N. Africa, Mideast protests: Obama says U.S. aircraft to fly refugees out of border
March 3rd, 2011
06:43 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Obama says U.S. aircraft to fly refugees out of border

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, 6:43 p.m. ET, 1:43 a.m. local] U.S. military aircraft and French charter jets joined efforts to get tens of thousands of people fleeing the fighting in Libya back home Thursday as the United Nations called for stepped-up aid to refugees.

Nearly 180,000 people, mainly foreign workers, have fled to the neighboring nations of Tunisia and Egypt amid fighting between government troops and rebels pushing to oust longtime strongman Moammar Gadhafi, the U.N. refugee agency reported. About 95,000 people have crossed into Tunisia and another 83,000 into Egypt, the office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees estimated.

[LIBYA, 1:38 p.m. ET, 8:38 p.m. local] President Barack Obama said Thursday he approved the use of U.S. military aircraft to help return to Egypt those Egyptian citizens who have fled to Tunisia to escape unrest in neighboring Libya.

[LIBYA, 7:14 a.m. ET, 2:14 p.m. local] Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the International Criminal Court prosecutor, said the body is investigating Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi and other government officials for crimes against humanity.

[EGYPT, 6:38 a.m. ET, 1:38 p.m.] Former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who is still at his residence in Sharm el-Sheikh, will be brought to Cairo next week for questioning in a corruption case, the prosecutor general's office told Mustafa Bakri, a former member of Egypt's parliament, who brought the case.

The Arab League summit scheduled for March 29 in Baghdad has been postponed because the situation is unstable in many of the countries in the group, an Iraqi government spokesman said. The summit will be rescheduled for no later than May 15 and will still be held in Baghdad, said Ali Hadi al-Moussawi, a spokeman for Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

[LIBYA, 6:27 a.m. ET, 1:27 p.m. local] The German embassy in the Libyan capital of Tripoli has been closed for security reasons, the German Foreign Office said Thursday.

[LIBYA, 4:23 a.m. ET, 11:23 a.m.] Two bombs were dropped  on military camps in the eastern Libyan town of Ajdabiya on Thursday, a tribal leader said.

Another bomb was dropped in al-Brega between the oil facility and the airport, but there were no injuries or damage, witnesses said.

Al-Brega, which has key oil and natural gas facilities, was also bombed Wednesday.

[NETHERLANDS, 3:38 a.m. ET, 9:38 a.m.]
Three Dutch Navy personnel were captured by armed men loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during an evacuation operation on Sunday, the Netherlands Ministry of Defence said Thursday.

"Intensive diplomatic negotiations" are going on between Dutch and Libyan authorities and relatives of the crew are being kept informed, said Otte Beeksma, a spokesman for the Dutch Ministry of Defense.

The crew members were trying to evacuate a Dutch citizen from the Sirte area when they were taken prisoner, he said.

[NETHERLANDS, 3:16 a.m. ET, 9:16 a.m.] Three Dutch Navy personnel were captured by armed men loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi during an evacuation operation on Sunday, the Netherlands Ministry of Defense told CNN Thursday.

[LIBYA, 1:49 a.m. ET, 8:49 a.m.] Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has spoken with embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi about a proposal to bring an international mediation team to Libya, Venezuela's information minister confirmed Wednesday.

The two leaders conversed Tuesday, Minister Andrez Izarra said in a post on his Twitter account.

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Filed under: Africa • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Military • Tunisia • U.S. Navy • World • Yemen
soundoff (63 Responses)
  1. Cesar

    I like to eat poop.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      I love u guys u make my pathetic life worth living

      March 4, 2011 at 12:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Frank

    People of the United States of America and President Obama,
    How in Gods name,with almost every State trying to ward off Bankrupcy,unemployment at 9+%,Unions screaming on the verge of Violence,Gas prices hitting $4.00+ and every other financial Crisis occurring in the United States,how the hell does the Federal Government find the money to transport People(Muslims) out of Libya into Eygpt.Where the hell is the Eygptian Airforce.This effort I am sure will cost a couple of billion dollars before it is done.HEY WI. see where all the Federal Tax dollars are going!Next time you vote.remember this!

    March 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill from OHIO

    Libya is Egypt's "red-headed" stepchild and Qadhaffi is regarded as a joke. The situation in Libya is a side-show. It would be a huge mistake to intervene because the "new" Egypt would see this as an opportunistic move by the US. The relationship Egypt has with Libya is similar to the one we have with Mexico. Mexico is often seen as volatile, but we would be quite miffed if say China were to use military force in Mexico to protect its interests. We need to sit on our hands and let them duke it out. In the post-cold war era, Libya does not hold the strategic value it once did.

    March 3, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Morbo

    Fake Cesar you're an ashol go screw your mama

    March 3, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Now that sounds like something that either Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann would say,Morbo. You're obviously a Tea Partier!!!

      March 4, 2011 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Satan

    @Morbo: There is more than one fake Cesar. Ever see the Eminem video where there's a bunch of Eminem imitators being made in a factory? Its kinda like that only the people here are not Cesar's friends they are teasing him because he's a clown. His fake communist buddies are clowns too. FYI You'll be wearing tons of makeup when your tight lil &$$ comes to stay. 😉 Do lot's of keegles baby. Smootchie boochies. Ahahaha the unicorn dies tonight.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. ChongLee

    Very good communist superfriends, but internet not hit back! You break my record now I break you like I break your friend...

    March 3, 2011 at 6:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Todd

    but in hearing even more news today , like its all been not good , wat's up with the ivory coast? is it really any different than libya . or egypt? it just seems to be unravelling and crumbling slowly into huge issues.

    March 3, 2011 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Fake Cesar #666

    Hey Satan, FK Ur mother a hole. Don't put communism down again. Ever!!!!

    March 3, 2011 at 11:51 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood a beautiful day in the neighborhood, won't u be mine, won't u be mine, won't u be my neighbor

    March 4, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    HEY all you be...aches i will be on vacation next week so look for Jessica Rub-it

    March 4, 2011 at 12:33 am | Report abuse |
  11. Satan

    America needs to be a communist nation. This will solve poverty, education issues, and reduce crime.

    March 4, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  12. Ellis

    Hi Mary, just to let you know that the blog you said it was the funniest you have read was me against everybody.

    March 4, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  13. Ellis

    I was mohamad, Mike, one frank (the dirty one), Morbo (at the end).

    March 4, 2011 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
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