Anti-Government Protests Turn Violent in the Middle East

Libyan security forces shot and killed at least 24 protesters during Thursday's "Day of Anger" protests, according to a human rights group.

The Human Rights Watch reported that protesters had taken to the streets in Libya in the cities of Baida, Benghazy, Zenten, Derna, and Ajdabiya. The worst violence was in Baida, with 70 injured protesters, half in critical condition.

One protester told the human rights group that a new protest in Baida began after noon prayers and the funerals of those killed the day prior. A crowd of hundreds, including protesters and families of victims, marched toward the Internal Security office, chanting, "Down with the regime" and "Get out Muammar Gaddafi," the protester reported.

It's been difficult to independently verify the number of deaths due to Libya's strict media controls.

In Bahrain, four people died after security forces opened fire on protesters early Thursday morning, doctors of the city's main hospital told HRW.

Medical personnel reported to HRW that the police used tear gas and shot rubber bullets at protesters. One nurse said police prevented injured parties from receiving medical attention.

In Yemen, hundreds of demonstrators demanded the removal of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. On the street of the capital, they clashed with government supporters as the two sides threw rocks at each other.

Mir-Hossein Mousavi, a former prime minister and one of the leaders of the Green opposition movement, was reported missing after he and former parliament speaker, Mehdi Karroubi, called for a solidarity rally Monday in the wake of revolutions in Tunisian and Egypt. Pro-government, Muslim worshippers have called for their execution ahead of the planned government rally Friday. An anti-government rally is scheduled for Sunday.

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