Arab States Weekly Review 19th – 25th March 2011

American, Britain and France attacked Libyan airfields, military centres and tanks with aircraft and missiles following a UN Security Council resolution for a no-fly zone. Rebel troops broke out of their enclave at Benghazi but struggled to advance towards Tripoli.

A bomb left at a bus stop in Jerusalem killed one British tourist and injured 30 people. It was the first such attack the city for more than six years. The bomb came after Israeli jets launched air raids in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for rockets being fired into Israel by Palestinian militants.

The death toll from the crackdown by Bahrain’s security forces rose to 18. Protesters continue to demand reform.

Three-quarters of Egyptian voters endorsed a batch of constituional amendments in a national referendum. The move paves the way for a general and presidential election in June and September respectively.

Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh promised to step down by the end of the year after snipers killed at least 50 protesters in Sana’a. Several of his closest military and tribal allies have turned against the president in recent days.

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