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Obama backs allies sending military aides to Libya

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama supports the decision by allies to send military advisers to aid Libyan rebels but has no plans to put US “boots on the ground,” his spokesman said Wednesday. A senior American diplomat, meanwhile, told lawmakers in a letter obtained by AFP on Wednesday, that Obama…

Yemen death toll rises as U.S. ups pressure for Saleh to resign

SANAA (Reuters) – Police and armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on demonstrators in the Yemeni cities of Taiz and Hudaida on Monday, witnesses said, as a drive to oust veteran President Ali Abdullah Saleh gathered pace. The violent attempt to suppress mounting protests inspired by uprisings in Egyptand Tunisia came amid…

Air raids ‘could fuel mutiny’ in Gaddafi regime

CAIRO, Egypt – Western air strikes on Libya could fuel a possible mutiny inside Moamer Kadhafi’s regime and bolster the ranks of opposition forces, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Wednesday. Although the endgame in Libya remained unclear, Gates said during a visit to Egypt that mounting pressure on…

UN warns of ‘shocking’ abuses in Bahrain

MANAMA – The United Nations warned on Thursday of “shocking and illegal” abuses in Bahrain where the US-backed Sunni Muslim rulers are waging a bloody crackdown on Shiite-led protesters. The violence in the strategic Gulf kingdom has alarmed Washington and sparked furious condemnation from Iran, Shiite leaders in Iraq and…

US Congress wary of arming Libya opposition

WASHINGTON – Top US senators expressed doubts Tuesday about calls to arm Libya’s opposition and said they needed more details about the goals and dangers of any no-fly zone over the strife-torn country. Asked about delivering weapons to forces arrayed against embattled leader Moamer Kadhafi, Senate Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne…

US says Libya at crossroads of democracy, civil war

WASHINGTON – Warning that Libya is at the crossroads of democracy and civil war, the United States vowed Tuesday to press Moamer Kadhafi to step down by squeezing him economically and militarily. Washington and its allies sharpened their focus on possible military action, including a no-fly zone that a US…

World turns screws on ‘delusional’ Gaddafi

TRIPOLI (AFP) – Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi insisted his people loved him but was slammed as “delusional” as Western nations prepared on Tuesday to ramp up pressure to prevent a full-blown catastrophe in his country. The United States said it had blocked around $30 billion in Libyan assets, the largest…

US hails ‘positive steps’ by Bahrain monarchy

WASHINGTON – The United States welcomed peacemaking moves by Bahrain’s monarchy Tuesday, as tens of thousands of protesters descended on the heart of the capital Manama in a massive anti-regime rally. The US State Department said it commended steps taken by King Hamad and Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad in…

Four killed in violent Bahrain crackdown: opposition

MANAMA — Riot police stormed through a Manama square in the dark early Thursday firing rubber bullets and tear gas in a harsh crackdown on anti-regime protesters that left four dead, witnesses and opposition said. Up to 95 protesters were wounded when police launched the operation in the iconic Pearl…

Bahrain forces break up protesters’ camp, 2 killed

MANAMA – Two people were killed and at least 50 injured overnight Wednesday as Bahrain’s security forces moved in to clear protesters camped out in a central Manama square, a Shiite opposition spokesman told AFP. “Two people have been killed and at least 50 others injured, at least 10 of…

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