Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Yemen, Syria, Egypt (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Battle Resumed

2110 GMT: Protest in Homs in Syria in memory of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khateeb (see 1625 GMT):

2105 GMT: Refuting earlier reports, Yemeni opposition tribal leader Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar has said that no truce has been reached between his tribe and President Saleh's forces.

1850 GMT: Bloomberg reports on the economic situation in Yemen:

Shortages of cooking gas and petrol are being reported across the country, and cars are often turned away as they try to refuel. The shelves at local supermarkets are increasingly barren, with basic food items marketed up amid low stock.

The price of a 50 kilogram (110 pound) sack of sugar jumped 22 percent to 11,000 rials ($51.50) at [a] local grocery store since the protests escalated in February.

1640 GMT: Sources have told Al Jazeera that secret channels are being opened between the Libyan regime and the British Government for talks about a cease-fire.

Abdelati al-Obeidi, the Acting Foreign Minister, admitted to Al Jazeera's James Bays that he had flown to the southern Tunisian town of Djerba "for talks which have been taking place with British officials".

Boys quoted al-Obeidi, "We want to end this war and we want to end soon."

A spokeswomen for Britain's Foreign Office said there had been no talks with British diplomats --- talks had been with British citizens who "were not civil servants and not diplomats".

1625 GMT: An activist reports that the father of 13-year-old Hamza al-Khateeb, whose mutilated corpse was brought to his family yesterday, has been detained.

Hamza's mother aid secret police officers had demanded that her husband tell State media that his son was killed by armed Salafists (conservative Sunni Muslims), blamed by the Assad regime for the uprising.

The video of Hamza's body, which quickly spread across the Internet, has been fuelling further protests in Syria.

1615 GMT: Mareb Press reports that gunfire resumed again in the Hasaba district of the Yemeni capital Sana'a a few minutes before the end of a 24-hour cease-fire.

Minister of Trade Hisham Sharaf Abdalla said the political crisis has cost the economy as much as $5 billion and immediate aid is needed to prevent a meltdown: "The economy should not be held hostage to the political crisis, because the situation is alarming."

<1600 GMT: A funeral for a protester in Erbeen in Syria today:

1410 GMT: The Syrian National Organization for Human Rights has raised the death toll in Friday's protests to 12.

Claimed that security forces shot the demonstrators, the organisation said, "The authorities are still pursuing the calculated course of using excessive violence and live ammunition to confront mass demonstrations."

State television said nine police and civilians were killed by "armed groups" on Friday.

1240 GMT: Al Masry al-Youm offers revelations from files of the investigation into former president Hosni Mubarak and his sons Alaa and Gamal.

Hosni Mubarak said he knew only that policemen and "thugs" were killed during the protests from January. His source, he insisted, was the reports of former Minister of Interior Habib El Adly.

Mubarak said he did not watch television during the uprising but followed news agencies, which only reported the deaths of police and thugs. Mubarak said he met with El Adly and several officials on 25 January, the day the uprising began, and asked them to exercise self-control in dealing with the protests and to inform him of developments as they happened.

On another matter, Mubarak --- rejecting an accusation that he was given a villa in exchange for allocating pieces of land to a prominent supporter --- said he purchased the villa with his own money, paying LE500,000 ($84,000).The real value of the villa at the time was LE24.5 million ($4.11 million), according to an expert from the Ministry of Justice.

Sources said Mubarak broke into tears three times during questioning, and the sessions were paused so he could recover.

Mubarak has gotten a bit of support from the testimony, by Vice President Omar Suleiman, that the President did instruct El Adly to exercise self-control and not use violence against protesters. However, Suleiman added, Mubarak did not reject El Adly's suggestion to cut off the Internet (see 1225 GMT).

El Adly is facing trial on the charge that he ordered security forces to fire on demonstrators.

1230 GMT: About 2000 people have demonstrated in Kuwait against the Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Mohammad Ahmad Sabah, chanting, "The people want to topple the head [of government]."

Sabah has refused to be questioned in Parliament over charges of misusing public funds.

Demonstrators, escorted by hundreds of police in riot gear, marched on the National Assembly on Friday night with banners, "The youth want reform of the regime” and "Youths want the closure of corrupt channels”.

Some protesters called for a popularly-elected head of government, rather than another prime minister from the ruling Sabah family. At the same time, they made clear that they were not demonstrating against the Emir or the ruling family.

1225 GMT: Reuters reports that an Egyptian court has fined former President Mubarak and his officials $90 million for cutting off mobile phones and the Internet in January at the start of the uprising against the regime.

1150 GMT: The Yemen Post reports that opposition forces in Abyan Province now control the area around Zinjibar on the southern coast, as regime troops evacuate.

1002 GMT: Claimed footage of tens of thousands of protesters in a central square in Hama in Syria yesterday:

1000 GMT: Reuters and CNN have reported "one big boom" in a daytime strike by NATO on the Libyan capital Tripoli this morning but no further details have been provided.

0915 GMT: Egypt has reopened its Rafah border with the Gaza Strip, allowing people to cross freely for the first time in four years. Two ambulances with patients and a minibus with 12 visitors were among the first vehicles to cross.

All women and children under 18, and men over 40 from Gaza can move freely. Men between the ages of 18 and 40 years will require an Egyptian visa, issued by authorities in Ramallah.

0910 GMT: Another clip of Friday protest in Syria, this one from the Qaboun suburb of Damascus:

See also Syria Video Special: The Friday Protests --- Set 1 and Set 2

0520 GMT: A series of reports on Friday that pointed to renewal of conflicts but with no clear sign of what will happen next....

In Yemen, shelling resumed last night, hours after an opposition tribal leader had declared a unilateral cease-fire. Earlier on Friday, the tribes fighting President Saleh had seized two Republican Guard outposts 100 kilometres (60 miles) outside the capital Sana'a, but were met by bombs from the regime's air force.

Meanwhile, peaceful marches demanding Saleh's resignation continued in the capital and beyond. This photograph is from the northwestern town of Saada, with the placards, "Leave with all your corruption!"  and "A trial ....a trial, we will not accept bargaining":

Photo: Reuters

In Syria, videos testified to another Friday of defiance, with protests throughout the country. Clashes were not as intense as previous weeks, although eight people reportedly died from the gunfire of security forces.

In Egypt, tens of thousands of people --- some witnesses claimed more than 100,000 in Cairo's Tahrir Square alone --- rallied to protest the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, to demand justice over former President Hosni Mubarak, his family, and allies, and to call for civil society.

In Libya, there was no advance on the political front, even though Russia President Dmitri Medvedev joined the calls for Muammar Qaddafi to step down. Instead, NATO carried out overnight strikes on Tripoli, and fighting continued in the western mountains and outside opposition-held Misurata.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« The Latest from Iran (28 May): Ahmadinejad on the Ropes | Main | Sudan Feature: Falling Apart on the Border in Abyei (Fick) »

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>