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Headlines on February 18

Deadly Protests in Libya Increase Pressure on Gadhafi

By TAHANI KARRAR-LEWSLEY And CHIP CUMMINS Local media and human-rights groups monitoring Libya reported at least four protesters killed in recent clashes with security forces and regime supporters, as Col. Moammar Gadhafi mobilized large pro-government demonstrations across the North African country on Thursday.

Arab capitals braced for violence as unrest spreads

Killing of demonstrators in Bahrain and violence in Libya threaten an escalation of regional unrest Bahraini demonstrator lies injured on a stretcher as unrest continues throughout the region.

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 Square without warning at around 3am.

US surge in Afghanistan to extend beyond plan for troop withdrawal

DANIEL DOMBEY in Washington and MATTHEW GREEN in Kabul THE US surge in Afghanistan is likely to continue long beyond US president Barack Obama’s initial plan to withdraw troops in large numbers this year. Some US officials anticipate the drawdown scheduled for this year will be relatively modest – even though Mr Obama had intended to “push the curve to the left” in the 30,000-strong surge, accelerating its deployment and withdrawal. One factor is the presence of US and Nato commander in the field Gen David Petraeus.

Britain under fire for selling arms to Bahrain

The British Government has been heavily criticised for allowing arms sales to a number of Arab governments that have cracked down on pro-democracy protests in recent weeks, killing scores of people and injuring thousands more in demonstrations across the region. Since it came into office the Government has granted permission for weapons sales to countries across the Middle East and North Africa, including a licence for weapon-makers to sell tear gas to the Bahrain administration. The Government also sanctioned sales of crowd control ammunition to Libya, combat helicopters to Algeria and armoured personnel carriers to Saudi Arabia.

 

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