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Bahrain, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Another Death in Custody

2030 GMT: Claimed video of men lying down in a road to stop the advance of a tank near the Syrian coastal town of Baniyas:

2020 GMT: About 500 students demonstrated Wednesday in Aleppo, the first protest in Syria's second-largest city since the uprising began in mid-March.

A protest of 50 students took place Wednesday at Damascus University's Law Faculty. Security forces disperses both demonstrations, arresting at least four people in Aleppo.

1840 GMT: Syria's state news agency SANA says a Syrian soldier and three armed men were killed in a clash on Tuesday in thecoastal city of Baniyas: "On Tuesday morning, criminal assassins attacked security forces in Banias and tried to cut off roads by shooting indiscriminately to terrorize people, leading to the death of a number of civilians."

The army intervened, according to SANA, and a soldier was killed and two wounded. Three gunmen were killed and eight wounded. Several "saboteurs" were also arrested.

1800 GMT: The Bahraini Ambassador to the US replies to a CNN story documenting intimidation of the media, injuries, and abuses in the crackdown by the security forces:

The CNN story is unbalanced and biased against The Kingdom. Most of the story relies on only one source for its reporting, the Bahraini Center for Human Rights, an organization that has repeatedly used false information to attack The Kingdom. This organization uses inflated figures and deliberately misinterprets events of the past.

The reporter of the story took a narrow view of what is going on in our Kingdom today, and did not show the demonstrable improvements that have been occurring in Bahrain in recent weeks. Businesses and banks have reopened, students have returned to school and traffic is moving again. Bahrain has been disrupted by those agitating to overthrow the government, but it is rebounding quickly.

For CNN to not show this side of the Bahrain's recovery is unfair to the law abiding citizens of the Kingdom. We hope that CNN will next time provide balance in its reporting, instead relying on biased groups with their own agenda.

1500 GMT: The Libya Contact Group, the international coalition meeting in Qatar today, has stopped short of recognition of the opposition National Transitional Council as a government, calling it "the legitimate interlocutor, representing the aspirations of the Libyan people".

At the same time, the Contact Group supported the opposition's call for Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to step down and demanded regime forces withdraw from Libyan cities. That effectively kills off this week's mediation effort by the African Union for a cease-fire.

1330 GMT: US National Public Radio claims the Egyptian prosecutor has resumed the questioning of former President Hosni Mubarak, carrying it out by a hospital bed in Cairo after the former President's heart attack.

1320 GMT: Snapshots from today's international conference in Qatar on the Libyan crisis....

The headline message of the conference is of a race against time in the effort for humanitarian aid to alleviate the suffering of civilians. However, the further story is of division over the military effort.

British and French ministers pressured other NATO members to reinforce ground attacks, following a pre-conference call by Italy to give weapons to the opposition, but Belgium ruled out boosting air attacks or arming Libyan insurgents.

1310 GMT: Alla Mahmood, the spokesman for the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, has told CNN that former President Hosni Mubarak was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Cairo today. Mubarak, who suffered a heart attack, is reportedly in "unstable" condition.

1300 GMT: The Wall Street Journal claims:

A team led by a Libyan-American telecom executive has helped rebels hijack Col. Moammar Gadhafi's cellphone network and re-establish their own communications.

The new network, first plotted on an airplane napkin and assembled with the help of oil-rich Arab nations, is giving more than two million Libyans their first connections to each other and the outside world after Col. Gadhafi cut off their telephone and Internet service about a month ago.

1020 GMT: The latest on violence in Yemen today....

At least five people have been killed in the capital Sanaa in fights between regime forces and troops loyal to the defected army general Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

Two protesters have been slain by security forces in Aden.

1010 GMT: Houda Nonoo, Bahrain's Ambassador to the US, makes an appeal via the website The Hill:

Our relationship with the United States is one of our most important, and we believe that it must be based not only on shared security interests, but also on shared values and aspirations. Our emerging democracy may never look like American democracy, but the United States is our great example as we fashion our own system.

Our greatest aspiration is for all of our citizens to believe that their government represents them--that they can realize their ambitions and gain redress for their grievances as Bahraini citizens equal before the law.

0935 GMT: Activists report that hundreds of Syrian women have protested the mass arrests of men in Baida, the village near Baniyas in the northeast, where there were clashes on Tuesday.

0750 GMT: Medics and witnesses say the Yemeni army have killed one anti-regime protester and wounded four in clashes in the southern city of Aden today.

The army opened fire on anti-regime protesters who were trying to block roads in the city, in an attempt to implement a general strike which they have vowed will take place every Saturday and Wednesday, the sources said.

0745 GMT: The Committee to Protect Journalists has called on Bahraini authorities to launch an immediate and thorough investigation into the death of blogger Zakariya Rashid Hassan al-Ashiri, he was in state custody.

Al-Ashiri, who moderated and wrote for a website covering news in his village of al-Dair, died on Saturday. He had been arrested on 2 April, charged with disseminating false news and inciting hatred.

Bahraini authorities claimed that al-Ashiri died from complications of sickle cell anemia.

0710 GMT: Jon Irvine of Britain's ITV News reports from inside the embattled city of Misurata in Libya:

0700 GMT: Clifford Krauss of The New York Times adds yet another account of how health care in Bahrain has been affected by the crackdown of the security forces:

At least a dozen doctors and nurses have been arrested and held prisoner during the last month, and more paramedics and ambulance drivers are missing. Ambulances have been blocked from aiding wounded patients, according to health care workers and human rights advocates.

Meanwhile, the security forces, manning roadblocks around the country, inspect drivers and their passengers for birdshot wounds --- the most common injury to demonstrators confronted by security forces --- and those with the telltale black bruises are seized and detained.

0640 GMT: Human Rights Watch has asserted that the body of Ali Isa Saqer, a protester who died in custody after he was arrested in Bahrain, showed signs of "horrific abuse" and torture.

A member of Human Rights Watch who saw Saqer's corpse on Sunday reported:

His body showed signs of severe physical abuse. The left side of his face showed a large patch of bluish skin with a reddish-purple area near his left temple and a two-inch cut to the left of his eye. Lash marks crisscrossed his back, some reaching to his front right side. Blue bruises covered much of the back of his calves, thighs, and buttocks, as well as his right elbow and hip. The tops of his feet were blackened, and lacerations marked his ankles and wrists.

Saqer, 31, died at a detention center in early April after he was held on charges of attempted murder of policemen by trying to run them over with his car. At least three other people, including the emerging case of businessmen Kareem Fakhrawi (see 0500 GMT), have reportedly died in custody in recent days.

The Bahraini authorities have responded fiercely to the claims of torture of Saqer, threatening activist Najeel Rajab with prosecution for "fabricating" photographs of the detainee's body.

0550 GMT: On Tuesday, regime artillery continued to pound Misurata, Libya's third-largest city, and shelled targets in Zintan in the northwest and Ajdabiya in the east.

Insurgents said they had repelled two offensives in Misurata.

0545 GMT: Witnesses say Syrian security forces fired upon people in the village of Baida, near the northeastern coastal town of Baniyas, on Tuesday.

One person was reportedly injured.

The Syrian military has locked down Baniyas after weekend protests and clashes, including the reported killing of four demonstrators and the ambush of a Syrian military unit by unidentified gunmen, leaving two Lieutenant Colonels and 10 military personnel dead. About 200 residents have been arrested so far.

0535 GMT: News is breaking that Egyptian authorities have announced 15-day detention orders for former President Hosni Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal as they are investigated on charges of corruption.

On Wednesday, it was reported that Mubarak had suffered a heart attack and had been taken to hospital in Sharm el Sheikh, the Egyptian resort where he has stayed since his fall from power on 11 February. There were conflicting reports over whether the heart seizure occurred as Mubarak was being questioned by prosecutors.

0515 GMT: Qatar has confirmed delivery of four shipments of oil products to the opposition-held city of Benghazi in Libya. THe Gulf state also confirmed that it is marketing Libyan crude oil and buying fuel on behalf of the insurgents.

An official source at Qatar's Ministry of Energy and Industry said one million barrels of Libyan crude oil had been put on the market so far.

The US State Department expresses support, saying the Libyan opposition needed funds to operate.

0505 GMT: While attention in the last week has focused on the demonstrations and clashes in Tahrir Square in Cairo, there have been protests across Egypt.

On Tuesday, strikes and demonstrations included a protest by about 350 butane gas cylinder distributors in front of the Ministry of Social Solidarity in the city of Talkh. In Cairo, 200 Tax Authority employees demanded better salaries and bonuses. Another 45 people staged demonstrations before the office of the Justice Minister, demanding the implementation of court rulings ordering their appointments to the ministry.

In Alexandria, 30 temporary teachers protested before the Ministry of Education forpermanent contracts. In Gharbiya, 1200 workers from the Financial and Industrial Company sought better wages and incentives, and 350 workers of the Chipsy Company in Monufiya carried out a similar protest.

In Beheira, 100 students of the Nursing Institute presented complaints, and in Ismailia, residents of the Mahsama village protested against the local council’s decision to close a bakery in the village that served 1500 residents.

Perhaps the most unusual protest came in Assiut, where workers of the Spinning and Weaving Factory refused to deliver the factory to its new buyer, a conglomerate of private banks that had obtained permission from former Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif.

0500 GMT: We start today in Bahrain where another person has reportedly died in police custody, the fourth case in recent days.

Al Jazeera English claims from sources that Kareem Fakhrawi, a member of the opposition group Wafaq, died in police custody a week after he was detained in a police station, where he had tried to complain about his house being demolished by security forces.

Wefaq claims that, with the arrests of three Shia Muslim doctors and several staff from the Education Ministry, the total number of detainees to 453.

Bahraini authorities have not admitted Fakhrawi's death. In two other cases, it has said detainees died from sickle cell anemia. The regime says it has released 86 people held under martial law and "legal measures" are being taken against other detainees.

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