Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: May 07, 2011 1:34 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Troops in tanks and armored vehicles enter a key oil-industry city on Syria's Mediterranean coast, taking up position in a hilltop Crusader castle and cutting off power and phone lines. An activist says three women protesting the crackdown were shot dead.

The move against Banias, which had become a bastion of anti-regime protests in recent days, signals an expanding campaign by President Bashar Assad aimed at crushing the country's seven-week nationwide uprising.

Ammar Qurabi of the National Organization for Human Rights says the three women were protesting the siege and the cutting of power lines when they were shot dead by plainclothes security forces or pro-government gunmen.

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LIBYA

Moammar Gadhafi's forces rocket the main fuel depot in Misrata, intensifying a two-month siege on the rebel-held city that has claimed civilian lives and prompted warnings of a humanitarian crisis.

Government forces send Grad rockets slamming into the depot, which contains vital stores of fuel for cars, trucks, ships and generators powering hospitals and other key sites in a city left darkened by electricity cuts, said witnesses and residents.

Fuel tanks are engulfed in flames hours after the early morning attack, as firefighters battle the blazes. No one was injured, a doctor says.

The attack raises fears of shortages, though some of the fuel had already been moved to other sites in anticipation of such a strike.

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YEMEN

One demonstrator is killed and 11 injured in a southern town when police descend on thousands rallying for the ouster of Yemen's longtime president, an activist says.

Nouh al-Wafi says police fired tear gas and live ammunition to disperse protesters in the town of al-Maafir in Taiz province. The demonstrators are mainly students but are joined later by other residents.

In several other cities _ including Aden, Saada and Hodeida _ protesters observe a one-day shutdown of offices and businesses as part of the civil disobedience campaign called by the opposition to pressure President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.

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TUNISIA

A leading Tunisian human rights lawyer says a Tunis court has convicted a nephew of Leila Trabelsi, Tunisia's widely reviled former first lady, on drug consumption charges.

Imad Trabelsi is sentenced to two years in prison and a 2,000 dinar (about euro1,000) fine, according to Mokhtar Trifi, president of the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

The conviction is the second of a member of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's extended family since he fled Tunisia in January amid huge street protests that sparked similar uprisings across the Arab world.