News / Middle East

One Anti-Government Protester Dead in Yemen

Yemeni anti-government demonstrators shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana'a, Yemen, February 19, 2011
Yemeni anti-government demonstrators shout slogans during a demonstration demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, in Sana'a, Yemen, February 19, 2011

At least one anti-government protester was reported killed Saturday in Yemen's capital, Sana'a, as a wave of political protests gains momentum across the Middle East and North Africa.

It is not clear whether security forces or pro-government supporters caused the death.  Security forces monitored the situation while people in civilian clothes threw stones at the demonstrators, who have been demanding for more than a week for the departure of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In Bahrain, police have fired tear gas on protesters in Pearl Square in the nation's capital, Manama, shortly after soldiers moved military vehicles out of the square.  The move came after a call by the main opposition group for the military to leave the streets before any consideration would be given for opposition participation in a national dialogue on the conflict.

In Libya, Human Rights Watch says at least 84 people have been killed in violence on anti-government protesters, based on reports from hospital workers and witnesses.  The group says security forces killed at least 35 protesters in the city of Benghazi Friday.

Reports from Libya say Internet access was cut early Saturday. Qatar-based Al Jazeera television says its broadcasts have also been blocked.

Protests turned violent in Jordan as well Friday, as government supporters clashed with demonstrators calling for political reform.  There are reports that at least eight people were injured when pro-government forces attacked the demonstrators with batons.

In Iran Friday, thousands of pro-government demonstrators called for the execution of opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi.  The call came ahead of a small pro-government rally.  Opposition websites have made calls for nationwide rallies Sunday to show support for Mousavi and Karroubi and to mourn the deaths of two people who died in anti-government protests in recent days.

In Egypt, the ruling military said it would not allow strikes and protests to weaken the country's economy.  Tens of thousands of people packed Cairo's Tahrir Square Friday for a day of celebration marking one week since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down.

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