Arab unrest: As it happened

Key points

  • Around 100,000 people are protesting in Cairo's Tahrir Square, demanding an end to military rule; a rival rally is also being staged in the Egyptian capital
  • Egypt's newly appointed prime minister, Kamal Ganzouri, has appealed to protesters to give him a chance as he works on forming a new cabinet
  • A deadline has expired for the Syrian government to allow in an Arab League observer mission or face sanctions
  • The BBC has obtained first hand evidence that the struggle for democracy in Syria is becoming an armed insurgency
  • Turnout is reported to be low so far in Morocco's parliamentary elections, the first since reforms were introduced in wake of Arab Spring uprisings
  • All times GMT

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  1.  
    1000:

    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of what is potentially another dramatic day in countries across the Arab world. Protesters in Egypt demanding an end to military rule are hoping large numbers of people will join demonstrations in Tahrir Square after Friday prayers. Meanwhile in Syria, the government faces a deadline (11:00 GMT) to allow an observer mission into the country or be subjected to sanctions. In Morocco, people are voting for a new lower house of parliament, the first election since constitutional reforms were introduced in wake of Arab Spring uprisings. Stay here for the latest news updates, reaction, video and analysis from the BBC and beyond.

     
  2.  
    Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    tweets: Very difficult now to cover #Egypt crisis in many cities. Reports of many reporters being robbed, harrassed and intimidated.

     
  3.  
    1001: Yolande Knell BBC Middle East online reporter

    Demonstrations are expected in three different locations in Cairo today. Anti-government rallies are expected in Tahrir Square and at the Al-Azhar Mosque. A demonstration in support of the governing military council is also planned.

     
  4.  
    1002:

    The BBC correspondent, Paul Wood, has travelled undercover into the Syrian city of Homs. He found evidence that the struggle for democracy there is turning into an armed insurgency.

     
  5.  
    Ruth Pollard, Middle East correspondent for Sydney Morning Herald

    tweets: Friday prayers in #Tahrir. Square is packed with people & still free of tear gas. #Egypt http://twitpic.com

     
  6.  
    1003:

    The BBC's Paul Wood says as he crossed the border into Syria on an old smuggling route from Lebanon, casualties from the violence were travelling in the opposite direction. Many have been seeking medical treatment in Lebanon, fearing for their safety if they go to Syrian hospitals.

     
  7.  
    Mohamed ElBaradei, Former head of the UN's nuclear watchdog

    tweets: On my way to Tahrir to pay my respects to the martyrs. Their sacrifice will not be in vain. Together we shall prevail

     
  8.  
    1006:

    The BBC's Paul Wood, entering Syria, saw a steady stream of defectors from the security forces leaving the country. They all said they had decided to switch sides after being ordered to shoot at anti-government demonstrators in Homs.

     
  9.  
    1008:

    Reuters quotes the Turkish foreign minister as saying that if Syria fails to show goodwill, there are steps Turkey can take along with the Arab League.

     
  10.  
    1010:

    The Turkish foreign minister says Turkey is in continuing consultations with the EU, Nato and UN Security Council members on Syria, says Reuters.

     
  11.  
    1014:

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square, Cairo, says there is a very buoyant atmosphere there at the moment, with loud chanting. She says the security presence is quiet at the moment.

     
  12.  
    Shadi Hamid, Director of Research at the Brookings Doha Centre

    tweets: Baradei might very well be most uncharismatic politician in #Egypt's recent history. Today, he'll have chance to compensate in courage.

     
  13.  
    1018:

    Former UN nuclear watchdog chief Mohamed ElBaradei is reported now to be among the protesters gathered in Tahrir Square. Pro-democracy groups have included his name in a list of people they want included in a proposed national salvation government.

     
  14.  
    1022:

    This picture was posted on Twitter which appears to show Mohamed ElBaradei in Tahrir Square

    Mohamed ElBaradei
     
  15.  
    Mohammed Yahia, Editor of Nature Middle East

    tweets: Powerful Friday khotba in #tahrir. The revolution is alive and won't die and no to military trials. Just saw @ElBaradei now in #tahrir. Ppl formed a path for him then he went back to Omar Makram mosque for Friday Prayers #Nov25.

     
  16.  
    1033:

    The imam leading the prayers in Tahrir Square, Sheikh Mazhar Shahin, calls on the military leadership to hand power to a national salvation government, reports AFP. He said the protesters would stay in the square until their demands were met, according to the reports.

     
  17.  
    1042:

    For a guide to what the protesters in Egypt want, see our Q&A page .

     
  18.  
    Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, Author of Baghdad Bound

    tweets: Wael Ghoneim and Ahmed Harara marching from Mustapha Mahmoud mosque to Tahrir Square. #Egypt

     
  19.  
    1049:

    Paul Wood has just travelled to the Syrian city of Homs undercover with the Free Syrian Army. His video report makes compelling viewing.

     
  20.  
    Lyse Doucet, Presenter BBC World News

    tweets: #Tahrir prayers unfolding..marked by clapping and chants of "Allahu Akbar" God is great . 1230 #tahrir friday prayers #Egypt http://yfrog.com/

     
  21.  

    See this analysis by the BBC's Kevin Connolly of the divide in Egypt over parliamentary elections, which are scheduled to begin on Monday.

     
  22.  
    1106: Breaking News

    The head of Egypt's ruling military council has asked the former Egyptian prime minister, Kamal Ganzouri, to be head of the new cabinet, Egyptian state television has announced.

     
  23.  
    Happy Bushra in Tahrir Square, Egypt

    writes: I've spent the past few days volunteering to run medicine from one of the main clinics to the smaller ones near Mohammed Mahmoud Street. I think everyone just wants change not the same old, same old. We're not looking for empty suits but people to lead us in a new manner.

     
  24.  
    Maged in Cairo, Egypt

    writes: I think we are finding it difficult to convey the message to Scaf that we don't want a new military government but we want them to step down completely. We want a civil government not armed forces. When they made the announcement about Prime Minister Kamal Ganzouri returning, we all just laughed. They thought that would satisfy us but they are wrong.

     
  25.  
    1120:

    Kamal Ganzouri served as prime minister in the 1990s under the former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, who was toppled in February. His appointment as the leader of the new Egyptian government follows a meeting on Thursday night with the leader of Egypt's ruling military council, reports the AP news agency.

     
  26.  

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square says the crowds continue to chant that the military must go - they are not concerned with the appointment of any new government.

     
  27.  
    Kevin Connolly BBC Middle East correspondent

    says as Friday prayers begin at the Omar Makhram mosque, silence falls over the makeshift field hospital which operates in its grounds beside Tahrir Square. Some exhausted protesters, who are trying to sleep nearby, draw blankets over themselves where they lie on the pavements.

     
  28.  

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square says there is now a sea of Egyptian flags and banners saying members of the military council must step down.

     
  29.  
    1130:

    The grand imam of Al-Azhar, Sunni Islam's highest authority, has expressed support for the Tahrir Square protesters, an aide, Hassan Shafie, is quoted as saying on the AFP news agency. "The grand imam (Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb) backs you and is praying for your victory," the aide reportedly told protesters during a visit to the square.

     
  30.  
    1134:

    The Arab League says the deadline for Syria to agree to let in an observer mission (1100GMT) has passed with no response from the Syrian government, reports AFP. The Arab League had said sanctions would be imposed if Syria failed to allow in the observers.

     
  31.  
    Kevin Connolly BBC Middle East correspondent

    reports that protesters in Tahrir Square have produced 'wanted' posters of a police officer they blame for killing a protestor by shooting him in the eye. It is hanging from a traffic light gantry above the crowd.

     
  32.  
    1142:

    The BBC News website has some good analysis on the use of tear gas after some protesters in Cairo reported severe symptoms following exposure during clashes earlier in the week.

     
  33.  
    Osman Mirghani writing on the Asharq Al-Awsat

    blog: The pressing question now is: Who would benefit from holding elections now, in such an atmosphere, before an agreement on the mechanisms of the transitional period, with a clear timeframe, and before the basic principles of the new constitution have been established?...What Egypt doesn't need is to blindly rush towards a risky election, but rather it should call for immediate national dialogue comprising of all parties, in order to agree upon clear principles for the constitution and the democratic transition, and to agree upon a clear road map so Egypt does not fall into the abyss.

     
  34.  

    Tahrir Square is now packed with tens-of-thousands of protesters.

    Tahrir Square, full of protesters
     
  35.  
    Jack Shenker, Guardian newspaper correspondent in Cairo

    tweets: "Our march to #Tahrir now v big & about to turn into Midan Dokki, chants of 'Join us Egyptians, there is still a revolution in the square!'."

     
  36.  
    1206: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    in Tahrir Square says the protest has been peaceful so far. He says up to 100,000 people are expected to attend the demonstration. He says there is a counter-protest in another part of Cairo attended by 3,000 to 4,000 supporters of the military.

     
  37.  
    1206:

    While all eyes are on Egypt and the protests in Tahrir Square, voters in Morocco are electing a new lower house of parliament. More than 13 million people are eligible to vote. This is a polling station in Rabat.

    Man votes in Rabat, Morocco
     
  38.  
    Ursula Lindsey in Cairo, Egypt

    tweets: Wael ghonim and other protesters wearing stickers and patches over eye in solidarity with those who lost one.

     
  39.  
    1208:

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square says the crowds are shouting "leave, leave" and waving Egyptian flags.

     
  40.  
    Jim Muir BBC News

    in Beirut says Arab League sanctions against Syria would be quite a severe blow to the economy, especially if Turkey applied them too.

     
  41.  
    1211: Wyre Davies BBC Middle East correspondent

    in Tahrir Square says there is currently a celebratory atmosphere in the square. It's noisy but largely peaceful.

     
  42.  
    1216:

    A United Nations human rights panel says it has received reports of the security forces in Syria torturing children, says the AP news agency. The Committee against Torture described the reports of abuses as "numerous, consistent and substantiated," says AP.

     
  43.  
    1229:

    The head of the UN Committee Against Torture which has just issued a statement on Syria has called on Damascus to investigate allegations of abuses. Claudio Grossman said "the committee is alarmed by the fact that these reports of massive human rights violations take place in a context of total and absolute impunity".

     
  44.  
    1234:

    If you're just joining us, welcome to the BBC's live coverage of what is potentially another dramatic day in countries across the Arab world. We're bringing you the latest updates from our correspondents, expert analysis and your reaction from around the world. You can contact us via email, text or twitter. We'll publish what we can.

     
  45.  
    Kevin Connolly BBC News, Tahrir Square

    says: "Poor old Dubya. Three years after leaving office he continues to ignite ire of the Arab Street. A hand-written poster in Tahrir Square says simply 'Down With Bush'. Out of date perhaps, but a classic."

     
  46.  
    Jim Muir BBC News, Lebanon

    says that Syria's state media are now reporting big pro-government rallies taking place in Damascus and other cities, with demonstrators denouncing the Arab League.

     
  47.  
    1241:

    More on the 11:00 GMT Arab League deadline to Syria. Reuters is now quoting an Arab official as saying that Damascus has been given until the end of the day to formally respond.

     
  48.  
    1248:

    Many demonstrators in Cairo's Tahrir Square say they will only leave if the military council gives up its powers:

    A protester in Tahrir Square
     
  49.  
    1251:

    Away from Egypt to Yemen now, where heavy fighting is reported in the capital Sanaa between security forces and an army unit, which has defected to the opposition.

     
  50.  
    Ruth Pollard, Middle East correspondent for Sydney Morning Herald

    tweets: Marchers in their thousands arrive in #Tahrir, stretching back over Kasr El Nil Bridge #Egypt

     
  51.  
    1255:

    Meanwhile, a rival rally is also being staged today in Cairo. Demonstrators near the interior ministry are voicing their support for the head of the military council, Hussein Tantawi.

     
  52.  
    Martin Chulov, The Guardian

    tweets: Regime rally now around 15k strong. Suspicious & paranoid about foreigners. A spy behind every notebook. Turkish reporters beaten by crowd here at regime rally. Police say without their support we'd be attacked too.

     
  53.  
    1259:

    Ahmed, who has been camping in Tahrir Square for seven days, tells the BBC: "Our demands remain the same. We want an immediate transfer of power to a civilian government. We will not accept half solutions."

     
  54.  
    1303:

    In Morocco, voting is continuing - in what is the first legislative poll since King Mohammed VI introduced constitutional reforms. Voter Atika Siouri tells Reuters: "I came to vote because I believe that young people need a change. We are very optimistic."

     
  55.  
    1309:

    Queues were reported at some polling stations around Morocco, but turnout is expected to be low:

    Women queue outside a polling station in Marrakech
     
  56.  
    1312:

    Back to Cairo now, where protesters are still arriving in Tahrir Square. At least 100,000 people are now estimated to be there.

     
  57.  
    Adam Taylor-Awny in Cairo

    tweets: Very large march out of #Tahrir going down kasr el ainie to cabinet.

     
  58.  
    Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor, Cairo

    tweets: At pro army rally in #cairo. Chants include the people want the downfall of Tahrir and we love you tantawi down with #Tahrir.

     
  59.  
    Cara Swift BBC News, Cairo

    reports that those rallying in support of the military council chant: "The police, the army, the people - we are all one. We want elections."

     
  60.  
    1324:

    Egypt's TV is now reporting that Kamal Ganzouri - who has been asked by the military to form a new cabinet - will give a televised address shortly.

     
  61.  
    1327:

    Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood is boycotting the Tahrir Square demonstration. A party spokesman said it wanted to avoid potential clashes.

     
  62.  
    1332:

    More on Syria and the Arab League deadline that expired at 11:00 today, but then was reportedly extended until the end of the day. An Arab League official tells Reuters that Damascus has sent a letter "seeking further clarifications". The league is seeking to deploy 500 observers in Syria.

     
  63.  
    1341:

    Demonstrations against the government in Damascus have been staged regularly in recent months by the Syrian diaspora in a number of countries after Friday's prayers. Here, Syrians living in Turkey protest outside the Syrian consulate in Istanbul:

    Syrians living in Turkey protest in Istanbul
     
  64.  
    Jeremy Bowen BBC Middle East editor, Cairo

    says that the pro-army rally is happening in Cairo's Abbasia area. He adds: "The people in the demo are saying that they represent the 'real Egypt' and that the people in Tahrir Square are just out for themselves."

     
  65.  
    Sarah Ebeid in Cairo

    tweets: "Ur asking 4 freedom in #tahrir, yet u dnt want 2 give abasseya ppl their right of freedom of expression? What kind of democracy is this?"

     
  66.  
    1400:

    Syrian TV reports that 10 military personnel including six pilots have been killed in what it describes as a "terrorist" attack, according to Reuters news agency.

     
  67.  
    1405:

    Kamal Ganzouri, the newly appointed prime minister in Egypt, is making a TV address in Cairo.

     
  68.  
    1409:

    Mr Ganzouri says his challenge will be to form a cabinet that is accepted by everybody. He said it would be appointed within the next few days.

     
  69.  
    1411:

    Mr Ganzouri added that he had no names yet in mind for the new Egyptian cabinet, and said he was willing to consider names proposed by any youth alliance.

     
  70.  
    1413:

    Mr Ganzouri accepted a request from the ruling generals to form a new government on Thursday. He is to replace Essam Sharaf, who has been prime minister in Egypt since March.

     
  71.  
    Marwa Farid

    tweets: Ganzouri apparently doesn't listen. Reporters kept asking him questions and he kept talking about something totally different #Tahrir

     
  72.  
    1420:

    In his TV address, Mr Ganzouri said Field Marshall Mohamed Tantawi, who heads Egypt's ruling military council, does not want to stay in power.

     
  73.  
    Thom Reilly, Deputy Ambassador in British Embassy, Cairo, Egypt

    tweets: Cries of 'the people want #Tantawi to go' + 'leave, leave, leave' from the crowd in #Tahrir.

     
  74.  
    1427:

    More on an attack in Syria being reported by state TV. "An armed terrorist group undertook an evil assassination plot that martyred six pilots, a technical officer and three other personnel on an air force base between Homs and Palmyra," a military spokesman was cited as saying, according to Reuters.

     
  75.  
    1431:

    State TV says the attack confirms the involvement of "foreign elements".

     
  76.  
    Journalist, Hani Shukrallah

    tweets: #Ganzouri II is set to be the shortest serving prime minister in #Egyptian history - I give him till next Tuesday at outside

     
  77.  
    1439:

    The chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) says Saif al-Islam, the son of former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, could be tried in his home country under the auspices of the court, AFP reports. Saif al-Islam, who had been in hiding since August, was captured trying to flee to Niger last week.

     
  78.  
    1440:

    "The prosecutor proposed as a third possibility that the ICC might, subject to judges' approval, conduct the trial against Saif al-Islam in Libya," the ICC's Luis Moreno-Ocampo said in a document before the Hague-based court, AFP reports.

     
  79.  
    Matt Bradley, Cairo correspondent for The Wall Street Journal

    tweets: Thousands in #Abbasiya chanting "the people want the Field Marshall to stay!". Pro-military marchers insist they aren't headed to #tahrir from #Abbasiya. Rumors in crowd say they're headed to Roxy Square.

     
  80.  
    1452:

    One Egyptian protester, Abdullah Shalabi, a medical student in Cairo, tells the BBC he had joined the rally in part to help demonstrators injured by the security forces' use of gas.

     
  81.  
    1453:

    "I'm here to rescue lives and souls which are (being bombed) every day with gas cannisters and also nerve gas cannisters which we (have been) facing for almost seven days till now," Mr Shalabi said. "As a doctor I have to rescue those lives and as a citizen I have to demand that the Scaf must leave the power of Egypt now."

     
  82.  
    1503:

    Voter turn-out in Morocco's parliamentary election stood at 11.5% at midday today, Moroccan radio reports, according to BBC Monitoring. Some 13.6m Moroccans are registered to vote in the polls, the first since King Mohammed introduced constitutional reforms.

     
  83.  
    1507:

    Omar Slimati in Morocco says he voted because it was his "national duty". "With all the positive developments our country witnessed lately, young people are getting more interested in politics.. They want to take their responsibilities and this is why I decided to vote today - to forget the past and to start a new era."

     
  84.  
    1514:
    Egyptian protesters chant slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo November 25, 2011

    Egyptian protesters demonstrating in Tahrir Square in Cairo

     
  85.  
    1523:

    Thousands of protesters remain in Cairo's Tahrir Square despite a plea by the newly appointed prime minister, Kamal Ganzouri, to give him a chance. Mr Ganzouri says he is working on forming a cabinet, but that it will not be done before elections, due on Monday.

     
  86.  
    1528:

    AFP reports that protesters blocked the entrance to Egypt's cabinet headquarters on Friday in a bid to prevent Mr Ganzouri from entering the building. Organiser Ahmed Zahran said it was to protest against his appointment.

     
  87.  
    1530:

    World Have Your Say is live now on BBC World TV talking about the latest from Egypt, Bahrain & Yemen. Join the conversation on Twitter by following @BBC_WHYS or commenting here.

     
  88.  
    1537:

    The Palestinian Information Center, run by the Islamist group Hamas, reports that PM Ismail Haniyeh is leading a march in Gaza calling for the "salvation" of Jerusalem from Judaisation, BBC Monitoring reports. The demonstration was organised to coincide with those taking place elsewhere in the Arab world.

     
  89.  
    1547:

    Egyptian state TV reports that voting will now be held over two days instead of one following a decision by Egypt's ruling military council, according to Reuters news agency. Voting is due to begin on Monday.

     
  90.  
    1559:

    A pro-military rally taking place near the defence ministry in Cairo has been attended by several thousand people, although nowhere near as many as there are in Tahrir Square.

    Pro military rally in Cairo
     
  91.  
    Ahmed in Tahrir Square

    writes: Spirits are high and people are genuinely optimistic. Our demands remain the same. We want an immediate transfer of power to a civilian government. We will not accept half solutions. If the new regime fails to meet our demands we will stay in the square for as long as it takes.

     
  92.  
    1602:

    At least six people have been killed in the latest violence on Friday, say activists. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, based in the UK, says the deaths occurred in Homs, Damascus, Deir el-Zour and in the southern province of Deraa. Other activists - from the Local Co-ordination Committees based in Syria - say as many as 19 people have been killed.

     
  93.  
    1610:

    Gulnur Aybet, a Turkish political analyst at the University of Kent in Britain, tells BBC News Turkey is very unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria unless the crisis directly affects its own national security interests.

     
  94.  
    1612:

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet in Tahrir Square says some of the newest banners held up by the crowd urge all Egyptians to come and join the protests.

     
  95.  
    1616:

    For useful background on the Syria protests see this guide by BBC Arabic's Nahed Abouzeid to the key points.

     
  96.  
    1622:

    More on the decision by Egypt's ruling military council to hold parliamentary elections this week over two days instead of one: The Egyptian news agency MENA says this will also apply to later run-off elections.

     
  97.  
    1628:

    As clashes continue between the security forces and protesters in several parts of Syria, supporters of President Assad have held a rally in Damascus.

    Pro-Assad rally in Damascus
     
  98.  
    1632:

    Egypt's Ahram Online website reports that revolutionary groups are debating prominent blogger Malek Mostafa's proposal of a council made up of presidential contenders and reform-minded judges.

     
  99.  
    1635:

    See a gallery of pictures here from today's protests in Tahrir Square.

     
  100.  
    1644:

    Huge protests have been taking place once again after Friday prayers in Yemen, despite President Ali Abdullah Saleh signing a deal to step down. The BBC's Middle East analyst, Sebastian Usher, says tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets to reject the deal.

     
  101.  
    1646:

    Clashes have erupted for a sixth successive day between the security forces and demonstrators in the Egyptian city of Alexandria, says the Egyptian news agency, MENA.

     
  102.  
    @mosaaberizing in Tahrir Square

    tweets: Great to see men form human chains around female protesters in Tahrir to prevent pushing / harassment but sad that such measure is needed.

     
  103.  
    Hani Shukrallah, reporter, Ahram online

    tweets: Unlike the 1st round of #Egypt's revolution, #Tahrir is elaborating its own voice, identifying its spokespersons and creating a leadership.

     
  104.  
    1657:

    More on the Yemen protests pictured here in the capital Sanaa: Reports say the demonstrators are demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh be put on trial. They are objecting to a deal he signed this week under which he will step down in return for immunity from prosecution.

    Protest in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa
     
  105.  
    1701:

    More on the low turnout in elections in Morocco: BBC Monitoring has observed divided opinion among the country's social media users about whether to take part in the elections. Prior to today's poll a number of Facebook groups opposed to the continued influence of King Mohammed VI called for a boycott. However as voters went to the polls, some Moroccan bloggers and twitterers have encouraged participation in the election.

     
  106.  
    1704:

    The BBC's Lyse Doucet says the protests in Tahrir Square have been much calmer today than earlier in the week, despite the larger number of demonstrators. See her latest report here.

     
  107.  
    Carole Saad-Escoffey from Alexandria, Egypt

    writes: I am Egyptian and I will be voting here on Monday. Egyptians can at last express themselves freely and it is natural that they will have different views just like any nation. The overall message is that they do not want military rule, they do not want any of Mubarak's cronies including the clique of elderly generals holding onto power and members of Mubarak's old party, including Ganzouri.

     
  108.  
    Derek Stoffel, CBC News Middle East correspondent

    tweets: #Tahrir Sq at dusk. Absolutely jam packed. Hard to see but there are fireworks being set off. Very festive. #egypt pic.twitter.com/i7Hu4qI1

     
  109.  
    1710:

    The BBC's Yolande Knell has just written this report on the rival protests in Cairo that highlight the big divisions in Egypt over what should happen next.

     
  110.  
    1723:

    The Egyptian journalist, Ashraf Khalil, who is in Tahrir Square tells the BBC it is very hard to see either side moving in the stand-off between the protesters and the military. He says neither side is in a position to back down.

     
  111.  
    1729:

    More on the attack in Syria on Thursday which the military says killed six elite pilots. A military spokesman on state TV has blamed Israel. "The General Command of the Army and the Armed Forces sees that the ones benefiting from this terrorist action are the enemies of the homeland and the nation, with Israel at the forefront," said the unnamed spokesman.

     
  112.  
    Jeannette Jones, Alexandria, Egypt

    The problems are not just in Tahrir Square in Cairo. They have spread across the nation. Tear gas has been used over a period of days in Smouha district of Alexandria, which remained fogged the air till the morning. We were diverted by protestors still on the street heading past the police building. They had closed the road and were still wearing their gas masks. We saw one carrying a petrol bomb. The protestors have set up a camp on the Smouha roundabout, with several tents and food/drink facilities.

     
  113.  
    1735:

    Up to 10,000 people are reported to have attended the protests in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.

    Protesters in Alexandria
     
  114.  
    1747:

    There is just over an hour of voting left in Morocco's parliamentary elections. The latest figures from the interior ministry suggest 22.4% turnout by 1500GMT. Although this is low, the figure at the same time of day during the last election in 2007 was 15.4%.

     
  115.  
    1754:

    Cairo protester, Karim Arafat, tells the BBC why he believes the elections due to start on Monday should be postponed. "It's so obvious to everyone the chaotic conditions that we live in right now. So I think it's better for everyone, for the people and the political parties for the first phase, at least, to be postponed."

     
  116.  
    1829:

    A senior official in Libya has hit out at the country's new government, describing the cabinet as an unrepresentative group of the "elite", AP news agency reports.

     
  117.  
    1833:

    Ali Tarhouni, previously oil and finance minister, accused the new government of being "supported from the outside by money, arms and PR." "The voices that we see now are the voices of the elite," he said, according to the Associated Press. The country's new cabinet was sworn in on Thursday, just over a month after the capture and death of Muammar Gaddafi.

     
  118.  
    John Horniblow in Morocco

    writes about the Morocco elections: Casablanca has a quiet and tranquil ambience. While many streets are strewn with political party "who to vote for" leaflets, the shops, schools and the normally busy souks are closed and the usual traffic snarl remains subdued as the streets are less congested.

     
  119.  
    1848: Richard Galpin BBC News

    says leaders around the Arab world will be watching Morroco carefully as voters cast ballots for what should be a historic election, leading to the most representative government the country's ever known.

     
  120.  
    S.Yousef, Cairo

    comments on the demonstrations in Egypt: I think these demonstrations against the army are not justified. Elections will start next Monday, why not play it cool? The teenagers are harming Egypt as a whole and harming its economy. The army is the backbone of the country.

     
  121.  
    1856:

    The UN says its human rights chief, Navi Pillay, is in contact with the Arab League about the situation in Syria, AFP reports. The League has requested help from the UN in its dealings with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been internationally condemned for his use of force against protesters. The League suspended Syria from the organisation earlier this month.

     
  122.  
    1905:

    Polls have closed in Morocco, where voters have been taking part in the first elections since the king introduced reforms in the wake of protests earlier this year, in what's been described as Morocco's "gentle revolution". The results are expected to be announced on Saturday.

     
  123.  
    Fayza, Eg,Giza

    writes: Those people in Tahrir Square are not representing all Egyptians, we are over 80 million people and most of us need peace and normal life, but Tahririans are damaging our country.

     
  124.  
    1910:

    This is where we end our live updates for today, as polls close in Morocco and Egyptians continue to protest ahead of their elections, due to begin on Monday. You can follow our ongoing coverage of events on the BBC News website. Thank you for joining us.

     

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