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Rebels, NATO reject Gaddafi's ceasefire offer

Rebels, NATO reject Gaddafi's ceasefire offer
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Libyan rebels and NATO leaders have rejected an offer from President Muammar Gaddafi to negotiate a way out of the civil war. A rebel spokesman said the time for compromise was gone and NATO airstrikes would continue.

The rejection came as little surprise. NATO bombers hit buildings around the television centre in Tripoli as Gaddafi appeared on screen to offer a ceasefire.

But during his 80 minute address he refused to quit. ‘You ask someone in power since 1977 to leave power? This is really funny,’ he said. His exit is the main demand of rebels and many western leaders.

Rebels said government forces had overrun Jalu in the desert just 300 kilometres south of the heart of the uprising Benghazi. A rebel spokesman voiced their concern.

And in the besieged rebel held city of Misrata, crowds of people trying to escape continued shelling were backing up at the port. NATO ships had cleared government-laid mines but a humanitarian worker said aid ships were not being allowed in or out while the allies swept the area again.