02/15/2011, 00.00
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Wave of protest strikes Bahrain and Yemen. Hopes for democracy in Egypt

Two dead in Bahrain. Protests in Yemen enter fifth day. In Egypt, military send reassuring messages to the opposition on their desire for immediate referendum on Constitution.

Manama (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Two people were killed in protests in Bahrain, the first yesterday, shot in the back, the second this morning while attending the funeral of the first victim. A second "day of rage" has been proclaimed in the tiny kingdom after what brought thousands of demonstrators to the streets of the capital. While in Yemen protests to demand political and economic reforms, as well as an immediate end to the President’s power entered its fifth day today.

In Bahrain riot police attacked the demonstrators with tear gas, rubber bullets, shock grenades and pellets. Protests in Bahrain do not want to overthrow the monarchy, Sunni in a predominantly Shiite country, but demand a new constitution, inquiries into corruption and torture, and the release of political prisoners. More than 500, most of them under 18 years. The protests are peaceful.

In Yemen yesterday thousands of people took to the streets to demand the immediate departure of Ali Abdullah Saleh. The protesters were attacked with knives, broken bottles and stones by the president’s supporters. The protest continued into the night with demonstrators carrying candles. In Yemen 40% of the population lives on less than two dollars a day, and there is a structural shortage of water and other resources. More than half of the 23 million Yemenis are under 20 years of age.

Meanwhile in Egypt the situation is still far from clear. The military have expressed their intention to share power with civilians and quickly change the constitution by popular referendum, as demanded by opposition activists. Wael Ghorim, Google's manager arrested for the role he played in the anti-Mubarak revolution said that members of the military assured him that within two months a plebiscite will be held on constitutional amendments.
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