Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Benghazi, Libya and Dubai, Bahrain see protests...where next?

From Reuters, in Globe and Mail, February 16, 2011
Hundreds of people clashed with police and government supporters overnight in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, a witness and local media said, in a rare show of unrest in the oil exporting country.

Libya has been tightly controlled by leader Muammar Gaddafi for over 40 years but has also felt the ripples from popular revolts in its neighbours Egypt and Tunisia.
Libyan state television said that rallies were held in the early hours of Wednesday morning across the country in support of Mr. Gaddafi, who is Africa’s longest serving leader.

Reports from Benghazi, about 1,000 kilometres east of the Libyan capital, indicated the city was now calm but that overnight, protesters armed with stones and gasoline bombs had set fire to vehicles and fought with police.
The protesters were angry about the arrest of a human rights campaigner and demanded his release.
The online edition of Libya’s privately-owned Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, said 14 people were hurt in the clashes, including 10 police officers. It said none of the injuries was serious.
“Last night was a bad night,” a Benghazi resident, who did not want to be identified, told Reuters by telephone.
“There were about 500 or 600 people involved. They went to the revolutionary committee (local government headquarters) in Sabri district, and they tried to go to the central revolutionary committee ... They threw stones,” he said.
And this...
By Brian Murphy, Globe and Mail February 16, 2011
Dubai:Thousands of protesters took over a main square in Bahrain's capital Tuesday — carting in tents and raising banners — in a bold attempt to copy Egypt's uprising and force high-level changes in one of Washington's key allies in the Gulf.
The unrest in Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, adds another layer to Washington's worries in the region. In Yemen, police and government supporters battled nearly 3,000 marchers calling for the ouster of
The move by demonstrators capped two days of clashes across the tiny island kingdom that left at least two people dead, parliament in limbo by an opposition boycott and the king making a rare address on national television to offer condolences for the bloodshed.
Security forces — apparently under orders to hold back — watched from the sidelines as protesters chanted slogans mocking the nation's ruling sheiks and called for sweeping political reforms and an end to monarchy's grip on key decisions and government posts.

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