Protests spill into Libya
CAIRO — Egypt-inspired unrest spread against Libya’s longtime dictator Moammar Gadhafi on Wednesday, with riot police clashing with protesters in the second-largest city of Benghazi and marchers setting fire to security headquarters and police stations in two other cities, witnesses said.
Gadhafi’s government sought to allay further unrest by proposing the doubling of government employees’ salaries and releasing 110 suspected Islamic militants who oppose him — tactics similar to those adopted by other Arab regimes in the recent wave of protests.
Activists using Facebook and Twitter have called for nationwide demonstrations today to demand the ouster of Gadhafi, the establishment of a constitution and comprehensive political and economic reforms. Gadhafi came to power in 1969 through a military coup.
Iraqis vent anger against government
BAGHDAD — About 2,000 demonstrators attacked government offices in a southern Iraqi province, ripping up pavement stones to hurl at a regional council headquarters in a protest over shoddy public services that left dozens of people injured, officials said.
The demonstration was among the most dramatic since Iraqis began venting their anger about dysfunctional government at all levels in relatively small protests across the country — an echo of the tumult happening across the Arab world. Unlike protesters in other countries demanding democracy or regime change, however, demonstrators in Iraq have focused on unemployment, corruption and a lack of electricity.
Police shoot at protesters
SANAA, Yemen — Police opened fire on protesters during clashes in a southern Yemeni port Wednesday, killing two people, in the first known deaths in six days of Egypt-style demonstrations across the country’s biggest cities, demanding the ouster of the president, a key U.S. ally in battling al-Qaida.
Around 2,000 police flooded the streets of the capital, Sanaa, trying to halt protests. Firing in the air, police locked the gates of Sanaa University with chains to prevent thousands of protesting students inside from marching out join crowds demonstrating elsewhere in the city, witnesses said.