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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Better-Armed Insurgents Step Up Pressure on the Regime

Claimed footage of insurgents using a T-55 tank to attack regime forces near Taftanaz in northwest Syria

See also Kuwait Feature: A Moment of Truth for the Country?
Saturday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Deaths from the Air

2035 GMT: Kuwait. An indication of the size of the demonstration tonight:

2015 GMT: Kuwait. Riot police have used stun grenades and smoke bombs against thousands of demonstrators who blocked a major road.

After special forces and police sealed off the original protest site in the capital Kuwait City, organisers told supporters via Twitter to gather at Mishref, about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of the capital. Although police quickly closed most roads leading to the new location, thousands of people still managed to get through and march. They briefly cut off the main motorway in the south of Kuwait before calling off the demonstration barely an hour after it began.

The protest was against an amendment to an electoral law ordered by the Emir, as he dissolved Parliament and called a snap election on 1 December.

See also Kuwait Feature: A Moment of Truth for the Country?

1955 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees have raised the death toll for today to 212, including 94 in Damascus and its suburbs, 39 in Idlib Province, 31 in Daraa Province, and 29 in Aleppo Province.

1825 GMT: Libya. Rival militias fired guns and rocket-propelled grenades at each other in Tripoli on Sunday and set fire to a former intelligence building, wounding at least five people.

Residents rushed to arm themselves, saying calls to police had gone unheeded. After more than 12 hours, the army moved in to restore order.

A building belonging to the Supreme Security Committee (SSC), a body set up last year to try to regulate armed groups, was burned and looted by a rival faction. A sports shop that helps fund one of the militia groups was also raided and stripped of goods.

1745 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees report that 152 people have been killed today, including 60 in Damascus and its suburbs, 29 in Daraa Province, 27 in Aleppo Province, and 20 in Idlib Province.

1555 GMT: Turkey. A car bomb has exploded in Hakkari Province, in the southeast near the borders with Iraq and Iran, near a passing police vehicle. One person was killed and 12 wounded.

Two of those wounded were believed to be in a serious condition, sources said.

The Kurdish insurgency PKK is active in the area and is frequently in clashes with Turkish security services.

1538 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA reports a blast near the parking lot of the General Federation of Trade Unions in Damascus today, injuring at least 11 people and causing significant damage to the building.

Opposition activists said the bomb --- claimed to be 50 kilogrammes (110 pounds --- was placed by the Ahfad al-Rasoul (Grandsons of the Prophet) Brigade, an Islamist unit that attacked military and intelligence targets several times in the last two months.

1530 GMT: Egypt. The Minister of Interior has fired the head of security in North Sinai, a day after three policemen were killed in al-Arish and officers protested that they were not properly equipped.

During the protest, police blocked a main highway linking al-Arish and Rafah, on the border with Gaza. The Ministers of Defense and Interior met officials in al-Arish to discuss the situation.

Army units were deployed around the police station over fears that gunmen could launch more attacks or try to steal weapons.

After the killing of 16 border guards on 5 August, the Government sent troops backed up by tanks, armoured vehicles. and helicopters to raid hideouts, arrest suspects and seize weapons.

1513 GMT: Syria. A queue for bread in Aleppo:

1505 GMT: Bahrain. Footage of a man seized and beaten in the middle of the road by police on Thursday:

1435 GMT: Syria. Back from The Netherlands to find the claim of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that insurgents have seized a major oilfield in Deir Ez Zor in the northeast.

"Rebels in the Jaafar Tayyar Brigade took control of Al-Ward oilfield, east of the town of Mayadin, after a siege that lasted several days," the Observatory said. It claimed that 40 soldiers guarding the infrastructure had been killed, wounded, or taken prisoner, as insurgents seized a tank, armoured vehicles and ammunition.

0555 GMT: Libya. A car bomb has exploded in front of a police station in Benghazi, with minor injuries to three police officers.

A policeman said a homemade bomb was attached to the bottom of a parked police car, setting it on fire and damaging the entrance of the central Hadayeq station.

0515 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees report 162 people killed by security forces on Saturday, including 52 in and near Damascus --- many of them in an attack on the town of Zamalka --- and 47 in Idlib Province.

0500 GMT: Syria. Throughout Saturday, the headline story was the insurgent attack on the regime airbase near Taftanaz in Idlib Province in the northwest. While the assault was inconclusive, both the strategic objective and the state of the insurgency were notable.

Taftanaz is the regime's biggest airbase in the northwest, with fighter jets and up to 48 helicopters. With the Syrian military increasingly dependent on aerial assaults in its attempt to check the opposition, any notable damage --- let alone takeover of the base --- would be a significant blow to the regime's ability to fight the Free Syrian Army and other groups as the insurgents extend their fight across the area and into towns and cities.

On his blog, Brown Moses assesses video to note the range of weapons used in the assault, including heavy machine guns, auto-cannons, mortars, multiple rocket launchers, and even a T-55 tank. He summarises, "Quite a variety of weapons, and seems to demonstrate how the opposition are becoming increasingly well armed as the conflict continues."


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