallies through out Tripoli, to the "settling in" of unsettled conflict between the two camps.

In Egypt, demonstrators' sieges upon State Security Headquarters took a violent turn last night when the protesters were met by gunfire and beatings from the military. The situation this morning is still far from clear, but the immediate question is whether the Army, and beyond it the Supreme Military Council running the country, has decided that it has to draw a line: no more entries into Headquarters by protesters, allowing them to have free rein with the shredded documents and those that remain intact.

Beyond these two stories:

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters maintained pressure in Bahrain with a march to the gates of the Ministers' Council.

The Saudi Arabian authorities tried to check any surge of protest by declaring demonstrations, including plans for a "Day of Rage" on Friday, illegal.

Going unnoticed by most media: rallies of thousands in Lebanon and Morocco calling for reforms.

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