May 21, 2018
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Latest developments in Arab world’s unrest

The Associated Press

A Syrian attorney general appeared on video declaring his resignation to protest President Bashar Assad’s crackdown on a 5-month-old uprising, saying security forces killed hundreds of people in the city of Hama and arrested thousands of “peaceful protesters.”

The video of Adnan Bakkour, attorney general for the central Hama province, appeared to show a high-ranking defection from the embattled regime. The state-run news agency said “terrorists” kidnapped Bakkour and forced him to make the recording, and Bakkour denied that in a second video.

A spokesman for Bahrain’s Interior Ministry, Tariq al-Hassan, disputed allegations from Bahrain’s human rights activists who claim a 14-year-old protester died of a head injury caused by a police tear gas canister fired to disperse a group of anti-government demonstrators during a rally.

“The injury to the [boy’s] neck is not consistent with claims that he was hit by a tear gas canister,’‘ al-Hassan told a news conference in the capital Manama. “It cannot leave that kind of mark.”

The death of the boy was expected to spark more protest rallies.

Yemeni military and medical officials said 30 al-Qaida suspects have been killed in U.S. airstrikes and clashes with Yemeni soldiers in al-Qaida-held cities in the south. A military official said the U.S. aircraft bombed al-Qaida positions seized by militants taking advantage of the political turmoil in the country.

The airstrikes freed a Yemeni military unit besieged in southeast Abyan for several weeks by al-Qaida militants.

Yemen has seen mass protests against longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A group that monitors militant media said Al-Qaida’s North African branch is claiming to have killed or wounded scores of Algerian security forces in 32 attacks since early July. The SITE monitoring group said extremist websites carried a statement by Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb claiming the attacks between July 7 and Aug. 29 killed or wounded more than 200 people.

Algeria has seen a rise in attacks and clashes with militants in recent months, reported by security officials and local media.

Gunmen killed seven Shiite Muslims in an attack on a minibus in northwestern Pakistan on Thursday, while two people died in a suicide car bomb attack on a police station. Sunni extremists of one stripe or another will be suspected in both attacks, which were not linked.

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