Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: May 21, 2011 5:59 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Syrian security forces open fire on a funeral procession for slain anti-government protesters, pushing the number of people reported killed in a two-month uprising to more than 900 and making it one of the deadliest of the Arab Spring. The latest bloodshed suggests that crackdowns by President Bashar Assad's regime show no signs of easing despite international sanctions and condemnations from the U.S. and its allies.

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LIBYA

NATO widens its campaign to weaken Moammar Gadhafi's regime with airstrikes on desert command centers and sea patrols to intercept ships, the military alliance says, amid signs of growing public anger over fuel shortages in government-held territory.

In the coastal town of Zawiya, crowds apparently outraged by dwindling fuel supplies tried to stab foreign reporters in a minibus on a state-supervised trip to the Tunisian border. The journalists were not harmed in the attack.

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EGYPT

An Egyptian judge postpones the trial of the country's former interior minister and four of his top aides in the deadly shooting of protesters after chaos broke out in the courtroom, with families of the victims shouting "Butcher! Butcher!" at the defendants.

Habib el-Adly is the highest-ranking former regime official to be brought to trial so far in the killings of 846 protesters and the injury of thousands of others during the uprising that forced ex-president Hosni Mubarak to step down on Feb. 11. If convicted, el-Adly could face the death penalty.

Meanwhile, in the port city of Alexandria, the trial resumes of two police officers accused in the killing of an Egyptian whose death helped spark the uprising that toppled Mubarak. A judge set June 30 for a verdict in the highly charged case.

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YEMEN

Under pressure from protesters and regional allies, Yemen's president says he will sign a deal to step down after 32 years in power. Still, he condemned the proposal as "a coup" and warned the U.S. and Europe that his departure will open the door for al-Qaida to seize control of the fragile nation on the edge of Arabia.