Factbox: Protests in Middle East and North Africa

MANAMA Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:47am EST

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MANAMA (Reuters) - Here are details of some of the major protests against authoritarian governments, rising consumer prices, poverty and high unemployment around the Middle East and North Africa:

BAHRAIN -- Soldiers replaced riot police at Pearl Square, a road junction in the Bahraini capital Manama, which demonstrators had tried to turn into a protest base and which early Thursday was stormed by police. Three people were killed in the crackdown and more than 230 injured.

-- Over a thousand mourners had gathered in Bahrain on Wednesday to bury Fadel Matrouk, killed when police clashed with mourners at the funeral of another protester shot dead during an anti-government "Day of Rage" on February 14, witnesses and police said on February 15. -- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, trying to defuse the tension, has said he will give 1,000 dinars ($2,650) to each family.

LIBYA -- Hundreds of supporters of leader Muammar Gaddafi rallied Thursday but witnesses reported unrest in several locations. There were clashes Thursday in Al Bayda, near Libya's second city Benghazi, between government supporters and relatives of two men killed during an earlier protest.

-- The riot, in the early hours of Wednesday in Benghazi, was triggered by the arrest of human rights activist Fethi Tarbel, who had worked to free political prisoners, Quryna newspaper said.

-- Activists had designated Thursday a day of protests as it is the anniversary of clashes in 2006 in Benghazi when security forces killed protesters attacking the city's Italian consulate.

YEMEN -- Fierce fighting between protesters and government loyalists left at least 40 wounded Thursday, the seventh day of demonstrations demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's 32-year rule.

-- Protests spread Wednesday, with hundreds of people taking to the streets of Sanaa, the capital, Aden and Taiz.

-- The opposition has agreed to enter talks with Saleh, who is keen to avert an Egyptian-style revolt. He said he would step down in 2013 and pledged his son will not take over.

ALGERIA -- Thousands of police in riot gear blocked off the center of Algeria's capital on February 12 and stopped government opponents from staging a protest march that sought to emulate Egypt's revolt. They have said they will demonstrate every Saturday until democratic change is introduced.

-- President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, seeking to prevent opposition calls for protests from building momentum, has promised more democratic freedoms and ordered new job-creation measures. Algeria said Wednesday it would lift a state of emergency, in force for 19 years, by the end of the month.

IRAQ -- Wednesday, around 2,000 people took to the streets in Kut, 150 km (95 miles) southeast of Baghdad, throwing stones at Iraqi security forces. Some voiced anger at Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, echoing anti-government rallies in other parts of the Arab world.

-- Three people were killed and dozens wounded when the protesters, demanding better services, clashed with police and set fire to government buildings.

IRAN -- Supporters and opponents of the government clashed Wednesday at a funeral for a student shot dead during February 14's banned opposition rally.

-- State TV showed thousands of government supporters at Tehran University for the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, one of two people shot dead on February 14. Each side blames the other for the killing and claims the victim as one of their own supporters.

-- An opposition website said at least 1,500 were arrested while taking part in the banned protests.

-- A large majority of Iranian lawmakers signed a motion for two opposition leaders to be tried, calling them "corrupts on earth." The term "corrupt on earth" is a charge which has been leveled at political dissidents. It is a capital offence.

EGYPT -- President Hosni Mubarak stepped down on February 11 following 18 days of massive protests.

-- Pro-democracy leaders plan a "Victory March" Friday to celebrate the revolution and honor those killed.

-- Egypt's military said Thursday it would not field a candidate in a new presidential election. Tuesday the military announced it hoped to hand power to an elected civilian leadership within six months.

JORDAN -- King Abdullah swore in a new government on February 9, led by a former general who promised to widen public freedoms in response to anti-government protests.

-- A mix of tribal and Islamist-led opposition has called for moves toward a constitutional monarchy that limits the powers of the throne.

TUNISIA -- The wave of unrest across the region started in Tunisia after Mohamed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor, set himself on fire on December 17 in protest at his treatment by local police.

-- Protests eventually forced President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country on January 14. The government said 78 people had been killed. The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights has put the number at 117.

-- Since Ben Ali's departure, an interim government has made faltering steps toward stability. Police in many places have melted away, and strikes and protests are disrupting the economy.

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Comments (1)
fredmartello wrote:
information on the day to day changes are hard to come by here in the US. I truly hope this does not mean Bush was right!

Feb 17, 2011 1:01pm EST  --  Report as abuse
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