As it happened: Clashes rock Libya and Bahrain

Unrest continued in cities across the Middle East and North Africa following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

  • Bahraini troops fired on protesters in the centre of the capital Manama, injuring at least 25, after thousands of mourners attended the funerals of demonstrators killed by security forces on Thursday.
  • Further bloodshed was reported in Libya's second city, Benghazi, after mass anti-government protests there. Human rights activists say at least 24 people have been killed in protests across the country.
  • In Egypt, hundreds of thousands of people in Cairo's Tahrir Square marked seven days since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Organisers said they wanted to maintain pressure on Egypt's new military rulers to implement political reforms.
  • Witnesses in the Yemeni city of Taiz said at least one person was killed by a hand grenade thrown at anti-government protesters.
  • In the Jordanian capital, Amman, at least eight people were reported to have been injured after government supporters clashed with young protesters.
  • Live page reporters: David Gritten and David Walker
  • All times in GMT.

2124That concludes our live coverage of Friday's unrest across North Africa and the Middle East. However, you can still keep up to date with all the latest developments by checking the BBC news website.

2115A doctor in Benghazi has told the BBC that a senior army officer there has switched sides and joined the protesters. The doctor says that protesters joined by sections of the Libyan army have taken over Benghazi airport. Neither report can be confirmed. The doctor adds that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi offended tribal loyalties when security forces killed protesters in recent unrest.

2058The BBC has confirmed that Benghazi airport has been closed

2044More from the BBC's sources in Benghazi: Reports are going around the city that more tanks are coming from nearby Deriana.

2034Sources in the Libyan city of Benghazi have told the BBC that electricity has been cut off in the coastal area. Four tanks are reportedly parked outside the court house. One resident said they fear there will be a massacre tonight.

2018 Al Jazeera correspondent Dima Khatib tweets: "Facebook,Twitter and Al are blocked now in Tripoli where Qaddafi has been taking part in pro-government demos #libya #feb17"

2010The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Bahrain says the capital city Manama is relatively calm after earlier violence. At least two of those injured and in the main hospital are said to be in a serious condition, she adds.

2000Libyan newspaper Oea, quoting witnesses, says all police stations in Darnah City, to the east of Benghazi, have been evacuated. The report cannot be verified.

1954Witnesses in Djibouti says the area facing the interior ministry has been blocked to traffic following Friday's unrest. Burned-out cars can be seen near the el-Hannan hospital and there are other damaged vehicles nearby.

1948Back now to Egypt: The ruling military council says it will not allow strikes to continue. In a televised statement it says it will not allow disruption to everyday life or the intimidation of workers.

1939 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets from Manama: "male and female docs are volunteering to go back out to police/army lines and attempt to fetch others. #bahrain "

1928The BBC's Jon Leyne, who has been with the jubilant crowds in Cairo's Tahrir Square, says: "This was part celebration, part demonstration. Across Egypt many workers are on strike and the stock market has still not reopened. But even in a poor neighbourhood, well away from the cameras, I found a working party of young people, who'd turned out to clean up the streets. It's a moment of unique opportunity in Egyptian history that many people are determined to not let slip away".

1921An official Bahraini statement says that Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa has been given "all the powers to fulfil the hopes and aspirations of all gracious citizens from all sections".

1914Back to Bahrain now. Reuters reports that the king has asked the crown prince to start a national dialogue "with all parties".

1912The UK Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt says London has suspended exports of some weapons to Libya and Bahrain. The minister says that "the review of export licences to the wider region, including Yemen, is ongoing".

1905Fatema, who lives across from Salmaniya Hospital in Manama, tells the BBC it is a crazy scene in the capital right now: "Injured people have been brought in cars (to the hospital) all day and there are thousands of people outside. There is a lot of anger, but I've never seen Bahrainis so united before."

1854The AFP quotes another report in the Oea newspaper which says that anti-government demonstrators hanged two policemen after capturing them in the Libyan city of Al-Baida.

1838 More on the protests in eastern Libya. The AFP news agency quotes a report on the website of Libya's Oea newspaper, which says that at least 20 people have been killed in Benghazi and seven in Derna.

1820Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad has appealed for calm, saying there can be no divide between Sunnis and Shia. Speaking on TV, he said: "I express my condolences to all Bahrainis because of the painful days that we are living. We need time to evaluate what happened and to regroup together again and to restore our humanity, culture and future."

1811 The BBC's Kevin Connolly in Manama, Bahrain, says it has been a day of anger, bitterness and recrimination. There is a particular bitterness towards the Bahraini security forces, which recruits Syrians and Yemenis amongst many nationalities, he says. Many Bahrainis regard them as mercenaries, lacking affinity with the local people.

1802More on President Obama's statement. He said: "I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. The United States condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters in those countries, and wherever else it may occur." The statement was read out on his presidential jet, Air Force One, while Mr Obama was flying from California to Oregon.

1757The BBC's Jon Leyne in Cairo says the mood in Tahrir Square has been universally positive but people are also realistic about the challenges ahead. One man said: "I am so happy about what has happened so far. But we are expecting a lot more and I am here to follow up."

1753Libyan newspaper Oea, which is owned by a son of Col Gaddafi, is reporting that security forces have cordoned off al-Jadida prison in Tripoli after a mutiny in which three prisoners died. The report cannot be verified.

1747Back to events in Manama, Bahrain: Ammar tells the BBC: "I was at the Salmaniya medical centre when the police came in and started firing tear gas and shooting rubber bullets. They are also preventing doctors from helping people. I also tried to get to Pearl roundabout, from where you could hear some gunshots, but I couldn't get there because the roads were blocked. They say they are getting into ambulances and getting protesters out."

1744There's a report of unrest in Djibouti. An AFP correspondent says police fired tear gas and clashed with thousands of youths calling for the president to step down.

1741US President Barack Obama has condemned the use of violence against peaceful protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen and called for the universal rights of expression to be respected.

1723Libyan newspaper Oea - owned by a son of Col Gaddafi - is reporting that protesters in Benghazi have killed the director of Jalla hospital in the city centre and mutilated his body. It also reports that two security men have been hanged by demonstrators in al-Bayda. Neither report can be verified.

1720Mark, from Manama, Bahrain, writes: "I'm a British expat living in Bahrain and I have been watching TV coverage on Sky and BBC News. What appears to be missing from the coverage is the pro-government protesters who were out in their thousands today outside the Grand Mosque. I live in this area and could not get out because of the mass protests in favour of the government. There are two sides to this story and only one seems to be being aired."
e-mail sent in by reader

1717Members of Tunisia's transitional government say the health of deposed President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali is "not a concern" for the interim leadership, AP reports. Unconfirmed reports say Mr Ben Ali, who is in exile in Saudi Arabia, has suffered a stroke.

1713A BBC correspondent in Tripoli says a complete media blackout in the east of the country means it is still not possible to verify reports that anti-government protesters have driven security forces from al-Bayda.

1703 Some news now from Kuwait: Dozens of protesters are said to have been arrested in a big demonstration by stateless people demanding citizenship, Reuters reported.

1652 The BBC's Nick Springate in Manama says the main hospital there is in "complete chaos". He says more than 2,000 people are outside chanting against the government. He adds that medics say about 120 people have been admitted, mostly suffering from tear gas or with broken bones, and there is one person who has a gunshot wound to the leg.

1648The UK has licensed hundreds of cartridges of tear gas and other riot-control equipment for export to Bahrain in the past nine months, and the government has said it is urgently reviewing its licensing decisions. But Foreign Secretary William Hague said earlier on Friday that there was no evidence Bahrain was using British-made products to crack down on protesters.

1645 Tom Porteous, the UK director of Human Rights Watch, tells the BBC their researcher at the hospital in Manama reports that the military was involved in today's violence and used live ammunition. "That's a very serious development and we are calling on the US and UK to immediately suspend all military aid to Bahrain," he says.

1644Egypt has said it will reopen the Rafah crossing on its border with Gaza. State-run TV in Egypt reported that the crossing was being re-opened to allow stranded Palestinians to cross. The announcement did not say if goods would be allowed to be taken through the crossing.

1643Medics tell the AFP news agency that there has been a third fatality in the southern Yemeni city of Aden. Witnesses say police opened fire when trying to disperse a protest demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

1641CNN's Nic Robertson tweets:"#Bahrain: several blocks now separate police from group of about a hundred protesters.. uneasy calm prevails."

1636CNN's Hala Gorani tweets: "Medical source tells CNN 20 people killed, 200 injured in clashes w/ security forces in Benghazi. #Libya"

1636CNN's Hala Gorani tweets: "Medical source tells CNN 20 people killed, 200 injured in clashes w/ security forces in Benghazi. #Libya"

1635 Guardian correspondent Martin Chulov tweets from Manama: "Man shot in the head just died. Easily 10k people - all seething - inside hospital grounds. Anti regime chants non-stop."

1627Sayed Hadi, a member of parliament for Bahrain's main Shia opposition group al-Wifaq, says at least 23 people have been shot and wounded by the security forces in Manama. "We think it was the army," he tells the Reuters news agency.

1623UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay condemns the response of security forces in the Middle East and North Africa to anti-government demonstrations as "illegal and heavy-handed". "The nature and scope of the human rights violations taking place in several countries in the region in response to those who are largely demonstrating peacefully for their fundamental human rights and freedoms, is alarming," she says, citing reports of killings of peaceful protesters, arbitrary arrests and detention followed by torture, enforced disappearances, arbitrary banning of demonstrations, and suppression of freedom of expression by banning, closing down or imposing restrictions on the media and on internet access.

1620Back now to events in Yemen: Two people are reported to have been killed as police dispersed an anti-government protest in the southern city of Aden, medical sources have told the AFP news agency.

1618A BBC correspondent in Tripoli says unconfirmed reports from Benghazi say the building of the state broadcaster there has been taken over by anti-government protesters.

1613 Samih Toukan of the Jabbar Internet Group tweets: "Where r u #Obama massacres in #libya and #bahrain as we speak.u r so good at talking and doing nothing"

1612A witness to today's dramatic events in Manama tells al-Jazeera English: "[There were] only bullets. They didn't give us any [indication] so that we could just run away from them. They just started shooting us. Now there are more than 20 injured in the hospital. One guy, he has already passed away because he got shot in his head. And there are more than three injured. They will pass away in a few hours because... they have got shot... near their chest or near their heart."

1608 Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei tweets: "People's demands for a fresh start are crystal clear and should not be derailed. Let us not repeat the blunders of the past."

1602Libyan newspaper Quryna has reported the torching of security, administrative and judicial buildings in Benghazi, including those of Revolutionary Committees, as well as two police stations in al-Baraka and al-Fuwayhat. It says more than 1,000 inmates escaped from the al-Kuwayfiayaa correctional facility in Benghazi on Friday. Security sources said about 150 had been recaptured.

1558 Opposition group Libya NFSL tweets: "Imams in the mosques of Tripoli refuse to read the sermons given to them by regime #Feb17 "

1555Back now to Libya: Fourteen people have been killed in the eastern town of al-Bayda since Wednesday, sources tell AFP news agency. Two exile groups have said anti-government forces are battling security forces for control there. The reports cannot be verified. Reports from the nearby city of Benghazi say tens of thousands of people are again on the streets in another big demonstration against the government.

1553 There are unconfirmed reports that Islamists have attacked the red light district of Tunis and been beaten back by police supported by helicopters. We'll bring you more as we get it.

1547 Libyan Youth Movement tweets:"I am struggling to keep up with events in Libya, people telling me east Libya will be free tonight ALL of it #Libya #Feb17 "

1545As turmoil continues in Bahrain, Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa promises dialogue once calm returns. He calls on everyone to withdraw from the streets. The prince is also deputy supreme commander of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF), whose troops have been accused of firing on anti-government demonstrators trying to gain access to Manama's Pearl Square.

1541 Witnesses report renewed clashes in different parts of Libya's eastern city of Benghazi. They say three demonstrators have died in the area of El Kish and at least a dozen others have died elsewhere today. These claims have not been confirmed.

1538Back to developments in Yemen: A senior interior ministry official says police have arrested the driver of a car from which a grenade was thrown at anti-government protesters in Taiz, killing at least one. "They got the car and caught the man... and they are questioning him," he tells Reuters.

1536 Ali Al Saeed in Bahrain tweets: "i am SHOCKED! this is happening in a civilized modern country! US & #UN MUST intervene NOW! #Bahrain #lulu #Feb14"

1535 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets from Manama: "Seems to be mostly rubber bullets. But terrible, gaping wounds, maybe meaning close range."

1534Medics in the Bahraini capital, Manama, have told the Associated Press at least 20 people have been injured, some seriously, in clashes between protesters and security forces. Dr al-Ghassan at the Salmaniya Hospital told al-Jazeera that staff there were overwhelmed and described it as a war zone.

1532 Hadeel Al-Shalchi of the Associated Press tweets from Bahrain: "Protesters reached the #lulu square, sat down and army shot into them again #bahrain"

1529Over to Iran: An opposition website says extra guards have been deployed outside the home of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi, who is being held under house arrest. The guards, reportedly from the prosecutor's office, are wearing masks and stopping people entering the house.

1523US radio station NPR has a recording of their correspondent speaking in Manama as gunfire breaks out in the background.

1519 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets from the hospital in Bahrain: "Lots of casualties. ER filling up. 1 a girl of abt 13, writhing on stretcher. 1 a man w terrible head wound. #bahrain"

1517The US embassy in Sanaa says it has "observed a disturbing rise in the number and violence of attacks against Yemeni citizens gathering peacefully to express their views on the current political situation". It adds: "We have also seen reports that government of Yemen officials were present during these attacks. The embassy urges the government to prevent any further attacks on peaceful demonstrations and to ensure that all Yemenis, both pro- and anti-government, have equal rights to speech and assembly."

1513Reuters news agency is now quoting a former Shia member of parliament as saying that Bahraini troops have shot at protesters near Pearl Square, Manama. The details are still unclear.

1504Bahrain's Shia-led opposition has decided to postpone Saturday's planned anti-government protest until Tuesday as families mourn four demonstrators killed in a police raid, AFP reports.

1502 CNN's Nic Robertson tweets: "#Bahrain: protesters who fled say live rounds fired, we [are] hearing sporadic gunfire, people milling about, not clear what happens next"

1459More on those reports of an attempted jail break near Tripoli: AFP is now saying security forces killed three convicts as they tried to escape from El-Jedaida prison.

1453 Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tweets: "Police attacking protesters here at hospital in #Bahrain. Tear gas inside. Panic."

1450Don't miss BBC Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen's take on the

1446Back to Libya: State-owned media there is maintaining its blackout on reporting all anti-government protests, analysts say.

1443A witness in Manama, called Said, tells the BBC he is approaching Pearl roundabout and he can hear gunshots. He can hear ambulances and see wounded people being taken away. People are still walking towards the roundabout even as they hear the shooting, he says.

1438 Hadeel Al-Shalchi tweets: "Gunshots fired into #bahrainprotesters, injured have fallen as they try to enter Pearl Square"

1436AP news agency is now reporting that security forces have fired tear gas against protest marchers in Manama.

1433The BBC's Caroline Hawley has reported hearing gunfire in the Bahraini capital Manama. The origin of the firing is not yet clear. We'll bring you more as we get it.

1425There are more reports of unrest in Libya's prisons: AFP is quoting a security official as saying three inmates have been killed trying to escape from a jail in Tripoli.

1418An expat from Tripoli, Libya, writes: "We are 20 mins away from Green Sq and streets are very quiet. A lot of shops haven't re-opened after Friday prayers."
e-mail sent in by reader

1415A report by Reuters says anti-government protesters have seized control of the eastern Libyan city of al-Bayda after some local police joined them. The information is unconfirmed but comes from two separate Libyan exile groups.

1408More now from Benghazi: Reports are saying that several inmates have escaped from a prison after overpowering their guards.

1403European Union nations have agreed in principle to freeze the assets of members of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's inner circle - if Egypt requests it, AFP has reported.

1344Two protesters were killed and 27 wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at them in Yemen's second city of Taiz, medics tell the AFP news agency.

1340In Syrian capital, Damascus, hundreds of people took part in a protest against the security forces on Thursday, after police beat up a young man in the Old City, according to the Dubai-based opposition website, The crowd chanted: "The Syrian people will not be humiliated" and "Police, thieves". The interior minister reportedly later appeared at the scene to order the arrest the policemen involved.

1333AFP is also now reporting that one person was killed in the grenade attack in Taiz, a hotbed of dissent where tens of thousands of protesters are demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

1330One person was killed when a hand grenade was thrown at a crowd of anti-government demonstrators in the Yemeni city of Taiz, witnesses tell the Reuters news agency. The grenade was reportedly thrown from the window of a passing car. The AFP news agency earlier reported that up to 25 people had been wounded, one of them seriously.

1329Meanwhile, Formula 1 CEO Bernie Ecclestone has told BBC Sport that he is "hopeful" that the Bahrain Grand Prix will "carry on as normal" next month. A decision will be taken early next week.

1326Najab Rabia, one of the thousands who gathered in Sitra, told our correspondent: "I'm here to share with the people who need peace. They need others to help them. We need human rights organisations to help us. We have lots of people who died and we don't know where they are. There are about 60 missing people. We don't know where they are. We need organisations to help organise us to find them. We need peace. We need to change for the better."

1322The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Manama says: "In the poor Shia neighbourhood of Sitra there was grief mixed with fury. Mourners chanted for the fall of the ruling family and at one point, "revolution until victory". Graffiti on the walls read: 'I need freedom.' A helicopter hovered overhead, but otherwise the security forces stayed away from the vast funeral procession-turned-protest. One of Bahrain's most influential Shia clerics described the police attack that led to the deaths as 'a massacre'. He said the government had shut the door to dialogue. But he stopped short of calling for further protests. In the centre of the capital, the government brought its supporters out onto the streets, in a festive mood that will not sit well with those in Bahrain who are grieving."

New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof tweets: "Opposition leaders in #Bahrain tell me they are planning a huge march in next few days to retake Pearl Roundabout. That could lead to a major, violent confrontation. And opposition says the march could be as early as tomorrow. Stay tuned."

1307The BBC's Ian Pannell in Manama says: "Thousands of people are now gathered in the al-Daih district to commemorate the first protester to be killed in the recent unrest. Religious and anti-government chants are echoing through the narrow streets of this poor Shia area."

1304Dr Sadiq al-Akri, who was present at the demonstration in Pearl Square in Bahrain's capital, Manama, on Thursday, has been telling the BBC World Service from his hospital bed of the moment the security forces moved in: "Suddenly the police surrounded the area and they tied me and started beating me. I was wearing my doctor's coat. I told them I was a doctor but they didn't listen. They told me to keep my head down. Then they attacked, they hit me with sticks, they hit me with their hands, with their feet. I was bleeding from my face, from my nose and I can't see from one eye."

1302France has suspended exports of security equipment to Libya and Bahrain, after anti-government protesters were killed in both countries.

CNN correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom tweets from Sanaa: "1 student who was marching told me he was out today to demand Saleh step aside and that this was a peaceful protest #yemen #jr_yemen #yf "

1256The Associated Press is also reporting that one protester has been shot dead by police in the Yemeni city of Aden, while the AFP news agency is saying that four protesters have been wounded by supporters of the ruling General People's Congress (GPC) in Sanaa.

1249Despite the violence, organisers of the protest in Amman said they would continue until change happened. "We have to keep the pressure on this government. We are in the streets and we'll stay in the streets until we see all these demands working on the ground," Muhannad Sahafiin told the BBC. The demonstrators included young people, left-wing critics of the government, trade unionists, as well as ordinary Jordanians demanding to be able to elect their prime minister and other cabinet officials, and for far-reaching economic reforms to aid the poor.

1245The BBC's Dale Gavlak in Amman says: "About 2,000 anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of central Amman after Friday prayers in the nearby Husseini mosque chanting: "It's not about bread but dignity. We prefer death to humiliation." Some 200 government supporters quickly rallied behind them shouting: "With our blood and soul we sacrifice our lives to Abu Hussein," a reference to King Abdullah II. Clashes erupted soon afterwards in the narrow street. Witnesses saw a small group of men attack the protesters with sticks and stones. But Jordanian police quickly intervened to restore order."

1242Clashes have also erupted between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in the centre of the Jordanian capital, Amman. Police quickly moved in between the two sides to restore calm, but nerves remain on edge. Opposition supporters say that at least eight people were wounded in the scuffles.

1237An anti-government demonstrator has been shot dead in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, witnesses tell the Reuters news agency. There have been clashes between protesters and security forces in the city's Khor Masqar district.

1235Tom Porteous, director of Human Rights Watch UK, tells the BBC World Service that he is in contact with people in eastern Libya: "We have confirmed a figure of 24 people dead and large numbers of wounded. The cause of death in most cases is live gunfire. Another disturbing report is that due to the repressive nature of the regime, hospitals are too scared to treat some of the injured, so it is likely the death toll is going to rise."

1233Khaleel, in the Libyan capital Tripoli, tells the BBC: "Things have reached boiling point in Tripoli, everyone is waiting for something to be triggered. There have been some small protests - they've started in Tripoli and there have been others in Fashloom, and Tajora, Sidi-Khalifa. I think there will be much bigger protests today. Things are going really badly - especially in eastern parts of Libya. If this starts in Tripoli, Gaddafi will be lost."
e-mail sent in by reader

CNN correspondent Mohammed Jamjoom tweets: "Saw approx 100 progovt gang members chase antigovt protesters n Sana'a-many gang members threw rocks, some wielded daggers #yemen #jr_yemen"

1224The protest came after organisers used social networking websites like Facebook and Twitter to call for a "Friday of Rage" after noon prayers in Taiz, as well as Sanaa and Aden. The preacher at Sanaa University's mosque said: "We have been living for 30 years without purpose or hope." Later, crowds marched towards the presidential palace, chanting anti-government slogans. In Aden, a local government building was set on fire during clashes on Friday morning between police and protesters and one man was shot, an official told the Associated Press. Thousands marched there later in the day.

1215Tens of thousands of protesters had earlier gathered in Taiz to call for the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh's rule. "Down with the dictator, down with oppression," they chanted. At least 10,000 supporters of the government also took to the streets of the city, 200km (120 miles) south of the capital Sanaa.

1211In the Yemeni city of Taiz, eight anti-government demonstrators were wounded when a hand grenade was thrown at them, opposition sources and witnesses have told the Reuters news agency. Several ambulances rushed to the city's Hurriya Square, where protesters have been camped out for days.

1207A lawyer in Benghazi who is also outside the courthouse tells the BBC that several of his colleagues were arrested this morning. "We are demanding a constitution, human and civil rights, that is all. It is the dictatorial acts of the police in the past two days that provoked people into making even bigger demands like regime change."

1204Another witness in Benghazi tells the BBC that there was a very large crowd in front of the court house there. She said there were no policemen surrounding them but there were security on nearby side streets.

1201A witness in Libya tells the BBC that an internal security office in Benghazi has been set on fire.

1157On to Iran now, where at Friday prayers in Tehran hardline cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati said opposition leaders were practically "dead and executed". His comments followed demonstrations earlier in the week organised by the country's two main opposition leaders in which two people were killed. Reports from Tehran say thousands of government supporters marched towards Revolution Square after Friday prayers.

1148In Libya's second city of Benghazi, large numbers of troops have been deployed on the streets after thousands of demonstrators staged big demonstrations during the night over the killing of several protesters. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 24 people were killed in protests at five separate locations across the country. Activists have urged protesters to return to the streets on Friday afternoon. They have said the authorities have closed down internet services to prevent news getting out.

1144Libyan state television has broadcast footage of Col Gaddafi getting a rapturous welcome on Friday morning at a pro-government rally in the capital, Tripoli. Banners on display included: "Gaddafi, father of the people" and "the crowd supports the revolution and its leader". It also showed what it said were similar rallies in other cities, including Benghazi and Sirte.

1139Libya's Revolutionary Committees, a pillar of Col Muammar Gaddafi's rule, have threatened a "swift and violent" response to "adventurers" taking part in anti-gvovernment demonstrations, according to the AFP news agency. They earlier vowed not to allow protesters "plunder the achievements of the people and threaten the safety of citizens and the country's stability".

1135Arab League chief Amr Moussa has said it has not received any formal request to reschedule a summit planned for Iraq in March, after Libya's state news agency said it would be postponed due to regional "circumstances". An aide said any decision would have to be taken collectively.

1132 Abdulla Mandi in Manama tweets: "Dear world, please watch the news today, see how the people of bahrain will stand hand in hand for the love of Bahrain. We got permission from the government unlike protesters."

1131 Mohammed Ashoor tweets: "Bahrain TV showing live coverage of pro-government rallies in Manama. A thousand or two at most. One day after a massacre! What a disgrace!"

1129In a sign of Bahrain's deep divisions, supporters of the government filled Manama's Grand Mosque for Friday prayers and took part in a march afterwards, according to the Associated Press. Many were draped in Bahraini flags and carried portraits of King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa. "We must protect our country," said Adnan al-Qattan, the cleric who led the prayers at the mosque. "We are living in dangerous times."

1125The BBC's Caroline Hawley in the Bahraini capital, Manama, says: "Crowds from Friday prayers are now joining the funeral procession in the Sitra district for three men who died in the attack by the security forces in Pearl Square on Thursday. There is some very angry chanting. People are calling for the downfall of the regime. Their anger has been fuelled by rumours that have been circulating that the bodies of protesters are being dumped in the sea by the authorities."

1117Al-Arabiya reports that Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi was banned for 30 years from delivering Friday sermons in Egypt. His last was in 1981, after the assassination of former President Anwar Sadat.

1116More from Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi's speech in Tahrir Square: The leading cleric hailed the Egyptian uprising, saying it had proved that "the illegitimate can never defeat the truth". "I congratulate the youth," he added. "They knew that the revolution will win in the end." But he warned that the revolution will not be over "until we have a new Egypt". He also called on Arab leaders to listen to their people, saying the Arab world had changed.

1110 Gigi Ibrahim, also in the square, tweets: "Endless sea of people praying. Amazing. Speechless."

1109 Sultan Al Qassemi, in Tahrir square tweets: "There are more people praying together in Cairo's Meydan Tahrir than in Mecca today."

1107The BBC's Paul Adams in Tahrir Square says: "Despite the cordial relations that exist between the crowds and the army whose tanks remain very much in evidence on the streets, there is great uncertainty about what the future holds. The army says it wants a rapid democratic transition but dialogue with opposition groups are still at an early stage. The demonstrators also want the army to lift the state of emergency and release dozens of prisoners still being held in military camps."

Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute's Doha Centre tweets: "Can't wait for western coverage of qaradawi's return: ''Khomeini redux"... #jan25"

Shadi Hamid of the Brookings Institute's Doha Centre tweets: "Qaradawi is sending clear msg to army now. Interesting question is who he speaks for #jan25"

1057Before Friday prayers began in Tahrir Square, thousands of people were chanting: "The people want a president for the country."

1050Influential Egyptian cleric, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, calls for a new government and the immediate release of all political prisoners at the mass rally in Tahrir Square to mark the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak a week ago. "I call on the Egyptian army to liberate us from the government that Mubarak formed," he says, according to the Reuters news agency. A cabinet reshuffle is expected in the next few days.

1044 Jeel Ghathub tweets: "It's important to note, we are not pushing for the old monarchy to come back or any political persons advancement only for a FREE Libya"

1043 The Libyan Youth Movement tweets: "Today will be interesting, I hear the coms will all be down everywhere, we will do our best to update throughout"

1041The Libyan city of Benghazi is bracing itself for another day of protests following overnight clashes between anti-government demonstrators and the police. A doctor from Benghazi's Jalla hospital who asked not to be named, told the BBC he had seen 15 bodies by the time he left the hospital in the early hours, but expected the figure to be higher today. All died from gun shot wounds. The victims included a 13-year-old boy. Dozens of people are also said to have been injured, many by gunfire. Witnesses say six police cars parked in front of the hospital have been set ablaze by relatives of the victims. There have been reports of anti-government protests in at least four other cities and towns, most are in the east of the country. The capital has largely remained unaffected so far, witnessing only pro-government rallies on Thursday.

The National's Habiba Hamid tweets: "Bahrainis are in a terrible spot. A gov who used brutality then lied about extent of it, and opposition who call for bloodthirsty revenge"

CNN correspondent Nic Robertson tweets: "#Bahrain: large black Suburban carrying body of slain protester, 5 men stand atop vehicle, 4 w/large Bahrain flags fluttering in sea breeze"

1031Ayatollah Issa Qassim, Bahrain's most revere Shia cleric, urged people not to be silent and to take to the streets in his address to the mosque in Darraz. "He said you should insist on your demands," Jawad Fairuz, a member of parliament for Bahrain's main Shia opposition group al-Wifaq, told the Reuters news agency. The ayatollah was frequently interrupted by people chanting: "The people want the fall of the regime."

1023Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times tells the BBC World Service that he has heard Bahrain's royal family is unhappy with his reporting: "I've heard that through the PR firms that they hire. There is apparently a campaign to get me fired - I don't really know how they're going to proceed with that. Most remarkably, one member of the royal family tweeted that I am supplying weapons to outlaws and that I have ties to Hezbollah. To me this was a reflection of the completely delusional world in which the government lives. The government does not want reporters here... This is a wealthy country, it's cosmopolitan, it's well-educated, it's a banking centre. And then they have this thuggish behaviour, with police sent in firing on people, crowds. It is astonishing and it breaks your heart."

1015The BBC's Caroline Hawley adds: "Where I am in Sitra, the only sign of the Bahraini security forces is up in the sky, where there is a helicopter monitoring developments. I think they have made a wise decision to stay away from the funeral procession, because that would inflame tensions. However, there are tanks deployed throughout the capital, Manama, and all roads to Pearl Square, where the protesters had been allowed to gather until Thursday, are blocked."

1009The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Sitra, Bahrain, says: "There have been very, very large crowds - perhaps tens of thousands of people - have been taking part in a funeral procession-come-protest. They have been burying those killed in the early hours of Thursday morning. People are very upset. I saw men with tears in their eyes. Some said they were ready to follow in the footsteps of the dead and become martyrs. There were people also demanding the downfall of the regime and for the country's rulers to be punished. A group of women were chanting: 'Revolution until victory.' The blood that has been spilled has hardened their opposition to the government and fuelled their anger. The situation is tense and people are wondering what will happen after Friday prayers."

Leading Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei tweets: "Egyptians awaiting list of those banned from leaving the country and are under investigation. Transparency is essential!"

1001Egyptian prosecutors have meanwhile said they have ordered the detention of three former ministers and a prominent businessman pending trial on suspicion of wasting public funds. Former Interior Minister Habib al-Adli, former Tourism Minister Zuhair Garana, former Housing Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi, and steel magnate Ahmed Izz, will be held for 15 days and have been banned from leaving the country. All four have denied any wrongdoing.

Google marketing executive and protest organiser Wael Ghonim tweets: "In Tahrir now. I am breathing happiness and freedom. Waiting for Jumah prayer to start."

0954The BBC's Paul Adams in Cairo's Tahrir Square says: "In the last hour of so, the crowd has swelled considerably and is now pretty huge. The atmosphere is a very festive one. About an hour ago, what appeared to be a military band entered via a side street to cheers. They are still down there, along with other musicians and speakers. There is a very enthusiastic, good-natured crowd. This has been billed very much as a celebration, but this is also a way for the organisers to keep the revolution alive and to remind people that there is still a lot of unfinished business. There is a fear that some of the enthusiasm could ebb away."

0951Bahrain's government has severely restricted the access of its citizens to the internet, new data from an organisation that monitors Internet traffic strongly suggests. Jose Nazario, the senior manager of security research at Arbor, told the New York Times that traffic was 10% to 20% below expected levels. A fluctuation of that size was generally caused only by natural calamities or major global sporting events, Mr Nazario said, leading the company to conclude that the most likely explanation is that Bahrain is blocking many sites.

0947Anmar, who is Sitra where the funerals for the Bahraini protesters are taking place, tells the BBC: "Thousands of people are gathering here for three funerals. There is no police presence. Some people are considering going to a place near Manama after the funeral. From there, they will try to reach the capital - but I don't think they will be able to get there as there is heavy army and police presence. But they might try to get as close as they can.
e-mail sent in by reader

0944The BBC's Ian Pannell in Manama says: "Tens of thousands of people are attending mid-day prayers across Bahrain. The country's most influential Shia cleric, Ayatollah Isa Qassim, is leading prayers in the village of Darraz. The congregation is chanting 'Victory for Islam', 'Death for Al Khalifa' - the Sunni ruling family - and 'We are your soldiers'."

0939Libya's state news agency reports that the Arab League has decided to postpone the summit due to be held in Iraq because of "circumstances in the Arab world".

New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof tweets: "Huge crowd roars back: 'We will never surrender!'"

New York Times correspondent Nicholas Kristof tweets: "Imam at Darraz mosque in #Bahrain giving poweful speech against govt's "massacre." Says govt wants to kill the people"

CNN correspondent Nic Robertson tweets: "#Bahrain: Thousands in peaceful prayer in street, close to funeral home, awaiting burial of last of 3 protesters to b buried in Sitra today"

0928Bahrain's most revered Shia cleric, Sheikh Issa Qassem, says the attacks by the security forces on anti-government demonstrators on Thursday constituted a "massacre", according to the Reuters news agency. Five people were killed when the authorities cleared protesters by force from Manama's Pearl Square.

0919Mr Baraki adds: "We expect people will gather after the jumaa prayer in three hours' time. We expect any clashes will happen after that time. Everybody is afraid of what will happen. Saadi Gaddafi, who has good connections with youth groups in Benghazi, has spoken to people to try to address their concerns."

0915Ramadan Baraki, editor of the independent Libyan newspaper Quryna, tells BBC World News: "I was just in the centre of Benghazi. It is very quiet right now. There is only a small group of about 100 protesters in front of the court building right now. They have just arrived. There are a lot of security personnel on the streets. Yesterday was a very hard day, especially between four o'clock and midnight."

Ibn Tarabulus tweets: "#BenAli left on #Friday. #Mubarak left on #Friday. Hmm... I wonder what #Gaddafi has planed for today? #Libya #Feb17"

Jeel Ghathub tweets: " Hey #Gaddafi, today is #Friday, your least favorite day of the week! #Libya #Feb17"

0900The funerals of those killed in the cities of Benghazi and al-Bayda are expected later on Friday. The authorities fear they could act as a catalyst for further protests.

0857The son of Col Gaddafi, Saadi, has been on local radio and said he is coming to Benghazi to take over as mayor of the city and protect its people. The former professional footballer holds a senior rank in the Libyan military.

0848A resident who lives on Benghazi's main thoroughfare, Nasser Street, says "last night was very hard". "There were a lot of people in the street, thousands of people. I saw soldiers in the street," he tells the Reuters news agency. "I heard shooting. I saw one person fall down [from a gunshot wound] but I don't have a figure for casualties."

0842The sources in Benghazi say Friday morning has been quiet so far, but add that there is an enormous number of security personnel deployed on the streets. It seems to be in preparation for what the authorities fear will be an even bigger demonstration after Friday prayers.

0839Source in Benghazi tells the BBC that "several" peaceful protesters who had stayed put overnight in front of the Libyan city's courthouse were forcibly removed from there in the very early hours of Friday morning by a large number of police. They have now been taken to a detainment facility in Gwarsha, about 10km outside Benghazi. A witness says most protesters went home before 0500 local time after running battles were fought with police in several districts overnight.

0834The BBC's Richard Colebourn in Tahrir Square says: "It is still early, but there is already a growing crowd of protesters, who are chanting, waving Egyptian flags, and setting up a stage for the rally later in the day. They call this a 'victory day' parade, but it is more than just a celebration of Mr Mubarak's departure. They want to try and ensure that attention is still focused on Egypt despite the growing revolts elsewhere in the region. They want to keep the pressure on the military administration to meet their demands on free elections, an end to the emergency law, and the release of political detainees, amongst other things. We expect the numbers to grow after Friday prayers in the mosques at noon. There are still some tanks on the streets - fewer than a week ago - but so far the army and the police seem to be keeping a low profile."

0829In the Egyptian capital, Cairo, thousands of people are gathering for Friday prayers and a victory march through Tahrir Square to celebrate the fall of President Hosni Mubarak a week ago. The day has been dubbed the "Friday of victory and continuation".

0823Ahmed Makki Abu Taki, whose 23-year-old brother Mahmoud was killed by the security forces in Manama's Pearl Square, tells the Associated Press: "The regime has broken something inside of me... All of these people gathered today have had something broken in them. We used to demand for the prime minister to step down, but now our demand is for the ruling family to get out!"

0814The BBC's Caroline Hawley in Manama says: "The funeral procession has been swelling throughout the morning. There have been chants calling for the downfall of the government and the country's rulers to be punished. I was shown the bloodstained night robes of Ali Mansur, a 52-year-old fisherman who was shot in the early hours of Thursday morning. So far the security forces stayed away, but there are fears that the blood already shed will fuel the process in this tiny but strategically important kingdom. Tanks are now stationed in parts of the capital and tensions are high. Some mourners say they too are now willing to die to bring about change. Crowds of women, clothed head to toe in black chanted: "Revolution until victory!"

0806In Bahrain, thousands of people are attending the funerals of three demonstrators killed when security forces cleared a pro-democracy camp in the capital, Manama, on Thursday. The military and police have stayed away from mourning ceremonies taking place in a poor Shia Muslim neighbourhood. Elsewhere tanks are patrolling the streets and correspondents say the atmosphere is tense.

0803Human Rights Watch says that at least 24 people have been killed in anti-government protests across Libya. It says that on Thursday hundreds of peaceful demonstrators took to the streets in five different places in the country and - according to multiple witnesses - the Libyan security forces shot and killed demonstrators in efforts to disperse the crowds. Human Rights Watch says that the attacks laid bare the reality of Col Muammar Gaddafi's response when faced with any internal dissent. Earlier, big protests had been reported in Libya's second city, Benghazi, after what demonstrators called a "day of rage" against the government.

0800Welcome to the BBC's live coverage of the unrest across the Middle East and North Africa. Stay with us for the latest updates - reports from our correspondents on the ground, expert analysis, and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific