Thousands of opposition supporters, mainly students, gathered in Djibouti Friday to demand President Ismael Omar Guelleh step down, witnesses said.
The rare demonstration in the tiny Horn of Africa country was organised amid mounting opposition to the president, who last year had the constitution amended to allow him to seek a third mandate in upcoming April elections.
"IOG out", read one banner, using the president's initials, as most Djiboutians do. "No to a third mandate", read another banner.
Amid a tight police deployment, the demonstrators gathered at a stadium with the intention of staying there until their demands are met.
Hundreds of Syrians staged a protest against security forces after traffic police beat up a young man in the capital's Old City, an opposition website reported on Friday.
The Dubai-based all4Syria.info said Imad Nasab, son of a shopowner in the cobbled commercial strip of Hariqa, was assaulted by traffic police officers, sparking a spontaneous rally on Thursday in solidarity with the victim.
"The Syrian people will not be humiliated," chanted the crowd.
"Police, thieves" and "We will sacrifice our soul and blood for you (President) Bashar (al-Assad)" were some of the slogans used by the demonstrators.
Clashes broke out Friday in Jordan's capital between government supporters and opponents at a protest calling for more freedom and lower food prices, injuring eight.Also Kuwait, where the protesters are stateless Bedouin.
The Amman protest drew about 2,000 people, including hard-line leftists, Muslim conservatives and students calling for reduced power for the king and the chance to elect members of the Cabinet.
Students from the growing "Jaayin" or "I'm Coming" movement chanted: "We want constitutional reforms. We want a complete change to policies."
"They beat us with batons, pipes and hurled rocks at us," said Tareq Kmeil, a student at the protest. "We tried to defend ourselves, to beat them back."
Meanwhile, at least two people were killed in Yemen on Friday when clashes broke out between police and protesters.
Death tolls are mounting in Bahrain and Libya.