02/16/2011, 00.00
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Protests continue in Bahrain, Yemen and Iran. Clashes over freedom and reform

The wave of revolt that began in Tunisia and Egypt plagues the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. The ayatollahs' regime uses threats and repression against the opposition and students. Clashes in Manama and in Sanaa.

Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) – It is the third day of protests in the capital of Bahrain, while in Sanaa, in Yemen, there were further clashes today between protesters demanding the immediate resignation of President Saleh and his supporters. The wave of revolt that began in Tunisia and Egypt has spread throughout the Middle East continues unabated. Even in Iran, today there were more protests, despite the harsh crackdown by the regime.

Thousands of people gathered today in Manama, after the recent clashes in which police killed two demonstrators. The Interior Minister said that the perpetrators were arrested, and the King of Bahrain in a rare television appearance ensured that there will be an investigation. The demonstrators brought tents and blanket to Pearl Square, and promised not to move until their demands for political reform are accepted. They demand the release of all political detainees, a greater supply of jobs and housing and the replacement of Prime Minister Sheik Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. About ten thousand people have occupied the square.

In Sanaa, the capital of Yemen, pro-government militants armed with clubs and knives clashed today with demonstrators, leaving at least four wounded. It is the fourth day of protests in the country. Three journalists were beaten by supporters of President Saleh during the protests outside the university. The police intervened, firing in the air but were unable to regain control of the situation. One student said that 'the demonstrations will continue until this regime falls'.'

There were renewed clashes today also in Tehran. According to state television violence erupted at the funeral of one of the people killed in protests the day before yesterday. According to state media two regime supporters were killed in the demonstrations Monday, but the opposition says that the young man who was killed, Sanee Jaleh, is in fact a protester of the 'green wave' (the protest movement against the regime). The opposition website "Iranpressnews" explains that an armed group of Basij (supporters of the regime) attacked the students. About two thousand students from the Faculty of Fine Arts of Tehran University were locked in a University lecture hall by some of the Basij paramilitary forces, with the aim of preventing the group from attending the funeral. Saneh Jaleh was a student in the same faculty.

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