(Adds fighting in Libyan city of Misrata in eighth paragraph.)
July 30 (Bloomberg) -- The trial of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak will be held at a police academy on the outskirts of Cairo for security reasons, the Egyptian government said today.
Mubarak, charged with corruption and with killing demonstrators, was originally scheduled to go on trial at a Cairo convention center along with two of his sons and members of his security team.
Mubarak, 83, has been in a hospital in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. He is expected to attend his trial, which begins Aug. 3, the Middle East News Agency said.
In Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, a pumping station along the pipeline that transports natural gas to Israel was attacked overnight by rockets and bullets, an official at East Mediterranean Gas Co. said. Masked gunmen carrying Islamist banners attacked a police station on Friday in the city of Arish, killing five and wounding 12, Al Arabiya television reported. Fifteen people were arrested, the news agency said.
In Syria, a convoy of 40 tanks arrived in the eastern town of Deir Al Zour and gunfire was heard, Al Arabiya reported, citing activists. The conflict came a day after clashes between demonstrators and government security forces throughout the country left at least 25 people dead, Al Jazeera reported.
A man identifying himself as a Syrian army colonel told Agence France Presse that he and hundreds of other soldiers had defected. Al Jazeera later reported that the army defectors were trying to stop security forces advancing in some neighborhoods of Deir Al Zour.
More than 1,950 Syrian protesters have been killed in the government crackdown since uprisings began in mid-March, according to human rights groups that have compiled the names of those killed, injured or detained. Thousands of Syrians have fled to Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
In Libya, forces loyal to the regime of Muammar Qaddafi attacked the rebel-held city of Misrata, using tanks and artillery in the heaviest attacks in a month, said Sedek Shalbad, commander of the rebel Hatin Brigade. Misrata’s Mujema Aleiadat hospital reported 10 rebel fighters dead and more 50 wounded by 3 p.m. local time.
The opposition Transitional National Council appointed Suleiman Muhmud Al-Obaidi as interim chief of staff of the rebel armed forces, according to Agence France-Presse. The rebels’ military chief, Abdel Fattah Younis, a defector from Qaddafi’s forces, was shot dead along with two of his aides on July 28.
According to an Al Jazeera report, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, head of the TNC, told reporters today that he believes Younis was killed by pro-Qaddafi agents seeking to create divisions within the opposition. Jalil also said there would be a crackdown on rebel militias and other groups that aren’t under the umbrella of the opposition armed forces.
In Yemen, government forces arrested Abdullah Omar Hubaibat, one of the top al-Qaeda leaders in the province of Abyan, and killed another al-Qaeda militant in the city of Zanjibar, the SABA news agency said, citing a person in the security forces it didn’t identify. Al Jazeera reported that six soldiers and seven al-Qaeda fighters were killed in clashes that erupted in Zanjibar.
--With assistance from Zaid Sabah, Massoud A. Derhally, Ola Galal, Nadeem Hamid and Mariam Fam. Editors: Laurence Arnold, Christian Thompson.
To contact the reporter on this story: Clea Benson Washington at Cbenson20@bloomberg.net
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at firstname.lastname@example.org