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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: And So Another Friday....

The Egyptian military has occupied Tahrir Square...


See Also, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protests

2016 GMT: Hundreds are arriving in Tahrir Square, as police block the gathering crowds from forming:

2012 GMT: The LCCS has this update on Daraa, an important neighborhood of Damascus city in southern Syria (sorry, a sleep-deprived moment):

Daraa: In an extremely tense situation, security forces are firing on women participating in a sit-in in Al-Hara city to demand that their detained children be released

Large demonstrations are reported across Syria. Like we said yesterday, this is the "new normal."

1740 GMT: Rebels on the eastern side of Libya lost 11 men in the last 24 hours and about 50 wounded in thr last two days. 

1735 GMT: Syrian army surrounding Huzaifa mosque in Jobar to prevent demonstrations.

See Also, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protests

1730 GMT: Al-Jazeera correspondent Zeina Khodr reports that Libyan rebels are pushing on two main fronts towards the capital and they are now 60 km away from the capital.

1725 GMT: The soldiers are surrounding the Tahrir roundabout.

1700 GMT: According to a local member of the Local Coordination Committees (LCC) opposition network, protestors in Aleppo were attacked by hundreds of pro-Assad militiamen

1634 GMT: In Hama, after almost 2 weeks of military siege, the people have taken to the streets. Though at least 1 person is reportedly killed today (see updates below), a huge crowd seems to be protesting in defiance. Al Jazeera posts this video:

1623 GMT: President Saleh, the GCC, the Saudis, and even the United States are trying to broker a deal, a transition of power, that will end the crisis in Yemen and avoid further bloodshed. How willing are the parties to negotiate? With hundreds of thousands in the streets in Yemen, one of the protests organizers gives us this indication:

Protest organizer Abdel Handi al-Azazi said that the high turnout for Friday's demonstrations sent a clear message to Saleh that "you will not return to the country whatever you do."

Al-Azazi said if Saleh does indeed return, the protest movement will push to have him put on trial.

"We want to see Saleh in cage, to be the second Arab president to be tried by his own people," he said.

1619 GMT: In Tahrir Square, Cairo, the police have now cordoned off the area and protesters seem to be leaving. In the picture below, some protesters seem to be blocking traffic, while there are reports that others are trying to talk to the police.

1615 GMT: Hundreds of thousands of protesters rallied in Yemen today, on the 27th Friday since the start of unrest there. In Sana'a, Yemen's second-largest city Taiz, Ibb, Hudaydah, Saada, Aden and Marib, the largest crowds were protesting for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down. The theme of today's protests, the people want to build a new Yemen:

"God most merciful, grant us victory in (the Muslim holy fasting month of) Ramadan," protesters chanted in Sittine Road, in a western district of the capital Sanaa.

"Revolt, revolt to all people against the tyrants," they chanted on what they have named the Friday of "achieving victory."

However, tens of thousands of Yemenis also staged a pro-Saleh demonstration in Sabiine Square, in the south of Sana'a, the nation's capital.

This picture, taken today [Reuters], shows the anti-Saleh protests in Sana'a:

One of our correspondents has noted that Saleh and his allies seem to be increasing their media presence today, and in recent days. Vice PM Alimi appeared on Yemen State TV today, and Saleh has made multiple media appearances.

1559 GMT: James Miller taking over for Ali Yenidunya, who has done a great job of covering the liveblog this morning.

In Tahrir Square, Cairo, there were only very small protests today. Approximately 100 people, mostly Sufis chanting for a civil state. While it's likely that protests were limited because they took place immediately before the breaking of the fast, it is also true that since security cleared out Tahrir Square last week there have not been large-scale protests.

Tahrir Square Today

1530: Libyan rebels say they have captured a resident area in the strategic eastern port of Brega but that troops loyal to Gaddafi are still in control of the town's oil terminal and refinery.

1515 GMT: NATO’s top Libya commander Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard said: "The Kadhafi regime’s forces continue to be weakened, both in strength and their will to fight."

1510 GMT: The Local Co-ordination Committees says that 13 people have been killed, including five in Aleppo. On the other hand, the Syrian Revolution Co-ordinators Union put the total number of deaths at 16. 

1500 GMT: Video showing two people shot dead in Sakhour district of Aleppo. 

1445 GMT: A protestor shot dead in Hama outside the Taeheed mosque. 

1440 GMT: The Guardian has posted a collection of tweets from Borzou Daragahi, a Middle East Correspondent who has been tweeting details of an interview with a resident of Hama, Alexandra Sandels, when fighting broke out day:

Witness in Deir el-Zour: "After they [protesters] exited mosques security forces rushed demos & shot live ammo." 40 injured, 3 dead, many arrests

"Private clinics all closed, hospital that treated protesters was targeted in shelling, owner arrested."

"Security forces burned shops & many bakeries so there is a lack of bread. Security looting & rioting at evening time, crash shops and take the stuff inside the stores."

1430 GMT: A security officer shooting on protestors in the Khalidiyya neighbourhood of Homs. 

1400 GMT: Protestors gathered in Hamra, a neighbourhood of Homs where at least one person was killed. They chanted: "Bashar, you are the low one. The Syrian blood is not cheap." 

1350 GMT: Yemeni protestors called for "building a new Yemen" in Sittine Road, in a western district of the capital Sanaa. They chanted: "God most merciful, grant us victory in Ramadan" and "revolt, revolt to all people against the tyrants."

1340 GMT: Tanks in front of Al-Hourani & Al-Bader Hospitals. Residents say they have been emptied already. 


1330 GMT: "We are free forever" written on the streets of Homs. 

1320 GMT: Anti-government demonstration in Lattakia.

1310 GMT: Protesters and gunfire in Aleppo, Syria.

1300 GMT: Protestors near Zean Al-Abdeen mosque in Damascus chating "we will not bow down, except to God!"

1255 GMT: Another video of demonstration from Qadam district of Damascus. 

1250 GMT: Protests started from Darkak mosque in Midan district of Damascus.

1245 GMT: French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that his country will continue NATO-led operation. He added that there was no choice but to "go to the end of the mission."

1240 GMT: Egyptian Salafi party, the Nour Party, stated that it would join its forces with other Salafi parties, Fadila and Asala, in the upcoming election. 

1235 GMT: Tunisian army patrolling fuel stations to curb the flow of smuggled gasoline into neighbouring Libya. Defence ministry official Mokhtar Ben Nasr said: "The armed forces are now conducting checks at fuel stations in the south of Tunisia, (in places) such as Tataouine and Ben Gardane and Remada, so that neither Tunisians nor Libyans can fill up with large quantities."

1230 GMT: One person was killed in the Damascus suburb of Saqba and the other in the town of Kahn Sheikhun, according to AFP.

1225 GMT: It is stated that live ammunition used by Syrian security forces against protestors after Friday prayers in the besieged city of Deir al-Zor. 

1220 GMT: Rula Amin reports that one person was killed in Hama by security forces and adds that it might be two now. 

1215 GMT: Clashes between protestors near Zein Al-Abdeen mosque in Damascus and random arrests follow. 

1210 GMT: Demonstrations in Douma after Friday prayer. 

This video has moved to a separate video entry, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protest.

1205 GMT: This video has moved to a separate video entry, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protest.

In Midan: 

This video has moved to a separate video entry, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protest.

In Qosour: 

This video has moved to a separate video entry, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protest.

In Waer: 

This video has moved to a separate video entry, Syria Video Special: Another Friday of Mass Protest.

1200 GMT: Global campaign organisation Avaaz has called on European nations to impose immediate sanctions on the purchase of Syrian oil. 

1145 GMT: People in Amouda, Syria, chanting "We will not bow down Friday!"

1140 GMT: This Friday afternoon activists in Syria and around the world try to get #SyriaBleeds trending on Twitter to raise awareness.

1135 GMT: It is reported that a demonstration has started from Dakkak mosque in Midan district demanding the execution of President Bashar Assad. 

1130 GMT: Protestors chanting "who kills his own people is a traitor" after Friday prayer in Daraa, Syria. 

1125 GMT: Anti government demonstration after Friday prayer in Daraa, Syria. 

1110 GMT: A gunmen attacked a Yemeni military patrol in the southern city of Taiz, killing a soldier.

1105 GMT: Reports coming that anti-government demonstrators gathering in the capital Sanaa, Yemen. 

11oo GMT: New photo shows Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh recovering

1055 GMT: It is reported that 16 New qualified doctors who would normally be appointed to a hospital post face discrimination in Bahrain

1050 GMT: Video of protesters resistance in Jidhafs village, Bahrain. 

1045 GMT: Regime mercenaries in Sfala village since last night and leaving the village early Friday morning.

1040 GMT: Video of Karanah village protesters resistance to the suppression by Bahraini regime mercenaries.

1035 GMT: Video of rally in Manama demanding the release of political detainees. 

1030 GMT: Video of regime mercenaries storming Aali village in Bahrain on Thursday. 

1025 GMT: Video of Mosala village rally in Bahrain on Thursday. 

1020 GMT: Confrontations between protesters and the mercenaries in Sanabis, Bahrain on Thursday. 

1015 GMT: Video of suppression of Almaameer village rally in Bahrain on Thursday.

1010 GMT: Video from Bahrain, Sanabis village protests and the right to return to the Pearl Square on Thursday.

1000 GMT: Another video of suppression in Almaameer village rally in Bahrain on Thursday. 

0800 GMT: Security forces raided towns near the Lebanese border in Syria. Tanks and troops reportedly entered Qusayr, killing 11 people.

0330 GMT: On to another Friday in the Arab Spring become Arab Summer....

Syria, where the "new normal" of rolling conflict and protest meant "only" 12 people were reportedly killed on Thursday, is likely to lead coverage --- the question will be the scale and location of the shows of resistance to the Assad regime,  after a week in which the Syrian military tried to crush opposition in cities like Deir Ez Zor in the northeast and carried out extensive operations in the northwest, even as it proclaimed a"withdrawal" of tanks and troops from Hama.

However, Yemen --- where political movement is in a near-coma even though President Saleh issued a declaration that he would now consider the Gulf Co-operaton Council plan for transition that he rejected this spring --- will also have masses on the streets in a "Friday of Victorious Awakening".

And the situation in Libya will need untangling. On Thursday, reports came in that the opposition had taken control of the oil port at Brega in north-central Libya, only for the day to end with regie forces still in control of the facililities in the west of the town. Insurgents claim they have taken residential districts at a cost of eight dead and 25 injured.







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