Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Apr 07, 2011 12:41 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

A look at the latest developments in political unrest across the Middle East on Thursday:

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LIBYA

Rebel fighters say NATO airstrikes accidentally hit their forces for the second time in less than a week, this time killing at least two rebels and injuring more than a dozen. Rebels already had been growing more vocal in their criticism of NATO, saying its airstrikes were too slow and imprecise. NATO says it's investigating but rejected a separate claim by the Libyan government that the alliance was responsible for attacks on rebel-held oil fields.

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SYRIA

President Bashar Assad has granted citizenship to more than 250,000 Kurds, fulfilling a key demand of Syria's long ostracized minority and making another overture amid extraordinary anti-government protests. Assad also fired the governor of central Homs province, which has been the scene of clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces. The overtures are part of a series of concessions by the regime designed to subdue the protests that have spread across Syria. At least 80 people have been killed as security forces cracked down on three weeks of demonstrations.

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YEMEN

The Yemeni opposition has welcomed an offer by Arab Gulf states to mediate between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and protesters demanding that he step down after 32 years in power. Saleh's government, however, says the proposal by the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council is unconstitutional. The proposal calls on Saleh to hand over power to his deputy in return for immunity from prosecution for him and his family. More than 120 people have been killed in protests in Yemen since they began Feb. 11.

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JORDAN

A Jordanian man set himself on fire Thursday outside the prime minister's office in the first such act since political unrest hit the country in January. A doctor said Mohammed Abdul-Karim was in critical condition. Similar acts of self-immolation have occurred in other Muslim countries to protest repressive governments. The protests calling for political reform in Jordan have generally been smaller and more peaceful than in other Arab nations, but one person died in a protest March 25. On Thursday, prosecutors charged 80 people with resisting arrest in that demonstration.

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BAHRAIN

A senior soccer official in Bahrain says four national team players have been suspended by their clubs because "they are against the government," and that means they are automatically disqualified from the national team. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to release the information. Bahrain declared emergency rule last month and cracked down on protests by the country's Shiite majority against the Sunni monarchy.