Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Apr 22, 2011 4:55 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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LIBYA

U.S. Sen. John McCain calls for increased military support for Libya's rebels, including weapons, training and stepped-up airstrikes, in a full-throated endorsement of the opposition in its fight to oust Moammar Gadhafi. A day after the U.S. began flying armed drones to bolster NATO firepower, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee says the United States and other nations should recognize the opposition's political leadership as the "legitimate voice of the Libyan people." The White House disagrees, saying it is for the Libyan people to decide who their leaders are.

McCain is the highest profile U.S. visitor to meet with the rebels.

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SYRIA

Syrian security forces fire bullets and tear gas on pro-democracy demonstrations across the country, killing at least 75 people _ including a young boy _ in the bloodiest day of the uprising against President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime, witnesses and a human rights group say. The protests, held every Friday, have become weekly bloodbaths as security forces try to crush the demonstrations. But the mounting death tolls have only served to invigorate a protest movement whose demands have snowballed from modest reforms to the downfall of the 40-year Assad dynasty.

"Bullets started flying over our heads like heavy rain," says one witness in Izraa, a southern village in Daraa province, the same region where the uprising began in mid-March.

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YEMEN

A sea of hundreds of thousands of anti-government protesters swells along a five-lane boulevard reaching across Yemen's capital in the largest of two months of demonstrations, as the government tries to halt military defections by arresting dozens of officers. The defections have chipped away at a critical line of defense for President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who calls his opponents "renegades" and "cowards."

Two people are killed in new protests across the country, including a 15-year-old boy shot in the eye and a soldier killed in clashes with demonstrators and armed tribesmen.

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EGYPT

Tens of thousands of Egyptians led by hard-line Islamists escalate their protests against the appointment of a Coptic Christian governor in southern Egypt, deepening mistrust between religious communities during the bumpy aftermath of Egypt's revolution.

Friday's demonstrations were the largest in a week of protests against the newly appointed Qena governor, Emad Mikhail, and coincide with Good Friday services for most of Egypt's estimated 10 million Christians.

Meanwhile, Egypt's general prosecutor extends the detention of ousted President Hosni Mubarak for a second 15-day period to allow questioning to continue over the killings of protesters.

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OMAN

Witnesses say protesters calling for investigations into state corruption have staged a march in southern Oman in a sign that high-level concessions have failed to quell demands for reforms. The rally in Salalah, about 500 miles (850 kilometers) southwest of the capital, Muscat, includes calls to investigate state officials for alleged financial abuses in the Arabian peninsula nation.