YEMEN: OPEN WAR
A series of explosions shook Sanaa International airport overnight following clashes between supporters of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and forces loyal to dissident general and tribal leader Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. Sources told Al Jazeera that the airport would be closed "for some time, with scheduled flights diverted to Aden." While authorities opened the airport for a flight to go from Sanaa to Aden, in the south, it is not clear whether it will remain open. Al-Ahmar is preparing for open warfare in Sanaa, the network reported. Demonstrations are continuing daily in Yemen, with protesters demanding Saleh step down and be put on trial.
TUNISIA: ARAFAT'S WIFE
The Tunisia government is pursuing the widow of Yasser Arafat, with an international warrant out for her arrest in connection with a school she founded in Tunisia with the wife of ousted President Zine al-Abedine al-Ali. The two women fell out, and Suha Arafat was subsequently stripped of her honorary Tunisian citizenship and asked to leave the country. Arafat is wanted on corruption charges, the details of which were not yet released.
LIBYA: FUGITIVE P.M.
The lawyer of Libya's last Prime Minister, Baghdadi Mahmoudi, says his client is in a Tunisian jail and fears for his life given his knowledge of state secrets. Lawyer Mabrouk Krashid called on the Libyan authorities not to extradite Mahmoudi, and pointed out that the official entered Tunisia and was arrested for not having a visa. Though Mahmoudi's passport contains a stamp allowing him to enter, he has been in state custody since September 21st. Libyan authorities are trying to extradite the former prime minister. Tunisia extended recognition to the Libyan Transitional Council as the legitimate representative of the Libyan people on August 22nd.
EGYPT: COOKING GAS
Egypt's Petroleum Ministry has decided to increase the amount of cooking gas on the market by 15 percent following record-breaking purchases by citizens ahead of the Eid al-Adha holiday, Al Youm Al Sabaa reported. Ahmad al-Ghrab, the head of the national gas company, announced that the company is taking measures to ensure that enough gas cylinders, used for cooking, are available for the public. The statement is noteworthy given chronic shortages of basic goods in Egypt, which has led to rioting in the past. The company will be running at full capacity, with cylinder stores remaining open later to meet citizens' needs, al-Ghrab said.
Gas stations in many Iranian cities had trouble supplying fuel earlier in the week in what was a suspected cyberattack on the fuel distribution system. One Tehran daily on Thursday blamed Israel, which may have carried out similar acts in past years, to weaken Iran's hostile regime.
The incident reportedly disrupted the credit and debit card payments system this time, forcing users to pay cash and higher prices, the London-based broadcaster Iran International reported.
Though state officials didn't publicly accuse anyone specific, they did say perhaps this and other attacks had been planned for October, to "anger people" on the anniversary of the anti-government protests of 2019.
Khamenei, where's our gas?
Cheeky slogans were spotted Tuesday in different places in Iran, including electronic panels over motorways. One of them read "Khamenei, where's our gas?"
Iran International reported that Tehran-based news agency ISNA posted, then deleted, a report on drivers also seeing the message "cyberattack 64411" on screens at gas stations, purported to be the telephone number of the office of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
A member of parliament's National Security Committee, Vahid Jalalzadeh, said the attack had been planned months ahead, and had inflicted "grave losses," Iran International and domestic agencies reported Thursday. The conservative Tehran newspaper Kayhan named "America, the Zionist regime and their goons" as the "chief suspects" in the attack.
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