Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: May 16, 2011 1:24 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Syrians fleeing their homeland describe a "catastrophic" scene in a besieged border town that has been largely sealed off as the army tries to crush a two-month uprising. At least eight people were killed Sunday in Talkalakh _ the most recent casualties from a government crackdown that already has killed 850 people nationwide since mid-March, according to the National Organization for Human Rights in Syria. A town of about 70,000 residents, Talkalakh has been under a military siege since last week.

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LIBYA

The International Criminal Court prosecutor asks judges to issue arrest warrants for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and two other senior members of his regime, accusing them of committing crimes against humanity by targeting civilians in a crackdown against rebels. The move by prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo comes as rebel fighters inside the Libyan city of Misrata say they have driven Gadhafi's forces from another key point on the port city's outskirts, but there are conflicting reports on whether the rebels would advance farther for fear of opening too wide a front.

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EGYPT

Egyptian riot police fire tear gas and live ammunition to disperse thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters outside the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. At least 185 demonstrators are arrested over allegations of attacking police and vandalism. The rally in Cairo follows marches on Israel in support of the Palestinians, holding annual rallies marking the "nakba," or "catastrophe" _ the term Palestinians use to describe their defeat and displacement in the war surrounding Israel's 1948 founding. The Cairo protesters set fire to an Israeli flag, chant anti-Israeli slogans and call for the expulsion of Israel's ambassador and the closing the embassy.

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BAHRAIN

Bahrain's special security court postpones until next week the trial of 21 mostly Shiite opposition leaders and political activists accused of plotting against the state. The suspects _ 14 in custody and the others being tried in absentia _ are accused of attempting to overthrow the 200-year-old Sunni dynasty and of having links to "a terrorist organization abroad." That is an apparent reference to Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, which Bahrain's rulers have claimed was involved in the strategic island kingdom's Shiite-led protests earlier this year. Authorities are seeking to prosecute opposition leaders and others after months of clashes and protests in Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.