TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Libyan rebels trying to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi have pushed to within about 80 km (50 miles) of the capital, a rebel spokesman told Reuters on Monday, in the biggest rebel breakthrough in weeks.
In neighboring Tunisia three Libyan ministers, including the foreign minister, were holding talks with “foreign parties,” the Tunisian state news agency reported.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi is the historical choice of the Libyan people and cannot be moved aside, his government said on Sunday, stepping back from earlier statements offering an election on his future role.
“Muammar Gaddafi is Libya’s historical symbol, and he is above all political actions, above all political and tactical games,” government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said in a statement issued late on Sunday.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – The Libyan government on Sunday renewed its offer to hold a vote on whether Muammar Gaddafi should stay in power, a proposal unlikely to interest Gaddafi’s opponents but which could widen differences inside NATO.
Pressure is growing from some quarters within the alliance to find a political solution, three months into a military campaign which is costing NATO members billions of dollars, has killed civilians, and has so far failed to topple Gaddafi.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – NATO missiles have hit a site in Libya used by Muammar Gaddafi’s forces to stockpile military supplies and vehicles, the alliance said on Saturday, adding it was unaware of 15 civilian deaths reported by state media.
The attack late on Friday was the second within hours on what NATO said were clearly identified military targets in the coastal city of Brega, around 200 km (130 miles) west of the rebel stronghold of Benghazi.
BRUSSELS/TRIPOLI (Reuters) – France rejected on Friday U.S. criticism of Europe’s performance in the NATO operation against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi while the U.S. administration survived Congressional anger in a funding vote.
Gaddafi has managed to stay in power despite months of NATO air operations to weaken his rule and help rebels based mainly in eastern Libya who have tried to advance on the west.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Muammar Gaddafi’s fearsome security apparatus appears to be weakening in Tripoli, but it is still too powerful to risk an uprising — that is the view of Libyans who say they are part of a burgeoning underground opposition network in the capital.
The handful of activists, who spoke to Reuters journalists on condition that neither their identities nor the location of the meeting be revealed, said Gaddafi was keeping control of the city through informants, mass arrests and killings.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – Standing opposite the wreckage of what used to be the Hotel Wenzrik in central Tripoli, the Libyan man spoke his mind to reporters for a good few minutes, even as their government minders began to zero in on him.
“It has been going for a long time and people are looking for a settlement,” he said of the war with NATO and identifying himself as Zarroug, a self-employed trader.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – In the brief, heady period at the start of the uprising in the Libyan capital against Muammar Gaddafi, activists relied on Facebook and text messages to network, organize and express themselves.
But then the government shut down the Internet and SMS text messaging from mobile phones, effectively throwing the anti-Gaddafi movement into the dark.
BRUSSELS/TRIPOLI, June 24 (Reuters) – French President
Nicolas Sarkozy on Friday rebuffed criticism of Europe’s role in
the Libyan war by outgoing U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates,
saying Washington’s allies were “doing the work”.
The spat is the latest sign of tensions among NATO allies in
their campaign to oust Muammar Gaddafi, with Britain, France and
others rejecting an Italian call earlier this week for a
suspension of hostilities to allow humanitarian aid access.
TRIPOLI (Reuters) – NATO’s chief on Thursday dismissed a call from Italy for a suspension of hostilities in Libya and tried to reassure wavering members of the Western coalition that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi can be beaten.
Italy’s ceasefire call exposed the strain on the NATO alliance, nearly 14 weeks into a bombing campaign that has so far failed to dislodge Gaddafi but is causing mounting concerns about its financial cost and about civilian casualties.