Middle East Update: Syria Crackdown, Negotiations in Yemen, NATO Bombs Leader's Libyan Compound

As in most recent weeks, it's been an eventful few days in the Middle East and North Africa, with more protests and violence.

"At least two large missiles or bombs struck a multistorey building in Bab al-Aziziya, the sprawling complex in the centre of Tripoli, shortly after midnight. Another building, a ceremonial reception area where Gaddafi hosted a delegation from the African Union two weeks ago, was badly damaged. ... Reports of light injuries from the blasts varied from none to 45. The Libyan leader's location was not known."

  • In Yemen, reports that embattled leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, after failing to quell protests with a brutal retaliation, was willing to step down in exchange for immunity have been thrown into confusion by his declaration that he will not capitulate to a coup.

  • In Syria, tanks have just been moved in to be deployed against entire cities and neighborhoods that have protested, as the number of people who have "disappeared" seems even higher than previously imagined. ""The move into Dara’a seemed to signal a new chapter in a crackdown that has already killed more than 350 people, with the single highest toll on Friday. So far hewing to a mix of promised concessions and blunt force, the government indicated Monday that it had chosen the latter," reports the New York Times.

AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 25, 2011, 4:39am

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