An explosion damaged two cars in front of a hotel in Benghazi used for press conferences by the Libyan rebel administration on Wednesday. It claimed no victims and it is unclear if it was a car bomb but crowds immediately gathered to chant anti-Gaddafi slogans.
It was a day of mixed news for the opposition forces. NATO announced it was extending its protective aerial umbrella mission for a further 90 days. Its Secretary General announced Gaddafi was “finished.” And Libya’s oil minister and former prime minister, Shokri Ghanem, defected, saying he could no longer stand what he called the “unbearable” violence around the regime.
However, the UN’s human rights forum issued a report claiming the rebels as well as Colonel Gaddafi had been guilty of committing war crimes, although to a lesser extent. Their findings were based on interviews with 350 people across the country.
South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma admitted Gaddafi was not ready to step down after his second peace mission to the country, the key rebel demand, but the biggest anti-Gaddafi protests in Tripoli since March were reported.