BEIRUT — Electricity, phone lines and then the water supply were cut off in a restive area of Syria that is a new center for protests against President Bashar Assad, and activists said 15 people died in the sixth day of sustained government attacks Thursday.
What started as street demonstrations calling for reforms has evolved into demands for Assad's ouster in the face of a violent crackdown, especially in Syria's south and agricultural center, where the challenge to his family's 40-year-rule is seen as strongest. In the city of Rastan on Thursday, a resident who fled said troops swept through making arrests.
"We have become refugees in our own country," said the Rastan resident, who said he slept in the woods to avoid capture.
Tribesmen threaten to join battle in Yemen
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SANAA, Yemen — Thousands of tribesmen threatened Thursday to descend on Yemen's capital to join the battle against forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh as the country slid deeper into an all-out fight for power. Government forces in Sanaa unleashed some of the heaviest shelling yet against their tribal rivals in a dramatic escalation of the conflict.
For months, youth-led protesters have tried to drive out Saleh peacefully. But their campaign has been overtaken and transformed into an armed showdown between Yemen's two most powerful families, the president's and the al-Ahmar clan.
Bombs kill 9 in Iraq's Anbar province
BAGHDAD — A series of bombings ripped through the capital of Iraq's western Anbar province Thursday night, killing nine people, Iraqi officials said.
The blasts in what was the heartland of the insurgency are a reminder of the danger still facing Iraq, as it prepares for the departure of the remaining U.S. troops by the end of this year.