Friday, March 18, 2011

Libya declares cease fire after UN resolution

Libya declared an immediate cease-fire Friday, trying to fend off international military intervention after the U.N. authorized a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" to prevent the regime from striking its own people. A rebel spokesman said Moammar Gadhafi's forces were still shelling two cities.
The cease-fire announcement by the Libyan foreign minister followed a fierce government attack on Misrata, the last rebel-held city in the western half of the country. A doctor said at least six people were killed.
Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the rebels, said the attacks continued well past the announcement.
"He's bombing Misrata and Adjadbiya from 7 a.m. this morning until now. How can you trust him?" Gheriani said.
The U.N. Security Council resolution, which was passed late Thursday, set the stage for airstrikes, a no-fly zone and other military measures short of a ground invasion. Britain announced that it would send fighter jets, Italy offered the use of its bases, and France was making plans to deploy planes. The U.S. had yet to announce its role. NATO also held an emergency meeting.
With the international community mobilizing, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said the government would cease fire in line with the resolution, although he criticized the authorization of international military action, calling it a violation of Libya's sovereignty.
"The government is opening channels for true, serious dialogue with all parties," he said during a news conference in Tripoli, the capital. He took no questions.
Four New York Times journalists who were reported missing while covering the Libya conflict have been found, the newspaper said Friday.The Times reported on its website that the four were captured by forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi and will be released Friday.

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