Latest News Update : Warplane Shot Down Through Libya
BENGHAZI, Libya (BBC News Blog)- Libyan rebels shot down a warplane that was bombing their eastern stronghold Saturday as the opposition accused Muammar al-Qaddafi’s federal government of defying a cease-fire.
The fighting comes as leaders in the Arab planet, Africa, the usa as well as other Western powers maintain urgent talks in Paris Saturday above achievable military action in opposition to Qaddafi’s forces.
An Associated Press reporter saw a plane go down in flames exterior Benghazi early Saturday, sending up a black cloud of smoke after the metropolis came below assault. The sound of artillery and crackling gunfire was heard in the distance.
Looking to outmaneuver Western military intervention, Qaddafi’s federal government declared a cease-fire on Friday as the rebel uprising faltered versus his artillery, tanks and warplanes. But the opposition explained shells rained down nicely right after the announcement and accused the Libyan leader of lying.
On Saturday, government spokesman Ibrahim Musa denied that a government plane had gone down. He also denied federal government forces shelled any Libyan towns on Saturday, saying the rebels will be the ones breaking the cease fire by attacking military forces.
“Our armed forces continue to retreat and conceal, but the rebels keep shelling us and provoking us,” Musa advised The Involved Press.
Wary on the cease-fire, Britain and France took the lead in options to enforce a no-fly zone, sending British warplanes for the Mediterranean and announcing a crisis summit in Paris using the U.N. and Arab allies. In Washington, President Barack Obama ruled out the use of American ground troops but warned the U.S., which has an array of naval and air forces in the area, would join in military action.
There should really be no doubt in regards to the Libyan leader’s intentions “because he has manufactured them distinct,” Obama reported. “Just yesterday, talking from the metropolis of Benghazi, a town of approximately 700,000, he threatened ‘we could have no mercy and no pity.’ No mercy on his own citizens.”
In a very joint statement to Qaddafi late Friday, the united states, Britain and France — backed by unspecified Arab nations — mentioned a cease-fire have to begin “immediately” in Libya, the French presidential palace stated.
The statement known as on Qaddafi to conclude his troops’ advance toward Benghazi, the rebel headquarters, and pull them from the metropolitan areas of Misrata, Ajdabiya and Zawiya, and known as for that restoration of drinking water, electrical energy and gasoline providers in all spots. It reported Libyans must be ready to obtain humanitarian aid or the “international neighborhood will make him suffer the consequences” with Militry action.
Parts of eastern Libya, where by the once-confident rebels this week uncovered their hold slipping, erupted into celebration on the passage from the U.N. resolution. But the timing and penalties of any international military action remained unclear.
Misrata, Libya’s third-largest city along with the last held by rebels from the west, arrived underneath sustained assault nicely just after the cease-fire announcement, according to rebels and a medical doctor there. The health practitioner, who spoke on situation of anonymity simply because he feared reprisals, claimed Qaddafi’s snipers have been on rooftops and his forces had been checking households for rebels.
“The shelling is continuing, and they are employing flashlights to accomplish surgical procedure. We do not have anesthetic to place our patients down,” mentioned the medical doctor, who counted 25 deaths due to the fact the morning.
Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, denied late Friday that federal government forces had violated the cease-fire and invited 4 nations to deliver observers to watch compliance: Germany, China, Turkey and Malta.
“The cease-fire for us indicates no military operations whatsoever, significant or modest,” he told reporters in Tripoli.
He mentioned military forces were positioned outdoors Benghazi but that the authorities had no intention of sending them into the city.
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