Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
|
Posted: Sep 13, 2011 3:36 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

___

LIBYA

NATO warplanes pound targets in a number of strongholds of support for fugitive dictator Moammar Gadhafi, as an offensive by revolutionary forces on a key loyalist town stalls. The military alliance says airstrikes struck one radar system, eight surface-to-air missile systems, five surface-to-air missile trailers, one armed vehicle and two command vehicles near Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte on the Mediterranean coast. NATO, which has played a crucial role in crippling Gadhafi's military capabilities over the seven-month Libyan civil war, also says it struck six tanks and two armored fighting vehicles in Sabha in the southern desert.

___

SYRIA

Syrian security forces riding in vehicles mounted with machine guns raid neighborhoods outside the capital, Damascus, before dawn as Turkey's prime minister says he is concerned Syria could descend into a sectarian civil war. The raids are the latest assault on dissent in Syria as the regime tries to crush an uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule using deadly force that the U.N. estimates has killed 2,600 since March. Protesters have refused to give in, setting up a drawn-out stalemate.

___

YEMEN

Yemeni military airstrikes on anti-government tribesmen kill seven civilians, as hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets across the country to protest another apparent attempt by their president to evade pressure to step down. The attack in the mountainous region of Arhab is the latest by Republican Guards targeting tribes that support the protests. Tribes in Arhab have announced an alliance with the protesters and are trying to prevent forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh from controlling the area. The government claims the tribesmen are linked to al-Qaida.

___

EGYPT

One of the most secretive figures of Hosni Mubarak's inner circle testifies at the ousted leader's trial under a complete media blackout, facing questions over whether his former boss ordered the use of lethal force against protesters. Omar Suleiman, who was Mubarak's longtime intelligence chief and was named vice president during the last weeks of his rule, is the first in a string of members of the ousted leader's senior leadership to appear in the court. Reporters are banned from the courtroom and from reporting anything said there.

___

JORDAN

The head of Jordan's flagship airline says Royal Jordanian will resume daily flights to Benghazi, Libya on Thursday, ending a seven-month halt because of Libya's civil war. Hussein Dabbas says flights to the capital Tripoli may resume later this month. RJ used to operate five weekly flights to Tripoli and two to Benghazi. Around 15,000 Jordanian professionals, mainly doctors, engineers and teachers, work in Libya.

___

ALGERIA

Algeria's new election law will prevent members of a banned Islamist party from participating in politics despite an ongoing reform process, a member of the ruling coalition says. The Cabinet introduced the law that includes provisions to "prevent the return of the national tragedy" and "consecrating the democratic and republican" character of the state in what appears to be a veiled language aimed at the banned party. Algeria's government holds the politicians of the Islamic Salvation Front, which was on a brink of winning the elections in 1991, responsible for the 10-year civil war that claimed more than 200,000 lives.