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Four killed in Libya after Gaddafi calls for ceasefire

Arab World Materials 1 May 2011 00:01
At least four people were killed in Libya in clashes between government forces and rebels on Saturday, shortly after a call by leader Moamer Gaddafi for a ceasefire, dpa reported.
Four killed in Libya after Gaddafi calls for ceasefire

At least four people were killed in Libya in clashes between government forces and rebels on Saturday, shortly after a call by leader Moamer Gaddafi for a ceasefire, dpa reported.

Clashes between rebels and government forces erupted when 130 vehicles carrying heaving weapons were trying to enter the eastern town of Jalu, the opposition news website Brneiq reported.

The four died as rebels were trying to force Gaddafi forces away from the town, located south of Ajdabiya city.

Clashes came shortly after Gaddafi called for ceasefire and said he was willing to negotiate with NATO to bring an end to alliance airstrikes against his country.

He said and that all parties involved in the conflict would have to sign up to one.

"Libya is ready until this moment to enter a ceasefire, but a ceasefire cannot be from one side," he said in a live speech on state TV.

"Let us negotiate with you, the countries that attack us," he said in a speech that lasted almost 90 minutes.

But the Interim Transitional National Council (ITNC) rejected the call saying "the time for compromise has passed."

"Gaddafi's regime has lost all credibility. It has repeatedly offered ceasefires only to continue violating basic human rights, international humanitarian law, and the safety and security of Libya and the entire region," Vice Chairman of the ITNC, Abdul Hafiz Ghogha, said.

"The time for compromise has passed. The people of Libya cannot possibly envisage or accept a future Libya in which Gaddafi's regime plays any role," added Ghogha.

Gaddafi had also warned that without a ceasefire there would be no surrender, and his people were willing to die resisting the "terrorist" attacks.

"No one can persuade me to leave my country, and no one can tell me that I should not fight for my country," he added.

NATO has been in command of the international military operation in Libya for just under five weeks, including airstrikes that are being used as part of the UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians.

NATO said it hit one building and a self propelled artillery in Tripoli on Friday, and 13 ammunition storages in area around Zintan city.

They also hit one armoured vehicle in Brega and four ammunition storages in Gaddafi's hometown Sirte.

This is not the first time the government has promised a ceasefire.

Earlier this month, the Benghazi-based council said it would accept a ceasefire only if Gaddafi withdrew his forces from all of cities and gave Libyans greater freedoms.

The government at the time rejected the rebels' position as "crazy."

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