Amnesty International has described the actions of Libya leader Muammar al-Gaddafi against Libyans as "horrifying," saying that planting mines and shelling residential areas could constitute war crimes. Meanwhile, France has expelled 14 Libyan diplomats loyal to Gaddafi’s government. The Libya Contact Group met in Rome on Thursday and decided to create a relief fund for the revolutionaries and allow them to use frozen Libyan assets for humanitarian purposes.
In Syria, army gunfire killed six protestors during an anti-government protest in Homs. An unknown number of protestors were injured in the city of al-Tall, where the army also opened fire on anti-regime protests. Syrian state-run TV is describing the incidents as “military operations” to “remove terrorist elements.” Syrian security forces were deployed in the suburbs of Damascus as well as to cities in northern Syria in anticipation of a massive demonstration that activists are calling the "Friday of Defiance."
Details of the U.S. operation to kill al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden continue to unfold days after his death. The CIA used a hideout in the Pakistani town of Abbottabad to prepare for bin Laden’s assassination and gather intelligence. Washington defended its actions, saying that it reserves the right to carry out military operations similar to the one that killed bin Laden. In response, the Pakistani Foreign Ministry warned that any unilateral military action will have “grave consequences.”
Pro- and anti-government protests continue in Yemen as thousands of protestors gathered in several Yemeni cities to demand President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s immediate resignation. Saleh is now describing his opponents as criminals, traitors, and outlaws. The Gulf Cooperation Council is continuing its attempts to mediate the crisis and has requested that 15 regime loyalists and 15 opposition figures be sent to sign the Gulf plan.
Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki and Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh have welcomed Qatar’s mediation in the ongoing conflict between the two countries. The presidents have signed an agreement vowing to make an effort to find a solution to the countries’ border dispute. The conflict began with Eritrea's occupation of Djiboutian territories in the Rias Doumira region. Clashes escalated between Eritrea and Djibouti in the mid-1990s and the relationship between the two countries has been tense ever since.