The city at the heart of Syria's monthlong uprising is running low on food, water and medicine as the army sends in more tanks and reinforcements as part of a widening crackdown against opponents of President Bashar Assad's authoritarian regime, witnesses say.
Two residents in the city of Daraa say at least five army officers have sided with demonstrators, and conscripted soldiers sent into the city were quietly refusing orders to detain people at checkpoints and were allowing some people through to get scarce supplies. But the Syrian government denies that there has been any splits in the military, which is seen as fiercely loyal to Assad.
The EU commissioner for humanitarian aid says the shelling of the Misrata port has worsened the already bad humanitarian situation in the besieged rebel-held city and that the 27-nation group has set aside more than euro100 million ($146 million) to address pressing humanitarian needs.
Misrata has become the focal point of the uprising against Gadhafi's regime, and the near-constant shelling of the city by government troops over the past two months has spurred calls for more forceful international intervention to stop the bloodshed.
Yemeni security forces open fire on a massive anti-government demonstration in the capital Sanaa, killing 12 protesters and wounding some 190, a doctor at the scene says.
The violence breaks out as about 100,000 government opponents fill a landmark square at the epicenter of the uprising, spilling into the streets around the state TV building. Witnesses say security forces, including members of the elite Republican Guard, fire live ammunition and tear gas into the crowd to break it up.
Also, residents in at least 18 cities and towns across Yemen launch a civil disobedience campaign in an escalation of their more than two-month-old uprising to bring down long-serving President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Shops, schools and government offices were shuttered. The closures are planned twice weekly until Saleh steps down, activists say.