Saturday, March 19, 2011
Gaddafi's forces enter Benghazi in spite of so called 'cease fire'
Friday night: Benghazi celebrates cease fire. On Saturday Gaddafi's toops entered the city.
It seems the old fox Gaddafi is still very much his old treacherous self. The solemn declaration of a cease fire on Friday by his minister Moussa Koussa was just a smoke screen to lure everybody in believing that his game was over. At least for the moment. And just when most started to believe him, his forces entered Benghazi.
Reuters news agency quoted a military spokesman for the rebels who said that Gadafi's forces entered the city on Saturday from the west. It reported that it heard at least one big explosion at the rebel headquarters in Benghazi. The Libyan government, however, denied its forces were in action in or around Benghazi. A government spokesman said they were observing the ceasefire, blaming rebels for attacks.
As explosions shook Benghazi, rebel fighters said they were being forced to retreat from the outskirts of the city. A fighter jet was shot down, when it tried to attack a target, apparently the Benghazi military barracks, according to Reuters.The rebels said Libyan jets earlier had bombed the road to Benghazi airport and elsewhere on the outskirts.
According to Al-Jazeera English fresh fighting was also going on in the nearby rebel-held town of Ajdabiya, while fierce battles raged in Misurata, a town close to the capital Tripoli, where pro-Gaddafi forces were gathered at the outskirts. Misurata was left stranded in the west while rebels who had advanced from the east were beaten back by a counteroffensive by loyalist forces. There were also reports of government forces attacking the town of Az Zintan, Al-Jazeera said.
The Libyan advance into Benghazi pre-empted an international meeting hosted by France on Saturday to discuss military intervention in Libya. The meeting will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Arab leaders.