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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Battle for Sirte

2015 GMT: Niger's Minister of Justice has said that former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's son Saadi entered the country on Saturday.

"He was in a convoy of nine people. They were intercepted heading in the direction of [the northern Niger town of] Agadez." Marou Adamou told a news conference. Two other convoys of Qaddafi loyalists have entered the town, which lies to the south of Libya, in the past week.

"We were not informed of their arrival," said Adamou. He said he expected the Qaddafi group to be transferred to the capital Niamey on Monday or Tuesday.

2010 GMT: A protest in Idlib in northwest Syria tonight:

Qorieh in the northeast:

Amuda in the northeast:

And a large protest in Jarjanaz in the northwest earlier today:

1955 GMT: The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claims prominent rights campaigner Najati Tayara is in a "very bad" health condition after he was "severely" beaten at a Homs prison.

The Observatory claimed Tayara has been moved to the military intelligence division in Damascus.

Tayara, 66, was arrested in Homs on 12 May, a day after he reported that shelling and gunfire had rocked Syria's third-largest city. Authorities said he was referred to court on charges of "harming the prestige of the state", asserting that he was released from Homs central prison on August 31 but later arrested by intelligence officials.

1950 GMT: Bouzaid Dorda, a former prime minister who ran the external intelligence agency of the Qaddafi regime, is reportedly being held in Tripoli by a group of about 20 fighters and will be turned over to Libya's National Transitional Council.

Responding to an assertion by a fighter that he had killed people, Dorda replied, "Prove it." He continued, "I am innocent until proven guilty. I am willing to be referred to the Libyan prosecutor general You have to remember it was a regime already in existence."

1945 GMT: Egyptian security officers have raided the offices of a company that provided facilities to Al Jazeera and detained some of its staff.

State news agency MENA said the authorities shut down Unique Media Production, which sublets its premises to various satellite channels including Al Jazeera Mubasher (Live), because it did not have a proper license.

1925 GMT: Forces of Libya's National Transitional Council claim they have seized control of the northern half of Bani Walid and are fighting Qaddafi loyalists in the town centre.

The Qaddafi troops had forced the NTC's fighters to retreat Saturday amid rocket and mortar fire.

1920 GMT: Activists and witnesses claim Syrian forces have detained at least 420 people --- 250 in Jeeza, 40 in Museifra, 50 in Busra al-Harir, and 30 in Naimeh --- in the last 48 hours.

Video of a women's demonstration in Idlib in northwestern Syria:

A protest in Binnish in the northwest:

And a funeral procession in Homs:

0920 GMT: Footage of a large rally in Rastan in Syria last night:

0600 GMT: First this morning to Sirte, the hometown of former Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi, as fighters of the new Government begin their assault after the expiry of a deadline for Qaddafi loyalists to surrender:

Meanwhile, the head of Libya's National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdul Jalil, has flown to Tripoli for the first time since the fall of the Qaddafi regime. He was greeted by hundreds of cheering, flag-waving supporters.

A quieter day in Syria on Saturday, but there were some night protests --- first, Palmyra in the centre:

Anadan in Aleppo Province:

In Israel, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has pulled back from his provocative remarks earlier this week promising a confrontation with Turkey amidst tense relations between the two countries. Lieberman said Israel is not interested in a conflict and will continue to be guided by international law, although it is not ready "to wave a white flag" before Ankara.

Lieberman evaded questions about a report on Friday that he is planning a series of measures including a warning to Israelis travelling to Turkey, co-operation with Armenians and the US Armenian lobby on the issue of Turkey's mass killing of Armenians in the early 20th century and the Turkish-Armenian dispute over Mount Ararat, and support for the Turkish Kurdish insurgency PKK.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had distanced itself from the report, "The Prime Minister and the Government have discussed what to do in the event of an escalation, however a decision will be made only in the event that it is necessary. Israel acted and is acting responsibly and hopes that Turkey will do the same."

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