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Wednesday
Sep142011

Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Protests, Funerals, and Burning Flags

2135 GMT: Earlier tonight, James Miller --- from a first-hand source in Bahrain --- reported on the death of Sayed Jawad from inhalation of tear gas fired by security forces (see 2011 and 2052 GMT).

Well, not according to the regime --- this is the full statement just released by the Bahrain News Agency:

A thirty-five year old Bahraini sickle cell patient has today passed away at Salmaniya Medical Complex.

“Sayyed Jawad Ahmed, from Sitra, died at 6.45 pm after suffering Acute Respiratory Syndrome Distress”, Health Ministry Public Relations director said.

2130 GMT: The pointed message from protesters in Homs tonight: "Where is Nabil Al-Arabi [Arab League Secretary-General]?", "Where is the Russian President?", "Where are the Arabs?"

In Anadan in Aleppo Province, the crowd chants,"Syria wants freedom":

2052 GMT: Our source in Bahrain sends us another message describing the tense situation in Sitra, tonight:

[Protesters are] up on their houses roofs chanting Allah Akbar "God us the Greatest." Personally, I had difficulty getting back to my home because all of Sitra's main roads are blocked by police.

[As we reported] a man was killed after inhaling too much tear gas. He was taken to the hospital today and passed away :(

There's only one person killed today, the other was a 12 year old kid who was hit by a police jeep, but he still live, eye witnesses thought he passed away because of his critical condition, but he still alive.

The 14FEB youth are determined to go back to the pearl roundabout, where it was the center for the revolution until the last crackdown in March. Below is a short video to promote the return:

2011 GMT: A source sends us this message from Bahrain:

"Situation is Sitra is very tensed protesters are out being attacked brutally by riot police, all main roads are blocked."

1952 GMT: The following is reportedly an eye-witness account, from activist Said Yousif Almuhafdah, of the death of Sayed Jawad who was killed today by tear gas in Sitra, Bahrain. We have modified the account, rephrased and reworded it from the original Tweets to that it is easier to read in this format:

I'm at the martyr's house with the brother of Sayed Jawad who was killed.He is telling how his brother died, I'll tweet his story in the following tweets.

The 1st time the martyr got suffocated was at the last day of offering grievances for martyr Ali Jawad, and his health deteriorated. But he didn't go to the hospital, fearing that he would be arrested. He was optimistic that his health will improve, and it really did,relatively.

After 3 days, tear gas was shot near his house and he got suffocated again.

On 10 September, tear gas was shot by the door of the martyr's house, while he was there, and he got suffocated badly

He again didn't to the hospital, hoping that his health would improve and afraid that he would be arrested...

Until his health deteriorated on 13th September and he was taken to SMC hospital, where he remained for one day.

He remained [in the hospital] for 1 day, in the ICU (intensive care unit), where his blood was exchanged, but he died this evening due to suffocation from tear gas shot by riot forces [reportedly today].

1836 GMT: Activists are reporting that 2 people have been killed by tear gas canisters in Sitra, Bahrain.

The picture below is reportedly Sayed Jawad, age 35, who is reportedly the cousin of 14 year old Ali Jawad who was also killed today.

One activist tweets this:

Now beside martyrs house many ppl chanting "the ppl want the fall of the regime" and some cars honking "down down Hamad"

1806 GMT: 12 more people have been killed today in fighting between Ismalic militants and the Yemeni army near Zinjibar, only a few days after the military claimed it had liberated the city from the militants.

1800 GMT: In Libya, the Red Cross has discovered the sites of 13 mass graves in the last 3 weeks:

Workers of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) have assisted recovery of 125 bodies at 12 different sites in and around Tripoli, as well as the remains of 34 people from a site in the Nafusa mountain village of Galaa in Libya's west.

The Geneva-based aid group said it is not involved in collecting evidence that could be used in war crimes or other legal proceedings.

Human Rights Watch has discovered 34 bodies in a single grave near al-Qawalish, in the Nafusa mountains:

The pressure group said that the bodies seemed to be those of men detained by pro-Gaddafi forces in early June. HRW said the evidence suggested the detainees were executed at that time. Nine of them seemed to have been over 60. The bodies were blindfolded and had their hands tied behind their backs. "The discovery of bullet casings at the site suggests the captors shot the men with automatic gunfire before burying them in a shallow common grave," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

1718 GMT: The LCCS is reporting that an 8 year old child has been killed in Douma, Damascus, the same suburb where 12 year old Ezzat Badidi was reportedly killed 2 days ago:

Martyrdom of child Anas Rayyes, 8 years old, who was killed under torture after he was arrested at the beginning of this month in front of Abu Rahj mosque, they told his parents today that they found him killed and thrown in a sewage drain, his body is now lying in Tishreen military hospital until security forces end the negotiations with the parents to sign that the killers are unknown

1713 GMT: This video reportedly shows men and women protesting together against Syrian President Bashar al Assad in Midan, Damascus, next to the Zein Al-Abdeen mosque:

1707 GMT: According to Human Rights Watch, more people have been tried in military courts in Egypt since February, since SCAF took over, than in the previous 30 years:

“Nearly 12,000 prosecutions since February is astounding and shows how Egypt’s military rulers are undermining the transition to democracy,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The military can end these trials today – all it takes is one order to end this travesty of justice.”

1547 GMT: Another infamous former-Qaddafi official has been spotted, Libya's former intelligence chief, Abdullah Senussi:

Abdullah Senussi, a relative by marriage of Col Gaddafi, was spotted by residents in the town of Qirah, said Hassan Saghayer, an official of the national transitional council originally from the south.

“He made a public appearance,” said Mr Saghayer, a native of the town of Shati, near Qirah. “He spoke to the people of the village. He announced his presence and said he was ready to fight to the end.”

Mr Senussi is wanted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of crimes against humanity.

1537 GMT: Activists have posted a new video claiming to be a message from Adnan Bakkour, the Hama Attorney General who left the regime. In the speech that was reportedly taken yesterday, he asks for international protection for civilians:

1525 GMTL Three separate attacks have killed 19, including 1 member of Iraqi security, and left 50 wounded in Iraq today.

In the bloodiest attack Wednesday, a car bomb parked outside a restaurant where local police were having breakfast killed 15 people and wounded 41 in the southern town of al-Shumali, said Hillah hospital Dr. Zuhair al-Khafaji. Deputy governor of Babil province, Faleh al-Mahna, confirmed the toll.

Two of the dead were police, and four others were among the wounded, al-Khafaji said. The bodies and wounded victims were brought to his hospital.

The AP has posted this raw footage of the scene in al-Shumali:

1508 GMT: This video was reportedly taken today YESTERDAY in Douma, Damascus. It shows protesters chanting anti-Assad slogans at unarmed security and plain-clothed "Shabiha." Eventually, the two sides start throwing rocks at each other, and armed guards arrive on the scene. The anti-Assad chants continue, however.

It is worth noting that 12 year old Ezzat Badidi was reportedly killed in Douma 2 days ago:

1459 GMT: RAF Major General Nick Pope has this update on continued NATO operations in Libya:

Tue am: RAF aircraft conducting patrol over Sebha located former regime armoured vehicles occupying dug-in positions. 3 vehicles destroyed.

1433 GMT: According to the Local Coordinating Committees of Syria, the town of Kin Safra, near Jabel Al-Zawyeh, is being shelled by the Syrian military and nine people have been arrested. The LCCS is also reporting that the village of Kafr Awid is being raided by tanks, and heavy gunfire has been reported.

The LCCS is also reporting that 1 person, Yassin Al-Dhaer, has been killed on Muraijeh Street in the Bad Sbaa neighborhood of Homs.

1422 GMT: This video claims to show a house in Jabal Al-Zawyeh, Idlib province, northern Syria, that has been raided by Syrian military today:

1350 GMT: Fighting between Yemen's military and tribes has led to the death of 7 civilians and perhaps an additional 9 tribesmen in the town of Arhab:

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said violent clashes were ongoing in the town of Arhab, 40 km north of the capital Sanaa, between Republican Guard troops commanded by Saleh's son Ahmed, and fighters from the Bakil tribe, the most influential tribe in the country.

"Five tribesmen were killed Tuesday and another four Monday in extremely violent clashes," he said. - AP

1341 GMT: Activists had reported protests in Latamia, near Hama, and now video has surfaced showing several hundred protests chanting anit-Assad slogans:

1337 GMT: There are reports that the Syrian military has renewed its military campaign near the border with Turkey:

They said hundreds of troops, accompanied by dozens of armoured vehicles and buses carrying security forces and armed men loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, fired heavy machineguns randomly as they swept into at least 10 villages and towns in Jabal al-Zawiya from a nearby highway, after blocking off entrances to the region and cutting off communications.

1333 GMT: This video reportedly shows a funeral for a protester, Farouk Taha, today in Bab Aamr, Homs:

1309 GMT: Another hard to watch video. It reportedly shows a young boy being beaten by Syrian military personnel. They are demanding that he bow to, and kiss a picture of, Bashar al Assad. The boy repeatedly says no, then spits on the picture, and the beating intensifies.

1258 GMT: James Miller takes the liveblog.

Video has surfaced, and some of the governments have confirmed, that the Ambassadors of the United States, Japan, France, and England have all attended the funeral for Syrian activist Ghiyath Matar, who was killed last week.

1130 GMT: Witness have said that US Assistant Secretary of State Jeffrey Feltman met the head of the National Transitional Council, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, in the capital Tripoli on Wednesday.

No details of the meeting were given.

1120 GMT: In a despatch posted yesterday, Associated Press describes the impending showdown between fighters of Libya's National Transitional Council and Qaddafi loyalists holding out in the town of Bani Walid:

Residents describe leaving behind a virtual ghost town where food shops are nearly barren, electricity cuts are frequent and phone lines are down. Few people - except for fighters - dare to venture outside. The silence is broken by the exchange of fire from both sides and propaganda from a pro-Gadhafi radio station.

"The radio told us that NATO is out to get us and that the revolutionary forces want to steal our babies, kill us and rape us," said Ramadan Abdel-Rahman, who was fleeing with his wife and seven children, including a daughter less than two weeks old.

The radio transmitter apparently shifts from house to house to avoid being targeted by NATO airstrikes or opposition shelling. Rumors - that can't be independently investigated - say it is run by Moussa Ibrahim, the Gadhafi spokesman well known to foreign journalists during the final months of the regime's control in Tripoli.

The rules inside Bani Walid still cling to the Gadhafi-era thuggery against any hint of dissent, residents said.

1100 GMT: Video of Syrian military reinforcements heading towards the town of Jabal Al-Zawye in the northwest:

A clip has also been posted of Syrian military vehicles moving through the town of Khan Shiekhoun in the northwest and a tank behind a house in Zabadani.

0720 GMT: "Hundreds of thousands" of Yemenis reportedly marched on Tuesday to protest reports that President Saleh has offered a plan to allow his Vice President to negotiate with the opposition and sign a plan for transition of power.

"No deal, no maneuvering, the president should leave," demonstrators shouted in the capital Sana'a. The opposition wants the President, who balked at a transfer of power this spring, to resign immediately and to sign the agreement himself.

0530 GMT: In Libya, fighters of the National Transitional Council have been distributing free gasoline to help hundreds of civilians flee Bani Walid, as the forces try to take over one of the last Qaddafi strongholds.

Al Jazeera English reports on Muammar Qaddafi's son Saadi, who has been transferred to the capital of Niger, Niamey. He and three generals are seeking asylum.

0520 GMT: Meanwhile, Syrian state media SANA is playing up "national dialogue sessions", writing that they continued for a third day "with the participation of representatives of various popular and unionist activities and academic and social figures from all spectrums of the society and political parties, as well as independent and opposition representatives".

SANA says discussions considered "the independence of national decision, preserving national sovereignty, respecting the freedom of citizen and the rule of law, and building a state of institutions, justice and equality". It claims 350 people were in the session at the Damascus International Fairground.

SANA also claims that two soldiers were killed and five injured when a military bus was ambushed by an armed group in al-Sa'an al-Aswad to the east of Homs.

0505 GMT: The beat of protests continued Tuesday throughout Syria. In one of the most striking images from last night's rallies, demonstrators in Anadan in Aleppo Province --- angered at Moscow's reception for a senior advisor to President Assad --- burn the Russian flag:

A condolence ceremony in the Damascus suburb of Douma for Ezzat Al-Lababidi, killed by security forces:

Deir Ez Zor in the northeast:

Taftanaz in the northwest:

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