Claimed footage of an attack on a building of the security forces in Zabadani in Syria
40 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 25 in Damascus and its suburbs; 23 Hama including martyrs from Kafarzeta and Halfaya; 11 in Deir Ezzor, among them 4 in the shelling of Shehail and 4 in Bokmal; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Idlib; 2 in Lattakia;2 in Banyas 1 in Homs.
As you can see, the deaths in Aleppo today have been very high, with Damascus and Hama (particularly Kafer Zita, as we noted earlier) accounting for most of the rest of the fatalities today.
We saw a continuation of a pattern that has become familiar - the regime is using longer-range artillery, and air strikes, to inflict much of this damage, both to buildings and to lives. However, after several weeks of intensification, there are no signs that either the Free Syrian Army, nor the peaceful protesters, show any sign of giving up their resistance to President Bashar al Assad.
2004 GMT: Syria. Perhaps as many as 10 are dead and 20 wounded in the Hedariyah district of Aleppo after warplanes reportedly dropped many bombs in this residential neighborhood. The first video reportedly shows civilians fleeing soon after the bombs fell - the damage to these buildings is obvious. In the second video, a small celebration at residents rescue children who were stuck in the rubble:
1908 GMT: Tunisia. Police used teargas and fired warning shots to disperse a crowd of protesters today. At one point, soldiers were also deployed to the streets. The protesters were gathering after a funeral for a man whom they say was killed after having been tortured in police custody.
The Ministry of Interior said El-Khomasy, 40, died of a concussion. He was unconscious when he was taken to Charles Nicolle hospital and died shortly after. El-Khomasy was arrested on 28 August on a criminal charge, but the ministry didn’t divulge further details. According to Nasrawi, the police arrested El-Khomasy following a complaint by his neighbour accusing him of theft.
Lawyer Abd-el-Hak Triki told reuters that El-Khomasy was hit on the head by a sharp object during interrogation at the police station.
Allegations of police brutality date back to before the resignation of President Ben Ali, but allegations of police brutality continue to this day.
1854 GMT: Egypt. Several readers have pointed out that many, perhaps the majority, of the crowd that took down the US flag in Cairo were not Islamists at all, but were "Ultras," a highly ideological group often associated with anarchy, revolution, and general disrespect for authority - not to mention football.
Also, the film being protested against is apparently a corroboration between US fringe-Pastor Terry Jones, as well as several Coptic Christians. However, Copts in Egypt have joined the protest, and made up a significant portion of the crowd:
The controversial film is reportedly being produced by US-based Coptic-Christian Egyptians, including Esmat Zaklama and Morees Sadek. Maurice Sadek, a Coptic lawyer based in the US , announced earlier this week that the US-based 'High Authority of the Coptic State' would broadcast the 13-minute film on Tuesday to commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington.
Various local churches in Egypt have condemned the film in recent days, asserting that those responsible for it were merely carrying out their own agendas and did not represent Egypt's Christian community.
1749 GMT: Egypt. Video from the US embassy in Cairo, recorded earlier:
It's worth noting that all of this controversy is a protest against a film by Terry Jones, a US pastor (and, apparently, former Republican candidate for President) who became famous when he filmed his church burning copies of the Qur'an to condemn violent Islam.
About 20 people stood on top of the embassy wall, where about 2,000 protesters had gathered. They tried to replace the American flag with a black banner with the words "There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger". Meanwhile, the US flag was torn up and the remnants burnt.
The embassy had put out a statement on Tuesday, "We firmly reject the actions by those who abuse the universal right of free speech to hurt the religious beliefs of others."
1547 GMT: Syria. Claimed video showing shells screaming into al Rastan, north of Homs (map). The city was one of the first places in the Homs governorate that the Free Syrian Army liberated in June, and has been heavily shelled by long-range artillery, and air power, ever since.
Another video, this one shared by the LCC, reportedly shows some of the shelling today. The near constant rate of explosions is an indication of how severe the situation there has become. Both videos match our own information:
Another video claims to show residents, and a bulldozer, trying to move the rubble to get to victims who were buried when homes collapsed.
1534 GMT: Yemen. The latest on today's bombing...
At least 12 people, including security personnel (not medics, as was reported earlier) were killed in what appears to be an attempted assassination of the Defense Minister:
Witnesses said the blast happened as Major General Muhammad Nasir Ahmad's motorcade left the prime minister's office in Sanaa after a cabinet meeting. Interior Minister Abdul Qader Qahtan told state television that seven security guards and five civilians were killed and 12 other people were wounded.
One vehicle carrying security personnel was destroyed but the minister, who was travelling in a different armored-plated car, survived. Aides said he was unhurt and had told Prime Minister Mohammed Basindwa he was safe.
The hearing was delayed after the defendants, 36 of whom have been imprisoned since December. made an attempt to defend themselves in Kurdish and were denied by the judge.
Prosecutors have demanded prison sentences ranging from 7 1/2 to 22 1/2 years.
The trial comes amid serious clashes between Turkish security forces and the Kurdish insurgency PKK, with at least 708 people killed --- 405 PKK fighters, 209 soldiers and police, and 84 civilians --- since June 2011, according to the International Crisis Group.
1520 GMT: Turkey. There has been a bombing, potentially a suicide attack, in a police station in Istanbul. The building has collapsed, and at least 5 people have been injured. Details are still emerging.
1508 GMT: Syria/Lebanon. Last month, a powerful Lebanese family abducted 20 people, Syrians it claims were members of the Free Syrian Army. The abductions were conducted in retaliation for the detention of a member of the Meqdad family inside Syria, reportedly captured by the FSA because he was a suspected member of Hebollah.
The Meqdad family had released all but 4 of the hostages, but the Lebanese army has raided the Meqdad clan's home and freed the remaining hostages:
The army said it had freed the four in a midnight raid in a southern suburb of the capital controlled by the powerful Shi'ite guerrilla group Hezbollah, a longtime ally of Assad in Lebanon. Critics had accused the group of tolerating or authorizing the abductions.
"The army leadership is intent on continuing its raids and imposing the rule of law," the army statement said. "It will not back away from these measures until it has caught all those involved and freed all the hostages."
The freed hostages claim that they were tortured at the hands of the Meqdad clan.
1459 GMT: Palestine. Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has announced a package of subsidies and tax cuts in an effort to quell protests against the high cost of living in the West Bank and the government's failure to pay full salaries to civil servants.
Hundreds of protesters peacefully gathered outside Fayyad's office in Ramallah on Tuesday morning, a day after anti-government demonstrations across the West Bank had been marred by violent outbursts.
Fayyad said he will cancel a series of price hikes in fuel and cooking gas and lower a sales tax, funding the subsidies by cutting salaries of government ministers and other top officials.
The cuts will affect top officials in the dominant Fatah Party, leaders of which have encouraged protests against the Prime Minister.
The Palestinian Authority, which governs parts of the West Bank, is grappling with a budget deficit because the U.S. and Arab countries that fund the body have not yet delivered money. Palestinian Finance Ministry officials said donors owe $1.2 billion of their pledges, more than a quarter of the government's annual budget.
The Authority's employees have not received full salaries since June.
1453 GMT: Syria. More video from Hajar al Aswad (map, see update 1347). The CFDPC posts a different video, apparently taken from a different camera. As the cameraman inspects a piece of (maybe blood covered) furniture sitting in the middle of the road, a shell lands just behind him:
1402 GMT: Syria. As bad as things may be in Hajar al Aswad, they may be far worse in Kafersita, between Hama and Idlib (map). Sources report a huge amount of shells have fallen on the city, and many people have been killed. Below are several videos claiming to show the shelling, and I've also collected several graphic videos, including one of a dead child, of "martyrs" reportedly killed in today's violence.
1347 GMT: Syria. Shells are raining on the Hajar al Aswad area of Damascus (map). Many of EA's sources are reporting heavy shelling of civilian neighborhoods, and there are reports that civilians are fleeing the district - most on foot.
Confirming this, the LCC posts this video showing gunfire, shells landing, and civilians running away:
The CFDPC reports that at least 2 have been killed and 20 injured, but all of this has happened in the last several hours. In the southern districts, CFDPC reports that an average of 5 shells are falling every minute, primarily artillery units firing from the bases south of the capital.The Guardian has spoken to a resident who says that an entire hospital has been destroyed, after two days of being hit with shells, tank fire, and aerial bombardment:
Today the Syrian army shelled the last surgical private hospital working in the district. The hospital contains about 30 beds. Two people have been killed and 24 wounded. A few houses were destroyed by the shelling too.
There were two private hospitals in the district, al-Bra'a which was destroyed at the first incursion of the Syrian army a few months ago and today they destroyed the last one. The hospital no longer had any doctors but there was a nursing team offering medical aid for the people, but now it does not work any more.
1313 GMT: Egypt. Ahmed Shafiq, former Prime Minister and Presidential candidate in this spring's election, will be referred to Cairo Criminal Court on corruption charges, according to a Justice Ministry official.
Osama El-Seidi said Shafiq is accused of presiding over the illegal sale of 40,000 acres of state land to the sons of former President Hosni Mubarak.
Alaa and Gamal Mubarak, currently facing charges of stock market manipulation, will also be referred to the court.
1307 GMT: Bahrain. The opposition society Al Wefaq has announced another protest march on Friday, after authorities refused permission for last week's rally and police confronted demonstrators with tear gas.
Meanwhile, the appeal court verdict in the trial of 28 medics convicted of misdemeanours has been delayed yet again. This time, the court pushed back a decision to 2 October on the ground that it is investigating allegations of torture by the defendants.
1250 GMT: Yemen. Freelance journalist Adam Baron reports from the car bombing in Sana'a:
Getting death toll estimates of 'at least 15' from medics here at the site. #yemen— Adam Baron (@adammbaron) September 11, 2012
1246 GMT: Syria. A senior advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan, Ibrahim Kalin, has said he believes the Assad regime is now portraying the Syrian crisis as a Sunni-Shiite conflict to cover its loss of political authority:
The Assad regime, because it has lost its political legitimacy, is now trying to present this as a sectarian conflict. They claim that those who oppose the Assad regime do so because they are Sunnis and they hate Shiites.
The good news is that the vast majority of the Sunnis and Shiites don't buy this argument and realize these are political decisions, not a sectarian conflict.
1236 GMT: Syria. Manaf Tlass made a lot of news when he defected. Tlass, a high-ranking Republican Guard General, was viewed by many as a natural leader, and was viewed by others as a scared Assad loyalist who was jumping from a sinking ship.
Yesterday he spoke on French television, and he made several key statements. The first, he reiterated that he has been working with the Syrian opposition for quite some time:
"Since the start of the revolution I had meetings with the revolutionaries ... and I had the feeling from the first days, the first months, that the regime was lying to everybody. That is why I at first defected while staying in my office," he said.
The second piece of news - Tlass claims that French intelligence officers helped smuggle him out of the country:
"The French (intelligence) services helped me get out of Syria and I thank them for that," Tlass, whose July 6 defection was hailed in the West as a major setback for Assad, told France's BFM television news channel.
Perhaps counterintuitively, Tlass also said that he opposes any foreign intervention, and the opposition can win without military support if it is supplied with the right arms and munitions:
"The Syrian people must not be robbed of their victory, they must be given support, aid, arms," Tlass said in a recorded interview that aired Monday on French television station BFM.
He called on outside powers to give the opposition "all the aid and support" needed to topple Assad.
James Miller takes over today's live coverage. Thanks to Scott Lucas for getting us through to the afternoon.
"First [the attacker] threw a grenade, then blew himself up at the entrance of the police station....The policeman working at the entrance was killed," Police Chief Huseyin Capkin told reporters at the scene.
Parts of the building collapsed after the blast, with seven people injured by falling rubble.
No group has come forward to claim responsibility for the attack.
Government sources said the bomb, aimed at the Minister's motorcade after he left a Cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office, killed at least five bodyguards. One vehicle carrying security personnel was blown up but the minister, travelling in a different armoured car, was unhurt.
No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the fourth assassination attempt against the minister since a new government was formed in December following the departure of long-ruling President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
0608 GMT: Bahrain. The kingdom's envoy to the United Nations, Dr Yousif Abdulkareem Bucheeri, has challenged UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, asserting that her comments on last week's upholding of long sentences on 20 activists --- including 13 political prisoners behind bars in Bahrain --- are "totally unacceptable".
Bucheeri said Pillay's statements "lack tangible facts corroborating them and ignore the true situation".
Regime media offers no details beyond Hamad's rhetoric of "bilateral and historic ties...to achieve the aspiration of both countries and their people", but it does specific those ties "related to defense and security, affirming the importance of such exchange of visits by senior officials from both countries".
0555 GMT: Saudi Arabia. Up to 50 people, including eight women, stood quietly on Monday outside a prosecutor's office in Riyadh to protest the detention of relatives held without trial for security offences.
The protesters were watched by uniformed officers sitting in three police cars.
Saudi Arabia claims that it has no political prisoners while putting on trial last yer 5,080 of nearly 5,700 people detained on security charges.
One protester said, ""My brother told me he was taken to court last year but it was a secret trial and they didn't let him choose his own lawyer. It's been over a year and we still don't have the result of the trial. In my opinion this trial is nothing but a show."
The man claimed his brother had been arrested 11 years ago after returning from Afghanistan where he had gone to fight and that he complained of being beaten in detention.
0525 GMT: Syria. Another day of clashes, shelling, and deaths was punctuated by a video that emerged in early afternoon. Shot in Aleppo, it coldly displayed the bodies of about 20 men, bound, blindfolded, most of them barefoot.
Unlike other videos in this conflict that have shown the victims of mass killing, these were not civilians. The army fatigues testified that some of the men were Syrian troops, while others appeared to be pro-regime shabiha.
An entry on the Facebook page of the Salman Al Farisi Battalion claimed "the end of the security [forces]". Hours later, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the report was authentic and posted a second video.
Meanwhile, the Local Coordination Committees reports that it documented the deaths of 136 people at the hands of security forces on Monday, including 73 in Damascus and its suburbs and 28 in Aleppo Province.
Among the Damascus deaths is a claim of 36 people field-executed in Tadamon.