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Entries in Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (26)


Yemen, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Difficulty of Calm

1855 GMT: Varying reactions to the speech of Syrian President Assad....

Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said Assad's speech is "not enough", as the President should implement a multi-party-system; however, the deputy secretary-general of the Arab League, Ahmed bin Heli, said Syria is a "main factor of balance and stability in the region" and the League rejects any foreign intervention in its affairs.

1710 GMT: The journalists of the human rights organisation Avaaz claim the Damascus suburbs of Harasta and Arbeen the coastal city of Latakia have been locked down by security forces after protests today challenging the speech of President Assad.

The group asserts that security forces are currently conducting a random wave of arrests in Latakia, detaining dozens and chasing and attacking protesters through the side streets.

1705 GMT: Another protest in Syria reacting against President Assad's speech, this one in Binnish in Idlib Province in the northwest:

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Syria, Yemen, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: An Attack with Helicopters

1745 GMT: Regime forces and insurgents have been fighting in Zawiyah, 50 kilometres (30 miles) west of Tripoli, shutting the coastal highway to Tunisia.

Activists on social media are claiming at least 30 people have been killed.

"The situation is very bad in Zawiyah. There's been fierce fighting since the morning between the Gaddafi forces and the rebels," said a resident.

The opposition held Zawiyah for a few weeks this spring before the town fell to the regime.

1735 GMT: Yemeni authorities say the army has killed 21 Al Qa'eda members in Abyan Province in the south.

Nine Yemeni soldiers were reportedly slain.

The provincial capital Zinjibar was occupied by insurgents last month.

1730 GMT: Residents and refugees from the besieged Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughour report ongoing fighting. One said, “Helicopters and tanks are bombing Jisr from all the sides and the situation is extremely miserable --- they are even targeting cars carrying civilians and the wounded.”

Claimed footage of attack helicopters above the town:

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Yemen, Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A President Is Wounded

Video of the destroyed Presidential Mosque in the Yemeni capital Sana'a

2130 GMT: Media are reporting tonight that the Vice President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, is now acting President and Supreme Commander of the armed forces.

Meanwhile, Abdel Rahman Ba Fadel, an opposition member of the Yemeni parliament, has told Al Jazeera, "A medical team arrived from Saudi Arabia but there is a plane ready to take him [President Saleh] there if they fail to treat him in Yemen."

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Yemen, Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: City on Fire

2115 GMT: We'll be shutting down the liveblog for the night. We'll be back at 0530 GMT tomorrow.

Here is a roundup of the news.

In Syria, protesters took to the streets all across the country during what protesters were calling "Children's Friday." Reports were that these wre the largest protests yet, but the internet was almost completely shut off. Still, we have many videos posted in a separate section:

Latest Syria Video: Protesters Defy the Internet Blockout

The scale of the protests would have been major news, but they were overshadowed by violence. Protesters were killed in Taiz, security forces continued to shell Al Rastan, but the big news was that the military opened fire on a crowd of 50,000 peaceful demonstrators in Hama, killing at least 70.

In Yemen, the big news of the day was the rocket attack which hit the Presidential palace and wounded President Saleh and an unknown number of his advisors. However, there were also protests elsewhere, and at least 4 civilians were killed by government air strikes in Abyan. 

Latest Yemen Video: Protests Among the Chaos in Sana'a

In Libya, the rebels have made significant advances, and now threaten the city of Tripoli.

In Bahrain, there were major protests and clashes with security forces (video below).

Just another Arab Spring Friday.

2059: Another country heard from...

Breaking news: Protests have erupted in Egypt over the death of a microbus driver in Azbakeya. He was arrested yesterday for a traffic violation, and died in custody. There is a report that he attacked one of the officers, though details are all emerging from Twitter right now. 

There is also a report that a gunfight between the relatives of the man and police was the ultimate catalyst.

There appear to be clashes between protesters and security forces in Azbakeya and Ramses. Below is a picture of a truck lit on fire in Ramses.

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Yemen Feature: Who's Who in the Battle for Power (Hill)

Yemen is currently witnessing two parallel power shifts: a popular revolution inspired by the 'Arab spring', and an elite power struggle.

Competition between rival elite factions has been brewing for several years and has intensified as Yemen's long-serving president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, has concentrated power around his family.

Each faction cultivates clients and proxies across the political spectrum, within government ministries and the military, as well as among traditional community leaders.

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Yemen, Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Battle of Sana'a

Footage from inside the compound of Yemeni opposition tribal leader Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar, taken by Tom Finn of The Guardian, showing the destruction from regime shelling and treatment of an injured tribesman

2035 GMT: Thanks to James Miller for taking the LiveBlog through the afternoon.

More on the story, which began circulating yesterday, that the Libyan regime is offering conditions for a cease-fire and talks with the opposition....

"We have received a message from the Libyan government seeking an accord for a possible ceasefire," a spokesman for the office of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, the Spanish prime minister, said on Thursday.

The initiative came from Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi al-Mahmoudi. He said at a news conference in Tripoli, "We are ready for a ceasefire. The solution cannot be a military one. There must be debate among Libyans far away from bombs."

But al-Mahmoud set one important condition: "Muammar Qaddafi is the leader of the Libyan people. If Muammar Qaddafi goes, all the Libyan people go."

The Independent of London reported on Wednesday that it had a copy of a letter from al-Mahmoudi to foreign governments, proposing an immediate ceasefire to be monitored by the United Nations and the African Union, unconditional talks with the opposition, amnesty for both sides in the conflict, and the drafting of a new constitution.

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Yemen, Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Battle in the Capital...Expanded

2145 GMT: The Egyptian regime has appointed former Assistant Foreign Minister Hani Khalaf as the special envoy to the Libyan opposition in Benghazi.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Araby said the decision follwed Egypt's determination to follow up on developments in Libya and ensure the safety and rights of Egyptian citizens in the country.

2140 GMT: Claimed video of a protest in Daraa in southern Syria today:

2130 GMT: Fighting continues tonight in Yemen's capital Sana'a, in the Hasaba neighbourhood and near the airport.

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Yemen Special: Three Days That Escalated a Conflict (Johnsen)

Sanaa, YemenThis escalation by government forces will likely have far-reaching consequences.  Already the fighting on Tuesday had been more intense than Monday, with tribal forces shelling the Ministry of the Interior and taking over different government buildings.

It isn't clear where this headed, or what can be done from the outside, probably not much.  President Saleh has let slip the dogs of war.  This is likely to get worse before it gets better.

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Bahrain, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Another Death in Custody

2030 GMT: Claimed video of men lying down in a road to stop the advance of a tank near the Syrian coastal town of Baniyas:

2020 GMT: About 500 students demonstrated Wednesday in Aleppo, the first protest in Syria's second-largest city since the uprising began in mid-March.

A protest of 50 students took place Wednesday at Damascus University's Law Faculty. Security forces disperses both demonstrations, arresting at least four people in Aleppo.

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Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Coalition Too Slow?

2025 GMT: Opposition forces say that there was fighting on three fronts in Misurata, Libya's third-largest city, with shelling by regime troops and at least one resident killed.

2020 GMT: Egypt's Health Ministry has raised the death toll in the uprising against former President Hosni Mubarak to more than 800, well over double the previous estimate of 384.

The ministry said another 6400 people had been injured.

Click to read more ...