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Libya, Jordan And Yemen Hit By Renewed Unrest

February 19, 2011

Renewed civil unrest inspired by the recent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt is being reported in three other Middle Eastern countries – Libya, Yemen and Jordan.


Libyan authorities have deployed troops in the second city of Benghazi following night time rallies over the killings of more than 20 protesters.

A major demonstration is taking place in the northern city of Tobruk and in Tripoli three people have reportedly been killed in an attempted jail break, according to security officials.

Libya has issued no casualty or injury figures after two days of protests.

Anti-government protesters attend the weekly Friday prayers in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz

But Human Rights Watch, quoting sources in the country, said at least 24 people have been killed by Libyan security forces who are using live fire.

Libya exerts strict controls on media and communications, making independent verification of claims about the unrest difficult to obtain.

Foreign journalists have been forbidden from entering the country by Colonel Gaddafi who appears to be trying to shut the country off to the outside world.


Libya’s state news agency, JANA, has made no mention of any violence. However, it has reported that “popular rallies” have taken place in “various Libyan cities to express support for the leader”.

Gaddafi’s rule of over 40 years makes him the longest-serving leader of the Arab world and of Africa.

Political analysts say Libya’s oil wealth will probably enable it to resist demands for change, unlike neighbouring Tunisia and Egypt.

Protests in Libya, Yemen and Jordan

In Yemen, at least two people have reportedly been killed and dozens injured in protests in a “Day Of Rage” in the southern city of Aden.

In the city of Taiz two activists have been killed and seven people have been injured after a hand grenade thrown from a car exploded, according to witnesses.

Yemeni security forces and pro-government supporters have clashed with protesters demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule.

It is the eighth consecutive day of protests in the country.

Witnesses said one protester was shot and four were wounded as police tried to disperse crowds in Aden.

Wounded demonstrator stretchered into hospital. Photo from Quryna Newspaper, Benghazi

Injured protestor stretchered into a Benghazi hospital

Thousands of campaigners have taken part in rallies in various parts of Aden, which have been sparked by the killings of six people earlier this week.

At least 10,000 people also took to the streets of Taiz but state television put the number at one million.

Meanwhile in Jordan there has been a seventh day of demonstrations in the capital Amman.

Eight people were reported to have been injured in clashes between government supporters and people calling for more freedoms and lower food prices.

Supporters of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi hold his pictures as they take part in a pro-government rally in Tripoli

Tripoli rally in support of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi

Elsewhere in Iran thousands of government supporters called for the execution of opposition leaders in the Iranian capital of Tehran, following last week’s anti-government demonstrations.

Tunisia’s former President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali is said to be in a grave condition in hospital in Saudi Arabia. His 23-year rule was ended by a popular revolt on January 14.

Egyptians meanwhile have held a nationwide “Victory March” to celebrate the overthrow a week ago of Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.

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