N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'
Anti-government protesters pray Friday in Benghazi, Libya, during a call to arms to join the fight against the government forces of President Muammar Gaddafi.
March 4th, 2011
10:51 PM ET

N. Africa, Mideast protests: Egypt's new prime minister says he is 'of the people'

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 9:06 p.m. ET, 4:06 a.m. local] Egypt's new prime minister, Essam Sharaf, appeared before thousands of protesters at Cairo's Tahrir Square on Friday, telling them he is "of the people" and would resign if he failed to meet their demands. Sharaf, Egypt's former transportation minister, was sworn in Friday after the resignation of Ahmed Shafik, the last prime minister appointed by Hosni Mubarak.

[LIBYA 6:00 p.m. ET, 1:00 a.m. local] The United Nations said Friday it is studying Libya's request to install a more loyal diplomat as its ambassador. A letter from Libya's government asked that former Foreign Minister Ali Abdussalam Treki be approved as its envoy. Treki, who recently served as the president of the U.N. General Assembly, would replace Mohamed Shalgham as ambassador in New York.

[LIBYA 2:16 p.m. ET, 9:16 p.m. local] Libyan government spokesman Majid al-Dursi told CNN that "Zawiya has been captured, Zawiya has been liberated."

Battalions of forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked protesters with mortars and machine guns as they were demonstrating in the city's Martyrs Square, eyewitnesses said. The troops also assaulted an ambulance and killed people who fell wounded.

"Civilians were killed but we can not say how many. We buried nine people so far," the witness said. "The attack was indescribable. Direct gunfire was opened on people."

[SAUDI ARABIA, 12:04 p.m. ET, 8:04 p.m. local] A second protest unfolded in Riyadh after Friday prayer, according to two Saudi activists who requested they not be identified because of concerns for their safety.

As many as 40 anti-government demonstrators gathered outside Al-Rajhi Mosque for a short protest. At least one man involved in organizing the protest was arrested, the activists said.

The activists said the protesters attracted a crowd of worshipers leaving the mosque. Some of the protesters carried signs showing a map of Saudi Arabia that did not contain the words "Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," an affront to the Saudi royal family.

[LIBYA, 11:56 a.m. ET, 6:56 p.m. local] A witness said the Friday attack in Zawiya was an "indescribable" and deadly assault. The witness said forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi attacked peaceful protesters in Zawiya with mortars and machine guns.

[LIBYA, 11:32 a.m. ET, 6:32 p.m. local] A C-130 cargo plane labeled with a U.S. flag landed in Tunisia, Libya, on Friday, CNN has learned.  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Friday that two C-130 planes were en route to Tunisia to help with the humanitarian crisis in Libya.

[LIBYA, 11:02 a.m. ET, 6:02 p.m. local] At least 15 people have been killed and 200 wounded in the Libyan city of Zawiya, according to a doctor, who said "there is a river of blood" at the hospital where the injured are being treated.

Earlier, a report from Libyan State TV said that people in Zawiya, west of Tripoli, and "their public leadership have secured and took control over the city from the 'armed terrorist elements.'"

The doctor said wounded people started arriving at the hospital Friday morning, and most of the injuries are from gunshots.

Many of the injuries are critical, with wounds in the head and chest, the doctor said. The hospital is running out of medical supplies and "the situation is very bad," the doctor said.

[LIBYA, 7:47 a.m. ET, 2:47 p.m. local] Pro-Gadhafi forces have clashed with opposition fighters in Ras Lanuf, opposition sources in eastern Libya told CNN Friday.

[SAUDI ARABIA, 6:36 a.m. ET, 2:36 p.m. local] Demonstrators protested in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province on Friday to demand the release of Shiite prisoners they feel are being held unjustly.

An outspoken Shiite prayer leader who demonstrators say was arrested last Friday was a focal point of the "day of rage" protest, said Ibrahim Al-Mugaiteeb, president of the Human Rights First Society.

Sheikh Tawfeeq Al-Amer was arrested Friday after a sermon stating that Saudi Arabia should become a constitutional monarchy, Al-Mugaiteeb said.

[YEMEN, 6:26 a.m. ET, 2:26 p.m. local] Security forces opened fire on protesters on the northern Yemeni city of Harf Sufyan Friday, killing two people and injuring nine others.

[IRAQ, 6:10 a.m. ET, 2:10 p.m. local] Authorities imposed curfews and limited access to city centers across Iraq as thousands of protesters demanded economic progress and an end to corruption, police said. Demonstrators were reported to be gathering in Baghdad, Basra, Nineveh, Anbar and Salaheddin.

The developments follow weeks of demonstrations across the country by protesters angry about unemployment, poor basic services, corruption and a lack of freedom. At least 13 people died in protests on February 25.

[LIBYA, 4:43 a.m. ET, 11:43 a.m. local] The eastern Libyan town of al-Brega was calm early Friday, witnesses said, a day after forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi launched airstrikes on the oil port in an effort to reclaim it from the opposition.

[LIBYA, 1:59 a.m. ET, 8:59 a.m. local]
Venezuela's president says embattled Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was receptive to the idea of an international commission coming to the North African country when the two heads of state spoke this week.

"I consulted with him. I asked him if he was willing to accept a commission of countries," Chavez said in remarks broadcast on state-run VTV Thursday night.

"And he told me, 'Look, Chavez, not only of countries; I hope the whole United Nations come here to see the reality of what's happening before they start condemning the Libyan government or the Libyan people, before they start thinking as they are now, and preparing to invade Libya."

[LIBYA, 11:03 p.m. ET, 6:03 a.m. local]
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Thursday that embattled Libyan  leader Moammar Gadhafi agreed with Chavez's proposal to send a goodwill commission to Libya when the two leaders spoke Tuesday.

In remarks broadcast on state-run VTV, Chavez did not specify whether such a commission would actually go to Libya.

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Filed under: Africa • Bahrain • Egypt • Libya • Tunisia • World • Yemen
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. Len Chow

    Egg roll, $3.

    March 4, 2011 at 2:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. 666

    Frank where you at come back!!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kunt bagger

    fukk you frankkk

    March 4, 2011 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 666

    Kunt bager your not the real angry frank so don't try to be him you sound stupid

    March 4, 2011 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
  5. 666

    Angryman wake up!!!!!!!Angryman kome home......postposts@blogscnn.......@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@pplskomebakkk@@@@@@@weneedyou@@@@@@dontbangry.........

    March 4, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      i have two words for you RUBBER ROOM it went off the page

      March 4, 2011 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. 666

    Frank I understand that angry frank doesn't want you to use the word Tea party, hope he doesn't see it

    March 4, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Karen

    Thank you Frank, I'm confused with all this, I really prefer to stay out of this blog. Sorry Bye....

    March 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cesar

    Frank, you're out of order! Matt, Karen, and 666 you're out of order!!! This whole thread is out of control!!! CNN wire staff, please control your bloggers!! You must maintain boundaries. Your discipline skills are inadequate. Control your people!!!!!

    March 4, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Cesar

    U.S. Military 1-30 is just the beginning. The objective will change for U.S. Influence and world dominance for the interest of the American people.

    March 4, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Frank

      Now I know that you're not the true Cesar,Phunnie boy. The stupidity of what you posted above gives you away!!!

      March 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Cesar

    @Real leftist Frank: Being the fair minded person I am I agree that "collateral" damage is unacceptable on any level which is why I support removing the cancer (Gadhafi) without damaging the surrounding tissue (innocents). It is possible, but Gerald Ford (I believe) made assassinations illegal (for some reason). I took a candy bar from a store when I was a child, so I guess your fraud and savior will disallow my opinion in this matter. You're right genocide and stealing candy as a child is equal. You're God enables tyranny while lashing at the victims of tyranny for committing relatively minor transgressions. Your God says to stone an unruly child and sacrificing cute lambs. My God on the other hand loves, nurtures and forgives. I pray that one day all the haters will find peace. Go freedom! Go democracy! Yay free press! Yay non state controlled media!

    March 4, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. ThePeopleWhisperer

    @CNN's People: Yes we are but dogs to be silenced says the fake Cesar communist/anarchist infiltrator. Ignore him folks. You can pick out his anarchist/communist drivel under fake names if you pay close attention. He's the one who always supports dictators. Even though most detest him nobody has called for his ouster from the blog. If you counter with facts he will twist and flip the discussion as to confuse you, but don't let him. He doesn't own you, nor can he grab you by the back of the neck and force you to behave or obey. That's how communists/anarchists roll. Just laugh like everyone else on this blog does. ChinoXL fu2!

    March 4, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Cesar

      Here goes Phunnie boy again,posting under a different name. This is getting kind of corny. I'm the real Cesar here and I say both to the U.S. and the Brits,stay out of Libya where you have no business!!!

      March 5, 2011 at 5:39 am | Report abuse |
  12. 666

    Fake Cesar you are full of crap, its very disgusting to listen to you pls find something else to do and don't write crap here, go to china.

    March 4, 2011 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  13. 666

    Yay you stupid idiot

    March 4, 2011 at 5:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Centrist

    I rarely laugh out loud, but I did when reading this blog. The popular uprising here against the fake Cesar and his buddies is hilarious. "Waaahh.. Where's Stalin when you need him? Waaahhh.."

    March 4, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  15. leeintulsa

    I think it's so lame. And if the collective.. mockers..? whatever they want to be thought of as..? won't quit, please, Cesar, ruffnutt, ignore them. You're making a 40 post problem into a 60 post problem. If you ignore them, they may go away...

    March 4, 2011 at 6:08 pm | Report abuse |
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