2359 GMT: We close today's coverage with the news that a fourth person has died in Bahrain in two days. Mohammed Ebrahim Yaqoob, a 17-year-old from Sitra,, died this evening in hospital whilst under police custody, from injuries sustained earlier today.
As we noted earlier, police action in Sitra was especially reckless, endangering many lives. The following video, where Bahraini security forces drive aggressively at defenceless citizens, allegedly shows Mohammed fleeing from the Toyota manufactured jeeps. This detail is unconfirmed, but many activists are claiming that Mohammed was subsequently run over by police and that is how he sustained his fatal injuries:
The news of Mohammed's death follows the announcement of three other deaths, allegedly at the hands of security forces.
2141 GMT: However, this video is far more ominous - fires blaze (apparently a gas station was hit by a tank shell) and gunfire rocks the city of Hama, as the insurgent Free Syrian Army fights with the Assad-loyal regular army deep into the night:
And this video was reportedly taken in Zamalka:
The LCCS posts several videos of night protests, along with a report than 24 have died nationwide today, "among them 6 soldiers from the Free Syrian Army, 2 children, and 2 women. In addition,5 in Damascus Suburbs, 4 in each of Homs and Hama 3 in Idlib, 1 in Aleppo, and 1 in Daraa."
What's unusual, however, is that we are still tracking reports of widespread violence, mostly revolving around the fight between the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian regular army in multiple locations, particularly in Homs and in areas north of Damascus.
2103 GMT: An EA correspondent in Bahrain gives us an update on events that transpired yesterday, in the form of a narrative of a video put together by activists, that perfectly illustrate the point made in our previous update:
In Samaheej village [yesterday], police forces brutally arrested and beat a young protester, then stormed a house, arrested another youth and beat him outside, not forgetting to teargas the house after they left. When the news spread in the village, the youth decided to strike back & went to throw Molotov cocktails at the police station."
2044 GMT: A second video reportedly taken today in Sitra, Bahrain:
A few things to notice. Western law enforcement officers whom EA has spoken to repeatedly speak of how the incompetence of the Bahraini police, evident in many of the videos we've posted since last February, jeopardizes lives in many the civilians in the video. In this video, police fail to use a standard pit-move to immobilize this vehicle. Instead, they chase it across a lot that is, evidently, often used by pedestrians (see last video). Then they hit the side of the car so hard that it drives in the passenger door, potentially injuring or killing the "perpetrators." Finally, the police surround the car and fire teargas in every direction, but at least one canister appears to misfire, or is deliberately fired at the already-surrounded car, potentially endangering the perpetrators, and even the other police officers.
According to all the law enforcement officials whom we've spoken to, it is the duty of the police to keep all the citizens of Bahrain safe, even those who are are breaking the law, and the police incompetence is so endemic in Bahrain that it is a failed responsibility of the leadership that these problems continue.
According to witnesses, the 3 people in the car were arrested.
2021 GMT: This video was reportedly take in Sitra, Bahrain, showing police jeeps trying to run over a protester:
Just like yesterday's pictures of a beaten police officer, we are unable to verify the details in this claim.
Meanwhile, the February 14 Coalition has released a statement, condemning international silence over what it says are ongoing rights abuses at the hands of the alKhalifa regime:
Clearly, this silence has been interpreted by the regime in Bahrain as an approval to use brutal methods to crush the peaceful revolution and crackdown on political activists. Use of lethal weapons, arbitrary detention, systematic torture (fatal in some cases) by hands of foreign mercenaries, job dismissal and sexual abuses in addition to laying siege on villages, ruining warship places and various sorts of collective punishments have been part of Bahrainis daily life!
Despite ongoing calls from credible human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Human Rights First to take serious action, the international community has remained largely silent. Furthermore, the international community has adapted a double-standard approach by deliberately ignoring the legitimate demand of Bahrain pro-democracy supports for self-determination, while it intervened directly in other Arab countries where people have called for the downfall of their dictatorships.
1909 GMT: According to the LCCS, the minaret is the Sarjawi Mosque in Hama, a city that has been under constant siege for several days and a city that, according to a statement released by the Local Coordinating Committees, has lost many martyrs in the revolution against the Assad regime:
953 citizens (documented), including 21 women, 53 little boys, 16 little girls, and 33 that were martyred under torture.
1856 GMT: The LCCS reports that the battles north of Damascus have been intense. 6 soldiers of the Free Syrian Army were reportedly killed in battles that raged from Irbin to Rankous to Yabroud. Also, LCCS reports that the FSA has attacked the regular army in Harasta, and the Assad loyalists have suffered heavy losses. (also on this map, Qara, where video posted earlier showed a large convoy of tanks and armored vehicles headed south):
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1716 GMT: Yesterday was a violent day in Bahrain. EA reported that a policeman was beaten by protesters, and protesters who were attacked by police in Sitra retaliated. However, there were also many peaceful protests, a fact that escaped some news agencies, that focused entirely on the claims of the Government.
Missed is this coverage were reports that emerged overnight that three men --- 30-year-old Muntathar Fakhar, 25-year0old Abbas Alshaikh, and 65- year-old Saaed Alsekri, were all reportedly killed by security forces yesterday. According to some activists, these men were not engaged in violence.
Also, an EA correspondent sends us this video, reportedly showing a man beaten in Sitra yesterday until he passed out, at which point he was arrested.
Other activists share this video, showing similar violence:
To be clear, there are elements of the opposition that have vowed to engage in violence. However, the evidence consistently points to a different dominant narrative, that most protests are peaceful and many actions of the police are disproportionately violent.
There were more protests today. The AP reports that police dispersed a large rally in Manama with teargas and stun grenades, and The Guardian posts this video, reportedly taken in the Ras Raman district of Manama, that appears to show a peaceful rally dispersed forcibly by police:
There are also reports of battles in Rankous and Douma, and there are multiple reports of helicopters engaging ground troops in Rankous, north of Damascus.
1559 GMT: Al Jazeera's Zeina Khodr reports that the Free Syrian Army is made up of more than just defectors, and there are more groups of insurgents than just the FSA, which is why the new political/public relations challenge for the militarized wing of the opposition is building unity.
The report is conservative, underplaying the enthusiasm for the FSA, and underplaying its recent gains, but Khodr also highlights the challenges that remain:
1506 GMT: The Local Coordinating Committees of Syria have three important updates. The first is the most general, that 11 have been killed so far nationwide, "among them a child and two women, 4 in Damascus Suburbs, 3 in Hama, 2 in Homs, 2 in Idlib."
The second, LCCS confirm an army presence in Rankous (see last update) but add that there are reports that the city is under attack:
Three powerful explosions rang the areas near Mousaytabeh, Wady Fostok Road, and the surrounding hills, accompanied by intense shelling by the regime's tanks.
1456 GMT: Approximately 1 minute ago, Reuters published confirmation that a Red Crescent official has been shot and killed in Syria:
"We just learned a few minutes ago of the death of Mr. Abdulrazak Jbero, head of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent branch in Idlib. Mr. Jbero was on his way by car from Damascus to Idlib. He was shot. Circumstances are still unclear," Beatrice Megevand-Roggo, head of ICRC operations for the Near and Middle East, told Reuters.
"Regardless of the circumstances, the ICRC condemns this very severely," she said. "The lack of respect for medical services is still a great issue in Syria."
3 pm: army forces are still surrounding the Rankous area of Damascus and cutting the streets that lead to the areas of Qalamoon to isolate the areas from each other.
More than 60 tanks are around the area; 10 vehicles full of soldiers and 150 members of security forces are on the road leading from Halboun to the Jarad Rankous area and the mountains in the northern area of Rankous.
Residents fear a massacre.
We have not yet confirmed why the tanks are approaching the town, however EA has confirmed multiple reports over the last week (and beyond) of a large Free Syrian Army presence in the town. Yesterday, the FSA fought pitched battles in Douma, a few miles south of Rankous, and Rankous is only 15-20 miles east of Zabadani, a town which has been free of the Syrian regular army since last Wednesday (see Rankous on a map).
1425 GMT: More news on the insurgency front. There are multiple reports that the Free Syrian Army has made significant gains in the town of Qusair, southwest of Homs, closer to the Lebanon border. According to these accounts, the FSA has been fighting to capture the National Hospital, on the western edge of the town. According to activists, most hospitals have been turned into pro-government fortresses, so if any protesters or members of the opposition are injured, they are unable to receive medical treatment. As such, the Free Syrian Army appears to be fighting to capture the hospital in order to treat wounded members of the opposition in Qusair and nearby Homs.
There is another important piece to this news. If the Free Syrian Army is able to secure Qusair, then then will have two cities near borders, under their control, Qusair near Lebanon and Kafar Takharim, Idlib, near Turkey. With Free Syrian Army positions battling for control of Homs and Idlib, as well as areas around their stronghold in Zabadani, north of Damascus, the Free Syrian Army appears to be concentrating on areas that would give it strategic advantage should international forces try to intervene the end the Syrian crisis.
The significance of these events seems to be lost on many, as the Free Syrian Army victories in Kafar Takharim, Qusair, and its gains in many other areas have gone either completely unreported or vastly underreported by the rest of the media.
This report is unconfirmed, but yesterday, we carried a report from a source who reported that the road between Aleppo and Idlib is blocked, and north of Maraa in the village of Orm al Soghra security forces were executing people that they thought were opposition activists.
While some details of that report are unconfirmed, EA has corroborated that the area between Aleppo and IDlib has become extremely dangerous, as the Syrian army is struggling to maintain control of Idlib, and its surrounding towns and villages, many of which are less than an hour drive from the slipping regime stronghold of Aleppo.
1356 GMT: James Miller takes today's live coverage.
The Guardian has posted two valuable reports on the situation in Cairo, Egypt. The first report is by journalist Jack Shenker, who is in Tahrir Square and reports that perhaps hundreds of thousands of people are in the streets at an event that is not a celebration, but a protest.
They also share this video, which gives a clear representation of the size of today's protests:
1200 GMT: A picture of Tahrir Square in Cairo this afternoon, with the crowd reportedly chanting to Mohamed Hussein Tantavi, the head of the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, "The people want the execution of the Field Marshal":
0948 GMT: Bahrain's Constitutional Court has reportedly issued a verdict confirming the constitutionality of the Emergency Law imposed soon after the start of protests in February 2011.
0920 GMT: Militants are leaving the Yemeni town of Radda, about 170 kilometres (105 miles) southeast of the capital Sana'a, a week after they seized. They are withdrawing in exchange for the formation of a local council and the release of several jailed members.
0630 GMT: In the uprising in Syria, 68 people died on Tuesday, many of them in Homs. That in a marker of the big story accompanying the bloodshed. The surge in violence is a sign of the Assad regime's worry that it will "lose" Syria's third-largest city, given that two towns --- Zabadani and Kafar Souseh --- are now effectively controlled by the insurgency.
In Bahrain, another day in the uprising was punctuated by clashes, with security forces attacking a funeral procession for Yaseen Al-Asfoor, an 11-year old boy who allegedly died from tear gas inhalation, and protesters injuring a policeman in AlDuraz.
Video has been posted, with English translation, of an account by the mother of Yousif Almuwali. Activists claim Almuwali, who was found dead near a beach on 13 January, was tortured; the regime claims he drowned and had traces of drugs in his body.
Clashes in Sanabis on Tuesday:
0620 GMT: We will be watching as Egyptians mark the one-year anniversary of the mass uprising that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in 18 days, covering the celebrations, the protests, and the tensions.
The BBC gets us off to a political start with this pictorial information on the Egyptian Parliament, which opened its session on Monday: