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Bloody Day in Libya but Bahrain Permits Retaking of Main Square

Demonstrations continue in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen. Bahrain claims Hizbullah involvement, allows return to main square. 80 dead in Libya.
By Maayana Miskin and Rachel Sylvetsky
First Publish: 2/18/2011, 1:09 PM / Last Update: 2/18/2011, 1:47 PM

The mass protests sweeping the Arab world continued Saturday with demonstrations in Yemen, Libya and Bahrain. In the latter two countries thousands took to the streets to mourn protesters killed in clashes with police earlier in the week.

In Bahrain, crown prince Salman kept the military out of  the Pearl Roundabout in the capital city of Manama, where five people were killed in a brutal attack Thursday on protesters  for a total of ten since the protests began. He expressed regret for the deaths.

Bahraini leaders have accused the Lebanese terrorist group Hizbullah, a Shi'ite Muslim group, of encouraging riots in their country. Officials said that Hizbullah flags were found at the Manama rally, along with weapons and ammunition.

In Yemen today, demonstrators marched on Sanaa University, where witnesses claimed the military fired into the crowd, killing one and wounding five.  Four demonstrators have been killed in the country so far, in 9 straight days of demonstrations.

Reports claim that 80 demonstators were killed in clashes with security forces  in Libya on Saturday in addition to the twenty-four people killed in Libya over the previous three days.  

Protesters in each country are demanding the resignation of their leaders and their replacement in democratic elections. Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in power for 32 years. Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi has been in power for more than 40 years.

Bahrain is led by Sunni Muslim monarchs from the Khalifa family. The majority of the population is Shi'ite Muslim.

Revolutions in Bahrain and Yemen could strike a serious blow to the international war on terrorism. Bahrain has been the Gulf state that most cooperates with the West, while Saleh has cooperated with the United States in the war on Al-Qaeda.