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MIDDLE-EAST NEWS ROUNDUP: Protests in Egypt/ Saudi Activists Jailed/ The Fight for Homs in Syria

July 01, 2013
tags:#Cairo, #Egypt, #Facebook, #Homs, #mohamed morsi, #protests, #Saudi Arabia, #Sunni Muslim rebels, #Syria, #Tahrir Square
located:Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria
by:Sara Jabril
Protests marking the one year anniversary of President Mohamed Morsi's time in office continued on Monday. Demonstrators spent the night at Cairo's Tahrir Square in anticipation for more a second day of political resistance.

Reuters news agency reported sixteen people killed and more than 600 injured in clashes between the fractions who are supporting the president and those who are calling for Morsi's ousting.

Between 14 and 17 million are said to have joined the first day of protests, which saw a gathering of large crowds in Cairo and several other cities around the country. In the Egyptian capital, protestors descended on the presidential palace and, as Al Jazeera reports, the seat of the Muslim Brotherhood was set on fire and looted. The opposition movement Tamarod gave President Morsi until Tuesday to resign.

Saudis Jailed for Facebook-Campaign

Saudi Arabia has jailed seven activists for inciting anti-government protests via Facebook. All seven protestors come from the kingdom's Eastern Province, where a minority of Shia Muslims has accused the Riyadh government of discrimination in the past.  Human rights watch groups criticized the harsh prison sentences that were given to the men, ranging form five to ten years.

Fighting for Homs in Syria

Since Saturday, Syrian government forces have been fighting Sunni Muslim rebels in a fierce battle for the city of Homs. Rebels are said to be defending Homs' old city centre and five Sunni districts in the surrounding area. The Guardian reports that government forces launched a ground attack on Saturday, which was repelled by the rebels. The second and third day of fighting the government continued their artillery and air strikes, thereby intensifying their siege on the city of Homs.

Information regarding casualties has been difficult to come by. However, opposition activists reported a woman and two children to have died as a result of government air strikes on the old city. In an attempt to both extend and regain control, the Syrian government has increased its military offensives in recent weeks - with success. Steady military gains by government forces - who are being supported by Lebanese Hezbollah militants - have been reported in Homs province and towns close to the Lebanese border over the past few weeks.

Article written by:
sara jabril
Sara Jabril