Tags: protests middle east

Mideast Battle Lines Harden As Rulers Dig In

Friday, 18 February 2011 01:32 PM

Security forces and government supporters attacked protesters on Friday — using tear gas, batons, shotguns and grenades — in pitched street battles in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen.

The clashes followed a week of deepening unrest as protesters, emboldened by the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, have called for swift revolutions in their own countries, The New York Times reports.

The battle lines between protesters and authoritarian rulers across the Arab world appeared to be hardening with governments turning to an increasingly brutal script in trying to quash the protests that have swept the region.

The severity of a Libyan crackdown on Thursday’s so-called Day of Rage began to emerge Friday when a human rights advocacy group said 24 people had been killed by gunfire and news reports said further clashes with security forces were feared at the funerals for the dead.

That apprehension also seized Bahrain, where mourners for some of the five people killed in an assault on a democracy camp a day earlier marched on Pearl Square and were fired on by security forces. The violence has pitted a Sunni minority government against a Shiite majority in the strategic island state that is home to the American Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Read the entire story at nytimes.com

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Friday, 18 February 2011 01:32 PM
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