Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Sep 02, 2011 4:04 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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LIBYA

Rebel fighters push closer to Moammar Gadhafi's birthplace of Sirte, despite the extension of a deadline for the town's surrender and negotiations with tribal leaders aimed at avoiding bloodshed. With the capital of Tripoli firmly in their hands, the rebels say they are in no rush to assault Sirte and military action would be a last resort.

Meanwhile, a Libyan official says at least five foreign oil and gas companies are back in the country to work on resuscitating production.

After Friday's Muslim prayer services, thousands celebrate Gadhafi's ouster in Tripoli's central plaza.

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SYRIA

The European Union bans oil imports from Syria in a move that will cost the embattled regime millions of dollars each day as it tries to crush a resilient uprising that has railed against the country's authoritarian government for more than five months.

President Bashar Assad's assault on protests continues, killing at least 13 people, activists say. Security forces fire on thousands of anti-government protesters and surround mosques to prevent worshippers from streaming into the streets to join the rallies.

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BAHRAIN

A senior Shiite cleric blames security forces for the death of a young protester in Bahrain. Sheik Isa Qassim says "the killing of a 14-year-old boy by security forces" during an anti-government demonstration Wednesday shows that the island nation's Sunni rulers are not listening to people's demands for greater rights. Bahrain's majority Shiites began protests in February. More than 30 people have died during the demonstrations and crackdowns.

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TUNISIA

Tunisia's state news agency says a teenage girl died and four people were injured during a melee between police and marauding youths _ a sign of continuing instability in the nation after its pro-democracy revolution. The TAP agency cites an unidentified Interior Ministry official as saying youths rioted in the central town of Sbeitla overnight, setting fire to a police station and a train station, and ransacking a hospital. Police and soldiers moved in and fired warning shots, sparking a stampede in which the 17-year-old girl died and the others were injured.