Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Sep 03, 2011 3:30 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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LIBYA

Rebel fighters close in on one of Moammar Gadhafi's last strongholds, the remote desert town of Bani Walid, but are trying to persuade tribal elders there to surrender without a fight. A rebel commander says the town has been given until Sunday to surrender. "If they don't raise the rebel flag tomorrow, we will enter with force," warns Abdel Razak al-Nathori, who commands one of the brigades advancing on Bani Walid. Al-Nathori said one of Gadhafi's sons, Muatassim, was in Bani Walid on Saturday, apparently to persuade tribal leaders to stick with the crumbling regime.

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SYRIA

Syrian security forces searching for an alleged high-profile defector from President Bashar Assad's regime kill two people after storming a northern village Saturday, raising the death toll from the past two days to at least 19. The crackdown has drawn international criticism and sanctions. The European Union announced it was banning oil imports from Syria, which will cost the embattled regime millions of dollars each day. While Assad brushed off earlier condemnation as foreign meddling, the oil embargo is significant because Damascus gets about 28 percent of its revenue from the oil trade and sells fuel to France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands.

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BAHRAIN

A rights group in Bahrain says more detainees are joining a hunger strike to protest trials from the crackdown on demonstrations for greater rights by the Gulf nation's Shiite majority. A statement by the Bahrain Center for Human Rights says the hunger strike now includes nearly 20 doctors who are jailed and face anti-state charges linked to the protests against Bahrain's ruling Sunni dynasty. The trials are scheduled to resume on Wednesday.

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TUNISIA

The leaders of Tunisia and the Libyan opposition discuss their shared security concerns, vowing to support each other as they rebuild their countries following decades of authoritarian rule. Mahmoud Jibril, the deputy leader of Libya's rebels, said that he and Tunisian Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi talked about urgent security questions and long-term coordination.

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YEMEN

A suicide car bomber kills three policemen and injures seven at a checkpoint in the port city of Aden on the Arabian Sea. Gunmen firing their weapons drive through the checkpoint after the bombing on the road linking Aden to Zinjibar, the provincial capital of Abyan, which has fallen under the control of Islamic militants affiliated with al-Qaida. Also, three soldiers and 12 militants are killed in clashes between Islamists and army units advancing on Zinjibar.