Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

AP News
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Posted: Sep 18, 2011 3:49 PM
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest

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LIBYA

Rockets and mortars rain down on the position where the revolutionaries retreated on the outskirts of the mountainous stronghold of Moammar Gadhafi's loyalists. So, in a fury, the fighters charge, wild and unorganized, back into the city for yet another day of fighting. Fighters for Libya's new rulers have been throwing themselves into the battle to take Bani Walid for days with no progress against the Gadhafi regime loyalists, strongly fortified and bristling with heavy weaponry. The frustration is showing among the amateur revolutionary fighters.

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SYRIA

Dozens of Syrian opposition members call on President Bashar Assad to end his deadly six-month crackdown or face an intensification of peaceful protests, as security forces fire warning shots to disperse high school students calling for the regime's downfall. The weekend meeting draws more than 200 opposition figures, including leading writer Michel Kilo and Hassan Abdul-Azim, who heads the outlawed Arab Socialist Democratic Union party. It is also notable because it took place inside Syria, rather than in a neighboring country, as most others have.

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YEMEN

Yemeni government forces open fire with anti-aircraft guns and automatic weapons on tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in the capital demanding ouster of their longtime ruler, killing at least 26 and wounding dozens, The attack is the deadliest in months against protesters and comes as tensions escalate in the long, drawn-out stalemate between the regime and the opposition. The president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, left for Saudi Arabia for treatment after being severely wounded in a June 3 attack on his palace, raising hopes for his swift removal _ but instead, he has dug in, refusing to step down.

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EGYPT

An Egyptian court sentences a Hosni Mubarak-era Cabinet minister to three years in prison after convicting him of corruption. Businessman and former Tourism Minister Zohair Garanah is already serving a five-year jail term for allowing investors to illegally acquire state land. Under Egyptian law, he will serve the longer of the two sentences.

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JORDAN

A Syrian political asylum seeker says Jordanian security forces have moved 60 Syrian army and police defectors from a compound near the border with Syria to a safer place. Many Syrians fleeing President Bashar Assad's crackdown on the uprising in their country have sought refuge in neighboring Turkey and Jordan.

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MOROCCO

Thousands of Moroccans demonstrate for greater political freedoms, as the country's pro-democracy movement attempts to regain momentum lost over the summer At least 3,000 people march through the streets of Morocco's largest city, chanting slogans against government corruption in a demonstration organized by the pro-democracy February 20 movement.