- - Tuesday, June 7, 2011

YEMEN

Yemen claims 30 militants killed in south

SANAA — Government forces have killed 30 Islamic militants in Yemen’s troubled southern province of Abyan, the defense ministry said Tuesday, in what appears to be an escalation of a military campaign to retake areas captured by extremists.

Elsewhere in the south, clashes erupted between rebellious tribesmen and army troops near the presidential palace in Yemen’s second-largest city, Taiz.

It was not known immediately whether there were casualties from the fighting, but a shell fired by a tank near the palace landed in a nearby residential area, killing four people, including three children.

The violence underscores fears of increasing instability in the Arab world’s most impoverished country days after President Ali Abdullah Saleh left for neighboring Saudi Arabia to seek treatment for wounds he suffered Friday in a rocket attack on his compound in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital.

BAHRAIN

Shiite clerics criticize police

MANAMA — Bahrain’s Shiite clerics have criticized the Gulf kingdom’s police for attacking religious processions just days after emergency rule was lifted.

Five clerics said in a statement Tuesday that the force police used Sunday against Shiite pilgrims is “a flagrant violation of freedom of religious practice.”

The police say they advanced on several processions commemorating the death of a revered saint because some pilgrims chanted political slogans.

Bahrain’s majority Shiites have long complained of discrimination. They staged a wave of protests against the island’s Sunni rulers earlier this year.

Bahrain imposed martial law in March to quell dissent. Hundreds of opposition supporters were arrested during emergency rule that expired June 1.

LIBYA

Rare daytime strikes hit Libyan capital

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