Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Apr 26, 2011 5:43 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Syrian forces heap more punishment on residents of restive towns, detaining hundreds in raids or at checkpoints, firing on people trying to retrieve the bodies of anti-government protesters and even shooting holes in rooftop water tanks in a region parched by drought, witnesses say.

Security forces conduct raids in Daraa, the Damascus suburb of Douma and the northern coastal town of Jableh. The crackdown by President Bashar Assad has intensified since Friday, when more than 100 people were killed.

Meanwhile, European leaders ramp up their criticism of the Syrian crackdown, with the French president calling the current situation "unacceptable," and Britain's foreign minister raising the possibility of sanctions. Even the Arab League says that those in the region demanding freedom and democracy "require support, and not shooting with bullets."

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LIBYA

Libyan government forces bombard the port of Misrata, in a virtually nonstop assault on the sole lifeline of a battered population that has been under siege for the past two months.

The bombardment is near constant all day, with loud explosions thundering across the city.

While forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi pulled out of the city over the weekend under pressure from NATO airstrikes, they have since unleashed a withering rocket and mortar barrage on Misrata that has killed dozens.

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YEMEN

Yemen's opposition parties say they will soon sign a deal mediated by neighboring Gulf countries for embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down, possibly defusing months of deadly government protests across this impoverished Arab nation.

The coalition of youth groups behind the two-month-old uprising has rejected the deal, and is calling for nationwide civil disobedience between 8 a.m. and noon on Wednesday. The groups vow to repeat this action every Saturday and Wednesday until Saleh steps down.