Tens of thousands march across Arab world

2011-02-25 16:03
Baghdad - The escalating revolt in Libya on Friday emboldened protesters across the Arab world, where tens of thousands flooded streets from Tunisia to Yemen to demand better lives and greater freedom.

Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi's crumbling Libyan regime staged a bloody fightback in western towns near Tripoli after the east declared itself free of his iron-fisted rule and opponents strung up effigies of the leader.

In Az-Zawiyah, 23 people were killed and 44 wounded when regime loyalists mounted a ferocious rearguard action against protesters in the key oil refinery town, Libya's Quryna paper reported.

Heavy fighting was reported in Libya's third city Misrata, and in Zouara, further west towards the Tunisian border, fleeing Egyptian workers said the town was in the control of civilian militias after fierce fighting.

The United Nations warned Libya's food distribution system was at risk of collapsing and from Cairo, state media reported that Kadhaf al-Dam, a close Kadhafi aide had resigned in protest against the handling of the crisis.

The protests sweeping the Middle East, which have already toppled Tunisia's Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and Egypt's Hosni Mubarak, have been organised largely on social networking website Facebook.

They have united a disparate group of causes, railing against poor public services and demanding broader political reforms in some of the most corrupt countries in the world with strict censorship.

Stones, shoes and bottles

In Iraq, a "Day of Rage" against the government's failure to provide basic services left seven dead after the clashes in the north while thousands of protesters poured into Baghdad's Tahrir Square.

Angry young men threw stones, shoes and bottles at riot police and overturned two concrete walls that had been erected to seal off access to Baghdad's heavily-fortified Green Zone, home to the US embassy.

"We don't want to change the government, because we elected them, but we want them to get to work!" said Darghan Adnan, a 24-year-old student.

"We want them to enforce justice. We want them to fix the roads. We want them to fix the electricity. We want them to fix the water."

Security forces fanned out in force and imposed a vehicle ban after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki claimed Al-Qaeda insurgents and loyalists of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein organised the demonstrations.

Across Yemen, tens of thousands demonstrated after the main weekly Muslim prayers to demand that veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh step down.

In the capital, thousands poured into a main square near Sanaa University, many of them women, chanting "Out, out!" and "God bears witness to your acts, Abdullah".

The protesters have dubbed Friday "the beginning of the end" for Saleh's regime which has been in power in Sanaa since 1978.
"There is no solution unless the regime steps down," prayer leader Sheikh Abdullah Satar told the faithful over a megaphone.

Seven victims


In the main southern city of Aden, thousands more rallied but there were no immediate reports of violence despite near daily clashes that have killed 15 people and wounded scores in the country.

In Tunisia, tens of thousands rallied to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi's transitional government in the biggest rally since last month's ouster of Ben Ali.

Demonstrators chanted "Ghannouchi leave" and "Shame on this government" as army helicopters circled above what police estimated as 100 000 people.

In Bahrain, the anti-regime campaign entered a 12th day with a mass rally to honour seven victims of a deadly police crackdown last week.

The mainly Shi'ite protesters, demanding an end to two centuries of the Sunni Al-Khalifa dynasty, gathered in a Pearl Square festooned with banners calling for reform and waved red-and-white national flags.

Jordan too braced for 10 000 members of the powerful Islamist opposition movement and other parties who were expected to march through central Amman for their own "day of anger" by deploying several thousand security forces.

The Islamic Action Front and the supporters of 19 political parties have called for the largest protest since January, calling for reforms and to denounce violence in which eight people were hurt at a rally last week.


Read more on:    nouri al-maliki  |  hosni mubarak  |  muammar gaddafi  |  tunisia  |  libya  |  bahrain  |  jordan  |  iraq  |  yemen  |  north africa  |  uprisings  |  yemen protests  |  bahrain protests  |  libya protests
NEXT ON NEWS24X

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Pinelands - 19:07 PM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    ACCIDENT before the Jan Smuts Drive exit is CLEARED
  • Monday Langa - 18:54 PM
    Road name: N7 Vanguard Drive
    DELAYS at the N2 Highway
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2 TV Series for R250

Get 2 TV Series box sets for R250 and save up to R148! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing deals on electronics!

Save up to 35% on electronics. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Curve 9360

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 smartphone comes preloaded with Blackberry OS7...

From R1455.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong emphasis on relationships. Obsession, emotional disputes, retaliation or competitive actions are highlighted....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.