N. Africa, Mideast protests: Yemeni president fires 5 governors
Moammar Gadhafi was warned by the head of the United Nations that "further action may well be necessary" against his regime.
March 1st, 2011
09:00 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Yemeni president fires 5 governors

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our interactive map explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 10:00 p.m. ET, 5:00 a.m. local] The Canadian government has frozen $2.3B (CDN) in assets tied to the Libyan government, President Gadhafi and those associated with Gadhafi, a government spokeswoman said. The assets were frozen after Canada enacted sanctions over the weekend, Canadian Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Lynn Meahan said.

[LIBYA, 6:47 p.m. ET, 1:47 a.m. local] In Libya, the rivals for power appear to be heading a stalemate. CNN's Nic Robertson explains what's happening in the capital, Tripoli, why two cities in rebel control could be key to the country's future, and why neither side has the power to dislodge the other completely.

[LIBYA, 4:13 p.m. ET, 11:13 p.m. local] The U.N. General Assembly has adopted by consensus a resolution to oust Libya from its seat on the 47-member Human Rights Council.

[LIBYA, 3:53 p.m. ET, 10:53 p.m. local] U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Navy Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Tuesday they have not seen independent confirmation corroborating reports that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has had Libya's military fire on Libyans from the air.

[WASHINGTON, 2:52 p.m. ET] U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Tuesday he has directed the Navy ships USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce to the Mediterranean as the United States positions ships in the region near Libya. The focus is on humanitarian assistance and evacuations, and there has been no authorization for use of force, he said.

[YEMEN, 12:01 p.m. ET, 8:01 p.m. local] Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh fired the governors of five of the nation's provinces, where anti-government protests have unfolded for several weeks. All five were appointed to other positions, according to a decree released Tuesday.

FULL POST

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Protest • Tunisia • World • Yemen
N. Africa, Mideast protests: Diplomat says Libya long thought Gadhafi crazy
Libyans gather outside a Tripoli bank on Monday to collect promised payments of $300 each from the Gadhafi government.
February 28th, 2011
06:59 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Diplomat says Libya long thought Gadhafi crazy

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport. CNN's Fareed Zakaria breaks down what the movements toward democracy mean.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 8:30 p.m. ET Monday, 3:30 a.m. local] After United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday about possible measures to take regarding Libya, Ban told reporters that "further action may well be necessary."

Gadhafi "has lost his legitimacy when he declared war on his people," Ban said of the Libyan leader. "This is again a totally unacceptable situation. I sincerely hope and urge him to listen to the peoples' call. That's my message to him."

American officials slapped sanctions on Libya on Friday, and the U.N. Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution on Libya on Saturday.

[LIBYA, 6:59 p.m. ET Monday, 1:59 a.m. local] The Libyan ambassador to the United States, Ali Suleiman Aujali, tells CNN that his countrymen have long regarded Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi as crazy, but that Libya has had no alternative to his rule until now.

Aujali's comment came after he reacted to Gadhafi's interview with ABC News and the BBC, in which Gadhafi said Libyans love him and want to protect him, and that the uprising that led him to lose control of Libya's second-largest city was completed by al Qaeda, not the Libyan people.

"I think this man lost touch with reality," Aujali told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Monday evening, in reaction to Gadhafi's interview. "He doesn't want to realize there are thousands of people protesting against him. He doesn't want to realize that thousands of people have been killed by his soldiers, by citizens of other African countries."

Blitzer remarked that Aujali has said that he has worked as a diplomat for Gadhafi for 40 years, and asked Aujali whether he realized during those 40 years that Gadhafi was crazy.

"Well, I think we realize that he's crazy, but we have no alternative. We have no ways to get rid of him until now, when the people" responded to the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions with a revolt of their own," Aujali said.

FULL POST

FULL STORY
Post by:
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Protest • Tunisia • Yemen
N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia
A Libyan protester in Benghazi waves the country's old national flag, which was replaced in 1977, as demonstrations continued Saturday.
February 26th, 2011
09:13 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Three killed as demonstrations turn deadly in Tunisia

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

SUNDAY

[OMAN, 9:00 a.m. ET, 6:10 a.m. local] At least two protesters were killed and about 10 injured during clashes between protesters and police in the Omani industrial town of Sohar, according to reports from state media and Oman TV editor Asma Rshid. "The police shot them because they burned shops and cars in Sohar," Rshid said. Another source said police fired rubber bullets. A number of police had also reportedly been injured, but CNN has not been able to confirm how many.

[LIBYA, 9 am ET, 4:15 p.m. local] Protests are picking up in Libya's western city of Zawiya with former security forces who said they have switched sides and joined the opposition.

The United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a draft resolution to impose sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country.

The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

SATURDAY

[TUNISIA, 9:12 p.m. ET, 3:12 a.m. local] Protests in Tunisia turned violent and deadly Saturday, just over six weeks after a popular uprising forced the president out of office, and lit a spark of desire for democratic reform in parts of Africa and the Middle East.

Three people were killed Saturday and nine others injured during mayhem in the capital, Tunis, according to a Interior Ministry statement cited by the state-run news agency, Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP).

More than 100 people were arrested, the ministry said, in the area around Habib Bourguiba Avenue, in the city's center, accused of "acts of destruction and burning."

[LIBYA, 4:58 p.m. ET, 11:58 p.m. local] City councils in areas no longer loyal to Moammar Gadhafi have chosen former Justice Minister Mustafa Abdul Jalil to head an interim government which will represent all of Libya, according to Amal Bogagies, a member of the February 17 Uprising coalition, and a separate Libyan opposition source.

[LIBYA, 4:40 p.m. ET, 11:40 p.m. local] President Barack Obama, in a statement issued Saturday after reports that forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi had fired on civilians, said "that when a leader's only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now."

The White House statement was  issued after Obama spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

[BAHRAIN, 9:37 a.m. ET, 5:37 p.m. local] Exiled opposition leader Hassan Mushaima has arrived back in Manama, Bahrain. Mushaima, leader of the Haq Movement, had told followers earlier in the week that he had been detained in Beirut, Lebanon.

[YEMEN, 2 a.m. ET, 10 a.m. local] Four people were killed and 26 wounded in clashes Friday night between anti-government protesters and security forces in southern Yemen, medical officials in Aden said Saturday.

[LIBYA, 2 a.m. ET, 9 a.m. local] A U.N. security panel is scheduled to meet Saturday to discuss new sanctions against Libya amid escalating attacks on anti-government protesters in the north African country. The resolution draft includes an arms embargo, asset freeze and a travel ban. It also refers Libya to the International Criminal Court.

Post by: ,
Filed under: Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Jordan • Libya • Malta • Middle East • Protest • Tunisia • World • Yemen
N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Hundreds flee Libya as Obama orders sanctions
A U.S. ferry carrying about 300 people, including 168 Americans, arrived Friday night in Malta from Libya.
February 25th, 2011
08:46 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: Hundreds flee Libya as Obama orders sanctions

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country and full coverage of the situation in Libya. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 8:46 p.m. ET, 3:46 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama said Friday that sanctions against Libya will target the government while protecting the people.

"We will stand steadfastly with the Libyan people in their demand for universal rights and a government that is responsive to their aspirations," he said in a statement. "Their human dignity cannot be denied."

[MAURITANIA, 6:21 p.m. ET, 11:21 p.m. local] A rare demonstration took place Friday in the streets of Mauritania after hundreds of protesters gathered, calling for social and political change, a journalist says.

The call to action started last week on Facebook, which is said to be very popular in Mauritania, said the journalist. Young protesters were surrounded by police during several hours of peaceful demonstrations in the capital city of Nouakchott, according to reports.

[LIBYA, 4:02 p.m. ET, 11:02 p.m. local] Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, Libya's ambassador to the United Nations, on Friday recommended targeted sanctions against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, members of his family and his supporters responsible for killing civilians in the North African country.

"It's not a crime to say, I want to be free," Shalgham said, adding that the targeting of people expressing discontent with Gadhafi's rule "cannot continue."

[LIBYA, 3:41 p.m. ET, 10:41 p.m. local] Members of the U.N. Human Rights Council recommend setting up an inquiry into allegations of abuse and rights violations in Libya, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon said Friday afternoon. There was also a recommendation to suspend Libya from the council.

Ban pointed to what he called a "growing crisis of refugees and displaced persons" in Libya. He estimated that 22,000 had fled through Tunisia in recent weeks and another 15,000 through Egypt, adding that "larger numbers are, in fact, trapped and unable to leave" for fears of their safety.

"We anticipate the situation to worsen," Ban said.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Protest • Tunisia • World • Yemen
N. Africa, Mideast unrest: 17 killed in western Libyan city, doctors say
An internal security officer waves the old national flag Thursday in Libya's rebellious city of Tobruk.
February 24th, 2011
09:00 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast unrest: 17 killed in western Libyan city, doctors say

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 10:12 p.m. ET, 5:12 a.m. local] The following story from CNN's Ben Wedemen shows people in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, walking through what is left of a Gadhafi family palace, which was trashed by demonstrators:

[ALGERIA, 9 p.m. ET, 3 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama has issued a statement commending Algeria for formally lifting a state of emergency that had been in place since 1992.

"This is a positive sign that the government of Algeria is listening to the concerns and responding to the aspirations of its people, and we look forward to additional steps by the government that enable the Algerian people to fully exercise their universal rights, including freedom of expression, association and assembly," Obama said in the statement, which was released by the White House.

Algeria's move lifts restrictions on freedom of speech and assembly. Those restrictions were imposed in 1992 to combat an Islamist insurgency. The decision to lift the restrictions comes as Algeria, like other Arab nations, faces waves of protest.

[LIBYA, 8:06 p.m. ET, 3:06 a.m. local] Doctors at a field hospital in Martyrs Square in the northwestern Libyan city of Zawiya said Friday that 17 people were killed and another 150 were wounded when government forces attacked the city. They predicted the death toll would rise by morning.

Six pro-regime soldiers who were captured said they had been told that the city was being run by Arab militants and it was their job to liberate it, according to the doctors, who asked not to be identified. The soldiers added
that they had been misled so that they would fight against their countrymen, the doctors said.

By the end of the day, the situation was calm in the seaside city, they said.

[LIBYA, 8:02 p.m. ET, 3:02 a.m. local] The U.N. Security Council will meet privately at 3 p.m. Friday to discuss taking additional measures against Libya.

[LIBYA, 6:54 p.m. ET, 1:54 a.m. local] U.S. President Barack Obama spoke Thursday with the leaders of France, Italy and the United Kingdom on coordinating an international response to the crisis in Libya, the White House said.

The statement said Thursday's discussions were to "coordinate our urgent efforts to respond to developments and ensure that there is appropriate accountability."

"The leaders discussed the range of options that both the United States and European countries are preparing to hold the Libyan government accountable for its actions, as well as planning for humanitarian assistance," the White House statement said.

U.S. officials have said all options were under consideration, including sanctions and enforcement of a no-fly zone, to try to stop the Libyan government from attacking protesters.

FULL POST

FULL STORY ON PROTESTS IN LIBYA
Post by: , ,
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Protest • Tunisia • World • Yemen
N. Africa, Mideast protests: Libya's interior minister quits
Algerian students demonstrate against government policies Tuesday in Algiers.
February 22nd, 2011
09:32 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Libya's interior minister quits

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

[LIBYA, 10:25 p.m. ET, 5:25 a.m. local] Via Twitter, the U.S. State Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs says U.S. citizens wishing to leave Libya should go to As-shahab Port as soon as possible after 9 a.m. and arrive no later than 10 a.m.

"U.S. government chartered ferry will depart for Valletta, Malta no later than 3 p.m. on Wednesday," the bureau said via Twitter.

Earlier, a senior administration official told CNN that the State Department is chartering ferries to take Americans from Tripoli's As-shahab port to Valletta, Malta on Wednesday.

[LIBYA, 10:18 p.m. ET, 5:18 a.m. local] With the United States unable to land any charter aircraft in Tripoli to fly U.S. citizens our of Libya on Tuesday, the U.S. State Department is chartering ferries to take travelers from Tripoli's As-shahab port to Valletta, Malta on Wednesday, according to a senior administration official not authorized to speak for attribution.

"Tomorrow the question will be if they let the ferry dock. If that happens, our people will flow out," the official said, adding that the reason the charter aircraft didn't land was because the Libyan authorities did not give them permission to do so.

Of the several thousand U.S. citizens in Libya, most are dual nationals; those solely with U.S. citizenship number about 600, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said.

The State Department issued a travel alert for non-essential staff to leave the country, an order affecting 35 employees and their families.

Crowley said the airport in Tripoli remained open in "challenging" circumstances. International carriers, he said, were making more seats available for departure.

[LIBYA, 9:32 p.m. ET, 4:32 a.m. local] The video below shows an interview with a Tripoli woman who says security forces there are trying "to not let anyone protest."

"They're trying so hard to show that the country is fine, the country is not falling, the regime is not falling, but that's not happening," she said.

[LIBYA, 8:40 p.m. ET, 3:40 a.m. local] A Libyan government spokesman, speaking on television, said U.S. and Israeli intelligence operatives were behind the unrest. "We will get rid of them, in collaboration with our people in the eastern province," he said.

He said Libyan authorities have asked those tribe members who have attacked barracks and police stations to return the weapons they had taken "because security and safety will return to normal." Referring to reports that the military had attacked civilians, he said, "We have reports and evidence they are not using arms unless against those who
attacked the barracks."

[LIBYA, 7:52 p.m. ET, 2:52 a.m. local] Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi, who confirmed to CNN that he stepped down as Libya's interior minister, says Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is "a stubborn man" who will not give up.

"He will either commit suicide or he will get killed," said Abidi, who said he has known him since 1964.

[LIBYA, 6:56 p.m. ET, 1:38 a.m. local] Libya's interior minister has confirmed to CNN that he has quit the government and is supporting the protesters, who he predicted will achieve victory in a matter "of days or hours."

Ex-Interior Minister Abdul Fattah Younis al Abidi told CNN that he resigned Monday after hearing that some 300 unarmed civilians had been killed in Benghazi alone during the prior two to three days, and he accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of planning to attack civilians on a wide scale.

"Gadhafi told me he was planning on using airplanes against the people in Benghazi and I told him that he will have thousands of people killed if he does that," Abidi said in an Arabic-language telephone interview conducted Wednesday.

[LIBYA, 6:38 p.m. ET, 1:38 a.m. local] Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Dabbashi, who on Monday accused Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi of genocide, told reporters at the U.N. on Tuesday that he again calls "on the regime to stop killing the Libyan people."

FULL POST

FULL STORY ON PROTESTS IN LIBYA
Post by: , ,
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya
N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here
Anti-government demonstrators in Sanaa, Yemen, on Monday.
February 21st, 2011
11:44 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests - Gadhafi: I'm still here

Across the Middle East and North Africa, CNN's reporters and iReporters are covering protests, many of them inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt that toppled those countries' longtime rulers. Check out our story explaining the roots of the unrest in each country. Have a story to tell from the scene? Click here to send an iReport.

Developments on unrest in the Middle East and North Africa:

LIBYA 11:45 p.m. ET, 6:45 a.m. local: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on Libya to immediately stop the "unacceptable" attacks on anti-government demonstrators.

"Like you and many others around the world, I have seen very disturbing and shocking scenes, where Libyan authorities have been firing at demonstrators from warplanes and helicopters," Ban said from Los Angeles. "This is
unacceptable. This must stop immediately. This is a serious violation of international humanitarian law."

LIBYA, 11:22 p.m. ET, 6:22 a.m. local: At the request of Libya's deputy ambassador to the United Nations - who earlier today called the crackdown in Libya a "genocide" - the U.N. Security Council scheduled a Tuesday morning meeting on Libya. This will be the first time the council has held consultations over any of the revolts that have swept Arab nations since January.

LIBYA, 11:09 p.m. ET, 6:09 a.m. local: A Libyan woman, speaking on condition of anonymity to CNN's Anderson Cooper, recounts a massacre near her home in Tripoli:

BAHRAIN, 8:51 p.m. ET, 4:51 a.m. local: CNN's Tim Lister reports from Bahrain, where he walked among protesters in the capital's Pearl Roundabout. Thousands of demonstrators were in the roundabout on Monday, preparing for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. Lister says the demonstrators' encampment has taken on an air of permanence, with tents, makeshift kitchens, even a rudimentary field hospital.

More on the Bahrain protests:

LIBYA, 7:40 p.m. ET, 2:40 a.m. local: About 15,000 of Libya's 2 million to 3 million Egyptians returned Monday across the border, border officials said.

The Egyptian military has set up refugee camps near its border with Libya and set up two mobile hospitals at the Salloum border crossing to assist Egyptians fleeing the protests in Libya, Egypt's state-run news website EgyNews
reported late Monday.

LIBYA, 7:33 p.m. ET, 2:33 a.m. local: Here is more on Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's 40-second appearance - in which he said he still was in Libya - on state-run TV Tuesday morning:

"I want to have some rest," the embattled Libyan leader told a reporter in front of what Libyan television said was his house as he pulled out an umbrella in the rain. "Because I was talking to the young man at Green Square,
and I want to stay the night with them but then it started raining. I want to show them that I am in Tripoli, not in Venezuela. Don't believe those dogs in the media."

Green Square is where pro-government demonstrators in Tripoli have been located.

LIBYA, 6:49 p.m. ET, 1:49 a.m. local: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said Tuesday morning on state-run television that he is not in Venezuela as rumored, but in Tripoli.

Earlier today, British Foreign Secretary William Hague told Reuters that Libyan leader Gadhafi may have been on his way to Venezuela.

Here is video of Gadhafi's comments to Libyan state-run TV:

LIBYA, 6:46 p.m. ET, 1:46 a.m. local: CNN's Cairo bureau chief Ben Wedeman has entered eastern Libya and is the first western television reporter to enter and report from inside Libya during the current crisis. He says much of eastern Libya appears to be in opposition control.

"What we saw as we were driving in is that this part of eastern Libya is clearly under the controls of the rebels - the forces that are opposed to Col. Gadhafi," Wedeman by phone on CNN's "The Situation Room."

"We saw along the road a lot of groups of men with shotguns - with machine guns - in civilian clothing. They call themselves basically the popular committees that are trying to maintain some sort of order along the way.

"Clearly the situation is very unstable. What we saw was that there are a lot of people – mostly Egyptians – who are leaving Libya at the moment. At the Egyptian border we were told by Egyptian officials that 15,000 Egyptian s left Libya, returning to Egypt."

"There are some signs of normal life. Gas stations are open. Stores are open. We saw … what looked like kebab shops that are functioning. There is a fair amount of traffic on the road, although I was told that was mostly Egyptians leaving the country."

FULL POST

Post by: , ,
Filed under: Africa • Algeria • Bahrain • Bahrain • Egypt • Gaza • Iraq • Libya • Middle East • Pakistan • Yemen
Tension and dark humor among protesters in Bahrain
A protester holds a sign at Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain's capital on Monday.
February 21st, 2011
08:26 PM ET

Tension and dark humor among protesters in Bahrain

Editor's note: CNN's Tim Lister reports the following from Bahrain, where thousands of protesters have been in the capital's Pearl Roundabout, preparing for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. Protesters took to the streets of the capital last week to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy, but some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf state since the 18th century.

I was down at the Pearl Roundabout on Monday - the epicenter of Bahrain's protest movement, where the demonstrators' encampment has taken on an air of permanence, with tents, makeshift kitchens, even a rudimentary field hospital.

And some dark humor. We bumped into one young man who wore a placard saying "Wake Me Up Before You Kill Me," a reference to the security forces' assault on the roundabout in the early hours of last Thursday. Nearby, a cartoonist had set up a "Democracy Wall" - Gulf style - with all sorts of sketches lampooning the royal family. Relatives of those injured or killed last week carry photographs of their loved ones. Above it all, a giant Bahraini flag hoisted by a crane.

Not to be outdone, thousands of government supporters rallied in another part of the city on Monday night - thankfully, a long way from Pearl Roundabout. While there has been no violence reported since Friday night, and the crown prince has committed himself to dialogue with opposition groups, there is still plenty of tension here.

FULL POST

Post by:
Filed under: Bahrain
Bahraini opposition groups plan next steps
The injured in Bahrain.
February 20th, 2011
11:57 AM ET

Bahraini opposition groups plan next steps

A day after thousands of joyous Bahrainis retook a major square in the heart of the island nation's capital, seven opposition groups were meeting in Bahrain to consider their next steps after an appeal from Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa for a national dialogue.

As the parties tried to coordinate a common position about a thousand protesters remained at the Pearl Roundabout, which has become this island nation's equivalent of Egypt's Tahrir Square. More Bahrainis came to the scene, many of them families. Groups of lawyers and teachers gathered to add their voice to the demand for political change and constitutional reform.

Opposition groups are considering a list of demands, which include an independent investigation into the deaths of protesters. Read the full story from CNN's Tim Lister and Rima Maktabi.

This week's protests upended the kingdom, a tiny but strategically critical country that's a key U.S. ally and home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet. Read a country by country break-down of protests across the Middle East that have happened since Egyptian protests lead to the resignation of its president Hosni Mubarak.

FULL STORY
February 18th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

4 killed in Bahrain protest

Four people were killed in the center of Bahrain's capital Friday night, where shots were fired after demonstrators gathered, an ambulance worker in Manama told CNN.

Four people were killed in earlier protests in the Persian Gulf state.

Post by:
Filed under: Bahrain • World
With Bahrain, administration again walking a fine line
Bahrain army tanks take up positions Thursday outside the central square of Manama, Bahrain.
February 17th, 2011
10:47 AM ET

With Bahrain, administration again walking a fine line

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned to call Bahrain's foreign minister on Thursday about the violence there, two State Department officials told CNN.

Security forces in Bahrain's capital, Manama, stormed an encampment of protesters in the dead of night before dawn Thursday, witnesses said, and the kingdom's health minister reported at least three people were killed and more than 200 others injured.

Bahrain is the headquarters of the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet, and the United States designated Bahrain as a major non-NATO ally in October 2001. Bahrain served as a base for U.S. military operations in the first Gulf War, and the U.S. is guaranteed the right to pre-position materials in Bahrain for use in future crises.

The administration is grappling with exactly what to say in response to the crackdown, the officials said. Top officials are "very concerned" about the violence but don't want to say anything that could lead to further violence, the sources said.

White House press secretary Jay Carney tried to walk that line during a press briefing Wednesday.

"Each country is different in how they respond to the expression of the legitimate aspirations of their people," he said. "It is very important and they need to do it in a way that reflects what we believe, what the president has said, are these universal values that each government needs to respect. And those are freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of movement, freedom of assembly, freedom of access to information the internet in particular and to respond to those demonstrations in a nonviolent way. ...

"We call on both sides in countries where these demonstrations are taking place to be nonviolent and for the governments to be responsive."

newer posts »