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Libya crisis: fighter plane ‘shot down’ as Gaddafi forces attack Benghazi

March 19, 2011 Comments off

telegraph.co.uk

Libya: the West and al-Qaeda on the same side

A Libyan rebel grimaces on the frontline near Sultan, south of Benghazi Photo: AP

News agency reports a fighter plane has been shot down and artillery bombardment of the city.

“The explosions started about 2 a.m. Gaddafi’s forces are advancing, we hear they’re 20 kms (12 miles) from Benghazi,” Faraj Ali, a resident, said.

Gaddafi’s forces advance into Benghazi pre-empted an international meeting hosted by France to discuss military intervention in Libya. The meeting will be attended by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Arab leaders.

“We saw Gaddafi’s tanks, cars and missile trucks less than five km away,” a rebel figher giving his name as Mohammed told Reuters.

Libya had declared a unilateral ceasefire on Friday after the U.N. Security Council authorised a no-fly zone over Libya.

But the United States accused Gaddafi of defying international demands for an immediate ceasefire, and France’s U.N. envoy predicted military action within hours of the Paris meeting on Read more…