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February 17, 2011
Protests flare across the Middle East
From northern Africa to the Persian Gulf, governments appeared to flounder over just how to outrun mostly peaceful movements, spreading erratically like lava erupting from a volcano, with no predictable end. The protests convulsed half a dozen countries across the Middle East on Wednesday, with tens of thousands of people turning out in Bahrain to challenge the monarchy, a sixth day of running street battles in Yemen, continued strikes over long-suppressed grievances in Egypt and a demonstrator's funeral in Iran turning into a brief tug of war between the government and its opponents. Even in heavily policed Libya, pockets of dissent emerged in the main square of Benghazi, with people calling for an end to the 41-year rule of Moammar Gadhafi. Iraq, accustomed to sectarian conflict, got a dose of something new: a fiery protest in the eastern city of Kut over unemployment, sporadic electricity and government corruption. And the protesters in Bahrain were confronted Thursday morning by riot police officers who rushed into the main square in Manama firing tear gas and concussion grenades. --New York Times News Service (37 images)

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Bahraini women wait outside a hospital in Manama, Bahrain, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011, where victims of the confrontation between anti-government protestors and riot police were being treated. Armed patrols prowled neighborhoods and tanks appeared in the streets for the first time after riot police with tear gas and clubs drove protesters from a main square where they had demanded sweeping political change. AP / Hasan Jamali


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Women demonstrators shout anti-goverment slogans after riot police drove demonstrators from a main square in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. AP / Hassan Ammar



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A mother holds her injured son inside a hospital after at least three people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Getty Images / John Moore



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A wounded Shiite Bahraini demonstrator arrives at a hospital in Manama after being injured by riot police on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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A Bahraini anti-government demonstrator lies injured on a stretcher as Bahraini anti-government demonstrators take him to hospital in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. AP / Hassan Ammar



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A surgeon leads a protest at a hospital after at least five people died and hundreds were left injured when police stormed an anti-government protester camp in the capital's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011 in Manama, Bahrain. Getty Images / John Moore



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A general view shows Pearl Square in Manama on February 17, 2011 after riot police stormed through the square firing rubber bullets and tear gas in a harsh crackdown on anti-regime protesters that left four dead, witnesses and opposition said. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Bahraini army tanks take position near Pearl Square in Manama on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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A motorcycle lies on its side next to protesters' tents in Manama's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Protesters' tents are seen in Manama's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011. Two people were killed overnight as Bahrain's security forces moved in to clear protesters camped out in a central Manama square, relatives of the dead said. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Protesters shouts slogans in Manama's Pearl Square on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Bahraini anti-government demonstrators watch a soccer game between Barcelona and Arsenal on a TV projector while camping out in protest at the Pearl roundabout in Manama, Bahrain, early Thursday morning, Feb. 17, 2011. AP / Hassan Ammar



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Bahraini anti-government protesters take part in a demonstration calling for a regime change at Pearl Square in Manama on February 16, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Bahraini anti-government protesters gather at Pearl Square in Manama for a demonstration calling for a regime change on February 16, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Bahraini anti-government protesters prepare for a second night camping out at the Pearl roundabout Wednesday evening, Feb. 16, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. AP / Hasan Jamali



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A Bahraini anti-government protester waves his national flag during a protest calling for regime change at Pearl Square in Manama on February 16, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Joseph Eid



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Bahraini anti-government protesters pray together at the Pearl roundabout Wednesday evening, Feb. 16, 2011, in Manama, Bahrain. AP / Hasan Jamali



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Hundreds of Bahraini protesters shout slogans as the attend the funeral of Shiite Fadel Salman Matrouk (pictures), who was shot dead in front of a hospital a day earlier where mourners gathered for the funeral of another comrade, in Manama on February 16, 2011 as Shiite opposition called for measures to establish a real constitutional monarchy in Bahrain. AFP/ Getty Images / Adam Jan



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A Yemeni anti-government protester jumps to throw stones towards a police station during clashes with regime loyalists in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. At least 12 people were injured and police fired warning shots during the fierce clashes, an AFP reporter said. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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Yemeni anti-government demonstrators, top right, and government supporters, hurl stones at each other during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011 AP / Hani Mohammed



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Yemeni regime loyalists throw stones towards anti-government protesters during clashes in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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Yemeni anti-government demonstrators, background, and government supporters, hurl stones at each other during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. AP / Hani Mohammed



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Yemeni anti-government protesters throw stones towards regime loyalists during clashes in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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Yemeni anti-government protesters throw stones towards regime loyalists during clashes in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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Yemeni regime loyalists throw stones towards anti-government protesters during clashes in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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A Supporter of the Yemeni government runs away to avoid stones thrown by anti-government demonstrators during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. AP / Hani Mohammed



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A Yemeni anti-government protester bleeds after he was injured during clashes with government supporters in central Sanaa on February 17, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Gamal Noman



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Yemeni regime loyalists hold up portraits of President Ali Abdullah Saleh on February 17, 2011 in central Sanaa, where at least 12 people were injured and police fired warning shots during the fierce clashes beween supporters of the president and anti-government protesters calling for Saleh's ouster, an AFP reporter said. AFP/ Getty Images / Ahmad Gharabli



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Yemeni anti-government protesters stand near a burning vehicle during clashes with police in the southern city of Aden on February 16, 2011. AFP/ Getty Images / Stringer



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Libyan pro-government supporters hold portraits of leader Moamer Kadhafi during a gathering in Tripoli on February 16, 2011 to show support for the veteran leader who seized power in a 1969 coup, as Libya braced for a "Day of Anger" following revolts in neighbouring Egypt and Tunisia. AFP/ Getty Images / Mahmud Turkia



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Pro-government Iranians touch the flag-draped coffin of Sane Jaleh, a student who was killed during Monday's clashes, during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2011. Iran's state TV described Jaleh as a government supporter and a member of the paramilitary Basij, part of the Guard forces that have cracked down on protesters. But the reformist website kaleme.com called him a member of election campaign of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi. Clashes between Iranian police and tens of thousands of protesters wracked central Tehran on Monday killing one person, as opposition supporters tried to evoke the spirit of Egypt's recent popular uprising. AP /



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A man uses his shoe to hit a poster of reformist opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi during the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead two days ago during an opposition rally, in Tehran on February 16, 2011. Editor's note: Following an official ban on foreign media outlets covering demonstrations in Iran, AFP is using pictures from alternative sources. AFP/ Getty Images /



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People carry the coffin of Sanee Zhaleh, a student who was shot dead during an opposition rally two days ago, during his funeral in Tehran on February 16, 2011. Editor's note: Following an official ban on foreign media outlets covering demonstrations in Iran, AFP is using pictures from alternative sources. AFP/ Getty Images /



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Iraqi riot police officers prevent anti-government protesters from entering the Basra provincial headquarters during a demonstration in Basra, Iraq's second-largest city, 550 kilometers (340 miles) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, Thursday, Feb. 17, 2011. Hundreds of Iraqi demonstrators massed in the southern city of Basra to demand the ousting of the local governor, a day after a similar anti-government protest sparked violence that killed a few people. AP / Nabil al-Jurani



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