Western Powers Continue Strikes on Libya

TRIPOLI, March 20.— Coalition troops led by the United States, France and the United Kingdom are continuing the bombings of Libyan cities on Monday as part of the Odyssey Dawn operation carried out by the Pentagon, reported the AFP news agency.

This first phase of the air attacks has been called “a success” and has allowed the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, announced U.S. top official Admiral Michael Mullen. He assured that pro-Gaddafi troops are not longer advancing on Benghazi, the rebels’ stronghold.

At least 18 U.S. planes, among them three B2 stealth bombers, attacked seven cities in Libya, said Kenneth Fidler spokesperson of the US Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany at the U.S. headquarters coordinating the intervention.

For his part, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi ordered an immediate ceasefire, following a request from the African Union (AU), in an attempt to avoid more deaths after the indiscriminating bombings by the western powers.

A military spokesperson quoted by Prensa Latina news agency, reported in Tripoli that the Libyan Armed Forces have issued an order to all military units to ensure a ceasefire immediately after the 21:00 hours on March 20.

It was explained that the measure was taken to avoid more bloodshed of civilians as a consequence of the attacks by the planes and ships of the NATO’s alliance, supported by the UN. The authorities also called for a massive peace mobilization to march from Tripoli to Benghazi.

The announcement was made 24 hours after the Pentagon confirmed the launching of more that 110 cruise missiles from ships in the Mediterranean Sea against several alleged military targets in Libya, causing 64 deaths and 150 wounded, according to the Libyan government.

The Odyssey Dawn Operation is being carried out by a dozen western nations together with troops from Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

The Secretary General of the Arab League Amro Moussa, criticized the violent bombings and said they “differ” from the terms of a resolution adopted by that organization who requested a no-fly zone to the UN over the North African country.

In the early hours of March 20, Gaddafi confirmed he ordered the delivery of weapons to the population so they can defend “the independence, unity and honor of Libya.” He also denounced the air attacks and predicted it would be “a long war.”

Gaddafi said they will fight inch by inch. He stated that he has the support of the Libyan people, who are ready for a total war. The Colonel vowed to defeat foreign attackers whom he called “cowards” for attacking from the distance and in a superior number.

In an audio message broadcast by the satellite channel Al Jamahiriya a few hours after the attacks, Gaddafi expressed that the UN Security Council and the international community are responsible for ceasing immediately that unjust and blatant aggression against a sovereign country.

IN OTHER COUNTRIES

Thousands of people took to the streets on Sunday in the major cities of Morocco: Casablanca, Rabat, Tangier or Agadir to ask for political reforms and denounce the corruption in the regime.

Demonstrators showed their discontent with the reforms announced on March 9 by King Mohamed VI, to give more powers to the Parliament, reported the Europe Press News Agency.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Sale dismissed the government of the Prime Minister Ali Mujawar in full, following weeks of protests, reported the official news agency Saba.

In Egypt, 77% of the population voted in favor of the amendments to the Magna Charta proposed by the Constitutional Reform Committee, according to the Supreme Court Committee, in charge of the organization of the referendum.

The YES to the amendment was backed up by 18.5 million people and the participation was 41.2 % of the 45 million Egyptians with the right to vote.

Granma Daily

 

 

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