Mideast protests at a glance

AP News
Posted: Mar 02, 2011 4:37 PM
Mideast protests at a glance

A look at anti-government protests, political unrest and key developments in five Arab countries on Wednesday.



Rebel forces rout troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi in a fierce battle over an oil port, scrambling over the dunes of a Mediterranean beach through shelling and an airstrike to corner their attackers. While they thwart the regime's first counteroffensive in eastern Libya, opposition leaders still plead for outside airstrikes against pro-government troops.

Meanwhile, Gadhafi warns "thousands of Libyans" will die if US or NATO intervene, and says Libya will replace Western banks and companies with others from China, Russia and Brazil.



Two anti-government protesters are shot and killed in southern Yemen. A hospital official says the deaths occur during demonstrations in the town of Sadr, in the province of Lahaj. Protesters also clash with government supporters and security forces in the Red Sea city of Hodeida. Thirteen protesters are injured in confrontations that included the use of sticks and rocks.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh calls U.S. homeland security adviser John Brennan to express his regret for any misunderstanding caused by his public accusations that the U.S. and Israel are behind the unrest threatening his 32-year rule.



Thousands of anti-government protesters march on the Interior Ministry in Bahrain's capital, Manama, demanding the release of all political prisoners.

Last week, Bahrain's king released 23 high-profile activists who had been on trial for allegedly trying to overthrow the monarchy. The Shiite opposition claims at least 200 others remain jailed for political reasons.



A Tunisian Islamist party banned for more than 20 years is legalized while the country's most prominent opposition figure quits the unity government amid renewed uncertainty about where Tunisia is headed.

The Ennahdha party, branded an Islamic terrorist group by Tunisia's deposed leader but considered moderate by scholars, is rebounding onto the political scene since a popular uprising forced out autocratic President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January.



Egypt's state news agency says two leading members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood will be released after serving nearly five years in prison. MENA says that Khayrat el-Shater, the lead strategist for Egypt's largest opposition group, and Hassan Malek, a prominent businessman and group financier, will be freed for medical reasons.

The move comes nearly three weeks after an uprising ousted Egypt's longtime president.