Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Jun 24, 2011 8:14 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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SYRIA

Defying government guns, thousands of Syrian protesters pour down city streets and a main highway to press demands for President Bashar Assad's ouster. Security forces open fire, killing at least 15 people, including two children, activists say.

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YEMEN

A car bomb believed to have been set off be a suicide attacker kills three Yemeni security personnel in the southern city of Aden, the government says, as residents grow fearful of a possible attempt by Islamic militants to seize control of the strategic port city.

The government quickly says it suspects al-Qaida, but opponents have accused the regime of exaggerating the al-Qaida threat to try to hang on to Western support in the face of the four-month protest campaign aimed at ousting the autocratic president.

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators in Aden and around the nation again hold weekend rallies against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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BAHRAIN

Bahrain's top Shiite cleric sharply criticizes the life sentences given to eight opposition leaders for their role in anti-government protests in this Gulf kingdom. Sheik Isa Qassim's sermon is the latest signal that Shiite leaders could snub Sunni rulers' appeals for dialogue next month amid the crackdown in Bahrain, which is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Bahrain's government defends the sentences, saying that the activists were convicted of "plotting to violently topple Bahrain's government" and "passing sensitive information to a terrorist organization in a foreign country."

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LIBYA

Dozens of detained rebels return on a Red Cross ship to their eastern stronghold of Benghazi, detailing how they were tortured at the hands of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces.

The ship carrying 51 prisoners also brought back 249 people who wanted to be reunited with family in eastern Libya, a Red Cross spokeswoman says. It was not immediately clear whether there had been a prisoner swap with the Gadhafi government.

"They electrocuted us, they tortured us in every possible way," says Yousef al-Fetori, who had been detained in the capital of Tripoli. "They broke my ribs, hand and leg."

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EGYPT

Dozens of supporters of Hosni Mubarak clash with opponents of the ousted Egyptian leader in central Cairo, with some on both sides hurling rocks at each other. Police say 20 people are injured. One side shouts, "We love you, Mr. President," and the other side screams back, "The people want to execute the butcher."

The 83-year-old Mubarak is to face trial in August on charges he ordered the killings of protesters during the 18-day uprising that ousted him on Feb. 11. A conviction could carry the death penalty.

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JORDAN

Some 1,000 Jordanians take to the streets across the country to demand the prime minister step down and reforms be sped up. The rallies drew fewer participants than they have earlier on in the six-month protest campaign.

In the capital, about 250 members of Jordan's powerful Muslim Brotherhood, the communist party and other leftist groups demonstrated near the prime minister's office.

Protests were also held in the Islamist hotbed of Zarqa, to the east of the capital, and in several southern towns.