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Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Gathering Fight In and Around Aleppo

Uncollected rubbish piles up in Aleppo

See also Jordan Discussion: The Future of the Country and "Reform"
Syria Snapshot: Armed Groups Complicate the Fight in the Northwest
Syria Snapshot: The "Jihadists" in the Fight in the Northeast
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is Aleppo "A Nail in Assad's Coffin"?

1845 GMT: Sudan. Six people were killedtoday at a protest in Nyala in South Darfur, according to a Government source . The specifics of the killings are still unconfirmed, but witnesses have reported that police used batons and tear gas against protesters who were chanting "No, no to high prices" and "The people want to change the regime". AFP reports, citing an eyewitness, that protesters "threw stones at government buildings and burned tyres in the street":

Four bleeding protesters and three security officers were taken away for medical treatment from the demonstration, the witness said.

Nobody was allowed inside the city's hospital where a crowd had gathered outside, he added.

1821 GMT: Yemen. Footage of the Minister of Interior after battles between Government forces and tribesmen who tried to enter the building in a protest over jobs (see 1217 GMT):

1810 GMT: Syria. Earlier today (see 1613 GMT) we posted video of the capture of leading members of the Berri clan, prominent supporters of the regime in Aleppo. Footage has now been posted which appears to be the execution of the head of the family, Zaino Berri, and several other members (Warning: Graphic).

A Syrian activist says the executors appears to be Aleppo's Unification Brigade.

1730 GMT: Iraq. The death toll from this morning's pair of car bombs in Baghdad is now at least 19 with dozens wounded.

The blasts were in Karradah, a busy shopping district, during the middle of rush hour. The first car blew up near a restaurant at a Karradah square, near a police station and a security checkpoint, while the second exploded outside a passport office a few kilometres away.

1616 GMT: Syria. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has reported that more than 276,000 Syrians have fled the country.

More than 70,000 Syrians sought refuge in Turkey and more than 140,000 have crossed into Jordan. Lebanon hosts more than 31,000 Syrian refugees, Iraq has 11,000, and up to 25,000 are in Algeria.

1613 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of captured members of the Berri clan, well-known supporters of the regime in Aleppo:

The men were seized after a battle in the Bab al-Neyrab neighbourhood:

1605 GMT: Syria. A device found in the insurgent takeover of the police station in the Hanano section of Aleppo --- The Guardian explains that it is a basat al-reeh, or “flying carpet”, in which a victim is tied to a flat board with his/her head suspended in the air or with his/her limbs stretched:

1413 GMT: Syria. Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, has declared, "Thousands of frightened residents are seeking shelter in schools, mosques, and public buildings."

Fleming continued, "These are people that haven't fled the city as they haven't had the means or feel it is too dangerous to make that journey and we are getting indications that the journey is fraught with armed gangs and road blocks blocking the way."

The UN official said about 7,000 people have taken refuge in university dormitories and many more are camped out in 32 schools, each housing 250-350 people.

1404 GMT: Syria. Claimed 5-minute video of the Free Syrian Army's attack on the Salhin police station in Aleppo (see also 1246 GMT):

An assault on the station in the Hanano district:

1328 GMT: Iraq.Two car bombs in central Baghdad, exploding minutes apart, have killed at least 13 people and wounded 30, police and hospital sources said.

1246 GMT: Syria. Claimed video of the Free Syrian Army in control of the police station of Bab al-Neirab in Aleppo, one of two they reportedly attacked today (see 1236 GMT):

1243 GMT:Syria. Claimed footage of insurgent reinforcements in the Salaheddin section of Aleppo today:

1239 GMT: Iraq. Journalist Ghazwan Anas was shot dead by gunmen, who broke into his house in Mosul on Monday, 1236 GMT: Syria. Unconfirmed reports are circulating that insurgents have overrun two police stations in Aleppo, killing between 40 and 60 members of the security forces.

1232 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA has ended its blackout on news from Aleppo (see 0615 GMT). The website reports that security forces "vanquished terrorists in Salah Eddin neighborhood...inflicting heavy losses upon them and seizing their weapons". "Authorities" also "pursued an armed group which intimidated the civilians in al-Jameeliya area, killing 11 terrorists, while the authorities killed 6 others in Saadallah al-Jaberi Square", and they "pursued an armed terrorist group which horrified the citizens through shooting fire randomly in al-Mohafaza area".

1217 GMT: Yemen. Back from a break to find Reuters reporting eight people dead in this morning's clashes between government forces and armed tribesmen who tried to storm the Ministry of Interior in a demand for jobs (see 1007 GMT).

The source said a "large number" of people were also wounded in the fighting. It was not clear whether those killed were soldiers or tribesmen.

1028 GMT: Syria. Up to five insurgent commandrs have been killed in fighting --- the Local Coordination Committees report the death of Mohammad Lababidi in Marjeh and Khaled Damook in Tal Refaat, and the BBC's Ian Pannell said three commanders were slain in Aleppo on Monday.

1013 GMT: Syria. More first-hand accounts from Aleppo --- Kim Sengupta of The Independent of London from the Salaheddin neighbourhood:

All the stores in street were shuttered apart from one with a "special offer" on display --- trays of Molotov cocktails. Standing among the bottles, 19-year-old Amir Mohammed Hasif explained how they were made and added: "My three sisters helped make them. They cannot join in the fight, but they want to contribute as much as possible in other ways."

The revolutionaries in Salaheddine came from a number of different battalions, with the Abu-Bakr detachment from the town of Al-Bab among the first volunteers for this extremely dangerous front line. "We are taking only the best ones who offer to come," Abdul Fawzi Hussein said. "We are winning, but Assad is like a wounded snake, he will keep striking. We don't want brave boys to come and then go back to their mothers as martyrs."...

The revolutionaries were not totally united. One base flew the black flag with gold Koranic inscriptions favoured by extreme Islamists and the fighters there polite but suspicious of strangers. "We know about them, but they keep to themselves," Abdul Fawzi Hussein said. "We shall have to deal with them in the future, but for now our focus is on Salaheddine and Aleppo. If we hold Salaheddine, I am sure, Inshallah, if we lose Salaheddine then we shall have difficulty holding on to other areas we have in Aleppo. We must liberate Aleppo."

Erika Solomon of Reuters on the outskirts of the city:

Whenever rebels idle their trucks on the street, residents come up asking for help to get gasoline for their cars. Many beg the fighters to open more bakeries so the breadlines move faster, and spare people an exhausting hours-long wait in the hot sun. But some in line nod approvingly. "They don't let anyone cut in, no one is better than anyone else now. The bakers aren't allowed to hike prices on us," says Umm Khaled, her face wrapped in a conservative black veil. "For the first time in this city, I feel like all of us are equal."

Down the street, a crowd of men gather to watch rebels inspecting a burned out police station they stormed last week. Papers, stray shoes and police caps litter the charred building. One man shakes his head as he watches the scene. "We don't even know these fighters, they don't talk to us much. But people here just accept whoever has power," one man whispered. "I'm not with anyone, I am with the side of truth. Right now, that is only God."

1007 GMT: Yemen. For the second time in three days, tribesmen loyal to former President Saleh and demanding jobs have tried to storm the Ministry of Interior.

Dozens of tribesmen exchanged gunfire with security forces preventing them from entering the Ministry, a source said.

On Sunday, around 100 tribesmen occupied the Ministry, demanding to be enlisted in the police force. They agreed to vacate it on Monday after officials promised to heed their demands.

Meanwhile, a Yemeni official said the governor of oil-producing Maarib Province was mediating with the kidnappers of an Italian Embassy security officer for his release. The officer was seized on Sunday.

1003 GMT: Syria. A snapshot in The Irish Independent of life in Aleppo, from grocer Hassan Farouk, who fled the city with his wife and children:

The first time we were shelled on my street ten days ago, I rushed to the area and found three bodies with their heads blown off ...A few days later a family of six was killed. I tried to pick up the bodies but they were in pieces and I could not complete the task. After that my children begged me to leave.

0852 GMT: Syria. Al Jazeera reporter is injured by shrapnel from a shell as he interviews an insurgent in Aleppo on Monday:

Khashram was taken to Turkey for treatment, where he was reportedly conscious and in stable condition.

0833 GMT: Bahrain. An interesting intervention from Crown Prince Salman, who has called on "Interior Ministry respect the Constitution and law and deal with all citizens on an equal footing, as directed by His Majesty King Hamad".

Speaking at an Iftar banquet for the Ministry’s senior officers and officials on Monday night, the Crown Prince said force should be used only as a last resort after all other means are exhausted.

Salman's statement follows an announcement by authorities earlier this week that claimed abuses by police would be investigated. It also bolsters reports that the US Government and the leading opposition society Al Wefaq see talks with the Crown Prince as the path to an agreement on reforms.

See also Bahrain Feature: Pushing A Deal with the Crown Prince

0755 GMT: UAE. Activists report the crackdown on dissent has brought more arrests overnight, with the the total now at 50 since March.

0645 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of regime shelling of Homs on Monday:

The destruction in the Jouret al-Shayyah section:

0615 GMT: Syria. Make of this what you will --- State news agency SANA makes no reference on its website this morning to the events inside Aleppo or developments such as the battle for the Anadan checkpoint. Its coverage is limited to this brief item:

Authorities clashed with an armed terrorist group who were riding four SUV cars equipped with machine guns in Dara Ezza and Qabtan al-Jabal axis in Aleppo countryside.

An official source told SANA reporter that the authorities destroyed the four cars, killing the terrorists.

0520 GMT: Syria. A day of uncertainty over the fight in Aleppo, with conflicting claims and little information from the centre of the clashes in neighbourhoods like Salaheddin. The regime asserted that it had retaken that district; insurgents countered that they were still present and, indeed, were in 60% of the city

However, what was certain is that --- despite the use of shells, tanks, and helicopter gunships, President Assad's military has still not taken control throughout Aleppo.

Meanwhile, insurgents could claim a significant victory, attacking a regime base and taking the Anadan checkpoint, only three miles to the northwest. The logistics is as important as the location --- the Free Syrian Army now occupies a path from the Turkish border to Syria's largest city.

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