Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Jun 08, 2011 2:34 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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LIBYA

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, increasingly cornered under a stunning upturn in NATO airstrikes, lashes back with renewed shelling of the western city of Misrata, killing 10 rebel fighters. The international alliance says it remains determined to keep pounding Gadhafi forces from the air, but would play no military role in the transition to democratic rule in the oil-rich North African country once the erratic leader's 42-year rule ends. In Brussels, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen says Gadhafi's days in power are clearly numbered, making it imperative for the international community, the United Nations in particular, to gear up to help Libyans establish a new form of government.

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SYRIA

Thousands of elite troops led by Syrian President Bashar Assad's brother converge on a restive northern area, and neighboring villages warn that the convoys of tanks were approaching, a resident and a Syrian activist say. Syrian forces have lost control of large areas of the northern province, a pro-government newspaper reports, in a rare acknowledgment of cracks in the regime's tight grip after weeks of protest calling for an end to its 40-year rule. The separate reports raise the prospect of more bloodshed in Syria's nationwide crackdown on the 11-week revolt. The region borders Turkey, which says it would open the border to Syrians fleeing violence.

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YEMEN

Hundreds of armed tribesmen have taken control of part of Yemen's second-largest city, Taiz, security officials say. The advance on Taiz shows the government's already tenuous control over the country has slipped further since President Ali Abdullah Saleh was wounded in a rocket attack on his compound in the capital Sanaa and left for medical care in neighboring Saudi Arabia. Saleh left as Yemen was edging closer to civil war. Security officials say Taiz, a city of about a million located 150 miles (250 kilometers) south of Sanaa, is quiet after two days of fighting during which troops loyal to the regime fought rival tribesmen trying to storm the presidential palace there.

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TUNISIA

Tunisia will hold an election Oct. 23, not in July as planned, because conditions are not yet right for the first vote since the ouster of the country's autocratic president, the prime minister announces. Tunisia's fledgling experiment with democracy is being closely watched around the world because the popular uprising in the country sparked pro-democracy revolts around the region. The success or failure of elections in Tunisia would send a strong signal to other nations in the region.