Gadhafi search: Bodies pile up

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As his capital was wrestled from him after days of ferocious fighting, Muammar Gaddafi issued a defiant message from his hiding place yesterday urging his supporters to "purify" Tripoli as 1,000 rebel fighters bombarded the regime's remaining enclave in the city.

An angry Colonel Gaddafi denounced the "rats, crusaders and unbelievers" in an audio message broadcast by loyalist satellite television channels during another day of brutal combat in Tripoli. There was no sign of an end to the conflict as the battle raged for four hours in the battered neighbourhood of Abu Salim, amid rumours that some of Colonel Gaddafi's family or even the dictator himself could be ready to launch a final stand from a loyalist enclave in a block of flats.

Read more at The Independent

Libyan rebels: Leadership moves to Tripoli

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TRIPOLI, Libya – The transitional government of Libya began moving its leadership here to the capital Thursday.

The Transitional National Council has been based in the eastern city of Benghazi, which fell to rebel forces early in the conflict.

Read more at USA Todays

Tripoli civilians: Casualties mount

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TRIPOLI, Libya – Adel Mohammed waited patiently outside the morgue on Zawiyah Street. His bearded face turned a little gray as he held out his mother's identity card. She had been shot in the forehead by a sniper as she leaned out a window to call to her 13-year-old son in the street below, telling him to come into the house.

Mohammed, 40, was there to claim her body. He waited outside to avoid the overwhelming stench of the morgue.

Read more at USA Today

Tripoli chaos: Rebels fight for control

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TRIPOLI, Libya – The Libyan capital was in chaos Wednesday as rebels battled to consolidate their hold against fierce resistance from pro-regime forces trying to cut off the road to the airport.

Rebels controlled much of the city Wednesday, but fighting continued in a number of districts where Moammar Gadhafi's forces were mounting a last stand to hold onto the regime's four decades in power.

Read more at USA Today

Libyan conflict: Rebels storm Gadhafi compound

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ZAWIYAH, Libya — Libyan rebels stormed Moammar Gadhafi's Tripoli compound Tuesday, looting buildings and scouring the grounds without finding the besieged dictator.

The capture of his Bab al-Aziziya, center of the Libyan strongman's 42-year rule, was a symbolic victory for rebel troops, prompting sporadic celebratory gunfire even here, 30 miles from the city..

Read more at USA Today

Morocco religion: Controversy over freedom

b_172_129_16777215_00_images_MAR130218AA003.jpegCASABLANCA, Morocco — The slogan displayed on the profile pictures of hundreds of Moroccan Facebook users was stark: “In Morocco, Eating Kills.”

The message referred to the incident two years ago when six Moroccans were arrested for having a picnic during Ramadan in protest of a law banning eating in public during Ramadan. 

Read more at Global Post

Libyan conflict: Rebels in deadlock

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SIRTE, Libya — The fighters ran from building to building, ducking as weapons fire came in over the rooftops around them.

Shouting "Allahu Akbar (God is great)," they pounded nearby apartment blocks with machine gun fire in one of the few parts of Moammar Gadhafi's hometown they have yet to subdue.

Read more at USA Today

Syria on Verge of Civil War

b_179_129_16777215_00_images_syriacrowds-032912-lo-00.jpegCAIRO - As the situation in Syria gets bloodier and Syrian leader Bashar al Assad becomes increasingly isolated internationally, some Syrians say the country is on the verge of a civil war being instigated by the regime.

"[The regime] is trying to push [the opposition] more and more into having a sectarian war - they are trying to push a civil war," said Hozan Ibrahim, an activist with the Local Coordination Committee of Syria based in Germany. "They couldn't stop the demonstrations so they are doing what they can to put themselves and the people on the same level of violence so they can be condemned [also]."

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Damascus feels effects of crippled economy

b_160_0_16777215_00_images_ara-damascus-gillespie.jpegDAMASCUS - The rows of sparkling 18-carat gold bangle bracelets have long since been removed from the cramped, tiny jewelry shops in the Salihiya neighborhood of Damascus. Many of the shops and travel agencies clustered in this popular shopping district are closed until further notice. Though more than 8.3 million tourists passed through Syria in 2010 generating 12 percent of the GDP, according to the Syrian Ministry of Tourism, this year, the streets of the Syrian capital tell a different story - of empty Internet cafes, deserted dining tables at popular restaurants and the cloud of fear and uncertainty that hangs over the city.

In the Christian neighborhoods of Bab Touma and Bab Sharqi, a haven for foreign students who rent rooms in the large homes hidden behind high walls, hardly a Westerner or even a foreigner can be found these days.

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A routine, care and gratitude: Inside the Boynuyogun camp at the Turkish-Syrian border

b_172_129_16777215_00_images_ara-turkeysyria-somaskanda.jpegGUEVECCI, Turkey - Driving east out of the populated Turkish city of Antakya, green fields and hills of olive trees make up a lush landscape scarce of people or dwellings. But nearing the Syrian border, the Boynuyogun camp greets like a desert tent encampment, rising out of nowhere.

Rows upon rows of hundreds of neat white tents bearing the Red Crescent logo are shrouded by a mesh fence covered in white cloth to keep outsiders from peering in. The only neighbors around are a few cattle grazing the fields. And behind the fence, young boys sit on top of a retaining wall, waving at passersby and shouting "Hello, how are you?" as a few faces appear from behind the fence, hungry for communication with the outside world.

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'We have to help them': Turks worry over Syrians

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GUEVECCI, Turkey - Among low rolling hills and patches of sun-scorched earth, Turkey's Red Crescent refugee camps seem to appear out of nowhere: Rows upon rows of white tents encircled by tall steel fences and armed guards.

More than 8,000 Syrian refugees are now housed in five Red Crescent camps in Turkey's Hatay province, and a sixth camp, built to accommodate another 15,000 people, is underway. Red Crescent officials have estimated there are thousands more camped out near the Turkish border, many of whom are waiting to cross over.

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