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People in Benghazi have held a rally in support of the allied air campaign against Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

Coalition air strikes are credited with stopping an advance by government forces in its tracks, and giving a huge morale boost to the rebels.

Among the crowds were banners expressing thanks – in English and French – to the countries involved, and plenty of pre-Gaddafi era Libyan flags.

As the UN prepares again to discuss Libya, there were also some words of advice for those who have not backed military action.

“Russia and China, better to be with the Libyan people than this tyrant”, read on banner.

Reports from New York say the breakaway Libyan delegation at the UN, who backs the rebels, is trying to build a diplomatic network parallel to that of the Gaddafi regime.

The rebels are asking the international community to do more to protect civilians.

Our correspondent in Benghazi, Mustafa Bağ, said:

“The Gaddafi-controlled Libyan media claimed that the people here didn’t support the no-fly zone. But today they reacted against that, as the gathering here in front of the law courts shows. There are plenty of women in the crowd which totals roughly 15,000.”

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