Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: May 29, 2011 6:06 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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YEMEN

Hundreds of Islamic militants cement control over a town in southern Yemen, even seizing army tanks, while breakaway army units encouraged other military forces to switch their loyalties and join the uprising. The growing number of defections in the military poses the most serious threat yet to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade grip on his country. A leader of the breakaway forces, Maj. Gen. Abdullah Ali Elewa, appeals to other units to join. The group included leaders of four of Yemen's five military divisions. Saleh labels them "traitors" and "war mongers." Late-night explosions are heard in the capital, and security forces attack protesters in the southern city of Taiz.

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LIBYA

The Libyan rebels' finance minister says the oil fields located in the eastern half of the country under opposition control will not resume production until it's safe to send workers to the fields. Ali Tarhouni says the rebels are "working day and night to ensure that we have that protection" and as soon as he feels "there's a minimum level of security, we'll start the oil fields." He cautions that "it won't be a matter of a week," and "it's going to take some time."

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SYRIA

Syrian government troops backed by tanks attack three central towns in an attempt to stop round-the-clock protests there against President Bashar Assad's regime, killing at least five people and wounding scores of others. Activists say a school employee was killed and several students hurt, four seriously, when a shell exploded near a school bus. Security forces in several other parts of the country fire on crowds holding overnight demonstrations, causing casualties. The new attack using military forces points to Assad's determination to crush the two-month-old revolt, despite U.S. and European sanctions, including an EU assets freeze and a visa ban on Assad and nine members of his regime.

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MOROCCO

Club wielding Moroccan police riding motorcycles drive into crowds of thousands of demonstrators in the country's largest city to disperse a protest by pro-democracy activists. A similar protest organized by the pro-reform February 20 movement in the capital's twin city of Sale also is violently disrupted, With a hand-picked commission set to recommend amendments to the constitution as part of King Mohammed VI's own reform process, authorities are showing no tolerance for demonstrations by activists.