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Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Egypt Celebrates As Bahrain And Libya Roar With Protests

Staff Reporters |
February 17, 2011 | 11:23 p.m. PST

 Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera

Egypt celebrated with a tremendous 'Victory March' early Friday to commerate the one-week anniversary of President Hosni Mubarak's resignation.

Elsewhere in the Middle East, the chaos that overtook Egypt for 18 days has continued for a fifth day in Bahrain and Libya since significant uprisings there sprang up.

Bahraini troops fired teargas, buckshot and rubber bullets at pro-democracy demonstrators protesting the rule of the Al-Khalifa family.

The latest flare-up in strategic oil-rich kingdom comes a day after a protest camp was attacked and smashed by a swarm of riot police and armored vehicles.

Bloomberg news reports:

At least five people have been killed since demonstrations against the Sunni ruling Al-Khalifa family began on Feb. 14. Bahrain’s foreign minister said protesters were warned before police attacked a rally in the center of the capital.
“They started firing from the bridge without any warning, then they started firing from their cars,” said Hussein Ali, 42, who was at a rally site at 3 a.m. yesterday when security forces arrived. “There were women and children in tents. I saw cars running over tents. It was terrifying, a nightmare. Small children and women were falling over.”

The dissent in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, follows the toppling of autocratic rulers by popular movements in Egypt and Tunisia and marks the spread of dissent into the Persian Gulf, where most of the Middle East’s oil is produced. The past week has also seen anti-government protests and clashes in Libya, Africa’s biggest holder of crude oil reserves, and Yemen, a producer of liquefied natural gas.
Fear escalated of more violence as funerals for those killed earlier in the week are scheduled for later Friday.


Mewanwhile, violent clashes intensified in the Arab nation of Libya, which is now seething after 40 years of dictatorial rule by Muammar Gaddafi.

Al Jazeera reports that skirmishes between protesters and security forces are spreading through the country. At least a dozen people were reported dead as protesters defied a draconian crackdown. Reports Al Jazeera:

Opponents of Gaddafi, communicating anonymously online or working in exile, urged people to protest on Thursday to try to emulate popular uprisings which unseated long-serving rulers in neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

"Today the Libyans broke the barrier or fear, it is a new dawn,'' Faiz Jibril, an opposition leader in exile, said. Abdullah, an eyewitness in the country's second largest city of Benghazi, who spoke to Al Jazeera, said that he saw six unarmed protesters shot dead by police on Thursday.

He also said that the government had released 30 people from jail, paying and arming them to fight people in the street

.Opposition website Libya Al-Youm said four protesters were killed by snipers from the Internal Security Forces in the eastern city of al-Baida, which had protests on Wednesday and Thursday, AP news agency reported.

“Libya is a free country, and people, they can say, can show their ideas, and the main thing is that it has to be in the frame of the law and it has to be peaceful, and that’s it, ” Libyan ambassador to the US, Ali Suleiman Aujali, told Al Jazeera on Thursday.

Reports also speak of hundreds of protesters torching police stations in Libya's eastern city of Beyida. The Libyan government has also sent out Twitter messages warning protesters that if they do not cease, they will face live ammunition.

See the video of Libyan clashes from Euronews.



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