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Posted at 09:33 AM ET, 03/18/2011

Libya declares cease-fire: Live updates


Libyan Foreign Minister Musa Kusa, left, speaks to journalists in Tripoli, Libya. (Video image. AP)
After the U.N. Security Council voted to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya Friday morning, the Moammar Gaddafi-led government declared a cease-fire and vowed to stop all military operations. We’ll be following along with live updates here.

View our Twitter resources list at the bottom of this post, which includes updates from Arab news sites, rebel groups and others.

This story originally stated that the U.N. vote for a no-fly zone was unanimous. The vote was not unanimous, as there were five abstentions. This version has been updated.

U.S. 6:00 p.m. (ET) Friday // LIBYA 12:00 a.m. Saturday (EET)

We’re closing up the live blog for the night. If the situation in Libya escalates due to attacks by pro-Gaddafi forces despite the cease-fire, or military intervention from the West, we will back here to provide you with continued updates.

U.S. 5:45 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 11:45 p.m. Friday (EET)

Explosion in Benghazi

A loud explosion followed by anti-aircraft fire was heard late Friday in the Libyan rebel-held town of Benghazi, AFP reported.

U.S. 5:05 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 11:05 p.m. Friday (EET)

Live stream from Libya

Benghazi-based television station Libya Alhurra is purportedly live streaming bombings in the town of Sultan. WATCH:

libya17feb on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

The Washington Post cannot independently verify this live stream.

U.S. 5:00 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 11:00 p.m. Friday (EET)

Libyan deputy FM says government forces won’t enter Benghazi

To comply with the cease-fire, Libya government forces will not enter Benghazi, said Libya’s deputy foreign minister, Reuters reported. He also said there has been no bombardent of any kind since the ceasefire was declared, BBC reported.

U.S. 4:30 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 10:30 p.m. Friday (EET)

Pro-Gaddafi forces to advance cease-fire

the ceasefire declared earlier Friday, pro-Gaddafi forces were advancing quickly towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi Friday evening, Al Jazeera reported, according to Reuters. The Washington Post has not independently confirmed this.


Protesters attend Friday prayer near a courthouse in Benghazi March 18, 2011. (STR - REUTERS)



A Libyan woman fires a weapon in the air as people gather to celebrate in the eastern rebel-held city of Benghazi on March 18, 2011 (PATRICK BAZ - AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

U.S. 3:35 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 9:35 p.m. Friday (EET)

U.S. will deploy additional amphibious ships

The United States will deploy additional amphibious ships to the Mediterranean, the military has said, according to Al Jazeera.

The USS Bataan Amphibious Ready Group will deploy on March 23, “ahead of its original schedule in order to relieve units from the USS Kearsarge,” a Pentagon statement read.   

U.S. 3:00 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 9:00 p.m. Friday (EET)

British PM says aircraft will deploy soon

Speaking in the House of Commons Friday, British Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Britain will deploy Tornados and Typhoons, as well as air to air refueling and surveillance aircraft. Preparations to deploy these aircraft have already started, and in the coming hours they will move to airbases, where they can start to take the necessary action.”

France has indicated that airstrikes could begin within hours.

U.S. 2:40 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 8:40 p.m. Friday (EET)

In statement on Libya, President Obama issues ultimatum

President Obama spoke about Libya just after 2 p.m. Friday, in a speech that was strongly worded but careful to emphasize that the U.S. would not be acting alone, and that intervention in Libay would not turn into another Iraq war. As British Prime Minister had previous stated, Obama said the turning point was Gaddafi’s speech yesteryday in which he said that he would have “no mercy and no pity” on his own people.

“Left unchecked, we have every reason to believe Gaddafi would commit atrocities on his own people,” Obama said. “Action is necessary.”

Obama said that if all attacks in Libya did not stop, and all supplies were not restored, the U.S., U.K., France, and Arab states would “impose consequences” on Gaddafi through military intervention.

Obama emphasized that the U.S. would in no way be acting alone, but would instead enable European allies and Arab states to enforce the no-fly zone.

“We will not deploy ground troopos into Libya,” Obama said.

He also said that Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton would travel to Paris Saturday for a meeting on how to enforce the U.N. resolution.

“Our goal is focused, our cause just, and our coalition is strong,” Obama concluded.

One Libyan group tweeted in response:

#Obama has basically promised #Libya everything they asked for, and for that we would like to thank him and the American peopleless than a minute ago via web

U.S. 2:25 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 8:25 p.m. Friday (EET)

Clinton: ‘No other choice’ in Libya

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says Moammar Gaddafi has left the world no choice but to threaten military action against him. WATCH:

U.S. 2:17 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 8:17 p.m. Friday (EET)

28 reported dead in Libyan cities Friday

At least 28 people are dead, and hundreds wounded in fighting in cities across Libya, the opposition spokesman said, CNN reported.

U.S. 2:10 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 8:10 p.m. Friday (EET)

Several Arab airforces will take part in no-fly zone

Arab League spokesman says that several Arab airforces will take part in the no-fly zone but won’t say which ones, BBC reported.

U.S. 1:40 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 7:40 p.m. Friday (EET)

EU will sanction Libya’s National Oil Corporation

The European Union will move to add Libya's National Oil Corporation tothe list of those entities affected by economic sanctions, Al Jazeera reported.

U.S. 1:12 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 7:12 p.m. Friday (EET)

France says NATO should not be involved in military action

France's foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said France does not want NATO involved in U.N.-sanctioned military action in Libya, BBC reported. "We do not think it would be the right signal to send that NATO, as such, intervenes in an Arab nation," he said.
 

U.S. 12:50 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 6:50 p.m. Friday (EET)

Military intervention in Libya: Who will contribute

Here is the list of countries and what they are contributing for military intervention in Libya, from NATO, via Al Jazeera:

A quick round-up of who's contributing what for the military intervention in Libya, from NATO:

-Britain says it will mobilize its Tornado and Typhoon fighter jets, and two frigates currently in the Mediterranean. France and the U.S. will cooperate in those missions.

-Canada will contribute the use of six CF-18 fighter jets and a navy frigate currently in the Mediterranean.

-Denmark is awaiting parliamentary approval to mobilize F-16 fighter jets to take part.

-Italy says it is ready to offer the use of several airbases.

-Norway says it is prepared to take part in the operation.

-Poland says it is prepared to offer logistical support, but no military strike force.

U.S. 12:40 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 6:40 p.m. Friday (EET)

More reports of violence cease-fire

"What cease-fire?" a doctor in Misrata told CNN. He described hours of military poundings, casualties, and dwindling resources to treat the wounded in the western town of Misurata. "We're under the bombs."

"This morning they are burning the city," the doctor said. "There are deaths everywhere."

The Libyan Youth Movement tweeted about the continued violence across the country:

Very large explosions heard and continuing west of Tripoli #Libya #Feb17 #gaddaficrimesless than a minute ago via web

U.S. 12:25 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 6:25 p.m. Friday (EET)

Gaddafi supporters protest cease -fire


A supporter of Libya's leader Moammar Gaddafi chant anti-U.S slogans during a protest in Tripoli March 18, 2011. (AHMED JADALLAH)

U.S. 12:00 p.m. (ET) // LIBYA 6:00 p.m. Friday (EET)

cease fire, violence continues

the announced cease-fire, witnesses said Libyan government forces continued to fire on the rebel-held western city of Misurata, Al Jazeera reported.

One resident of Misurata, said: "The ceasefire has not taken place; he [Gaddafi] is still continuing up until now to shell and kill the people in the city."

Al Jazeera's Tripoli correspondent, Anita McNaught, said the government's statement was "very carefully crafted ... very deliberate, almost forensic".

"My hunch is that it is an effort to buy time because the Libyans, I think, have been taken completely by surprise by this sudden resurgence of an [international] consensus on action," McNaught said.  

A Libyan government spokesman insists the cease-fire has already been implemented, BBC reported. He says his government has asked Turkish and Maltese authorities to help both implement and supervise the ceasefire.

U.S. 11:30 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 5:30 p.m. Friday (EET)

Interview with Libyan doctor on first aid classes

This interview in English purportedly shows a female doctor in Benghazi, Libya talking about how the Libyan International Medical University is holding first aid classes for “ordinary people” to treat the injured. WATCH:

U.S. 11:30 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 5:30 p.m. Friday (EET)

Bombardment by tanks in Misurata

Footage has emerged that purportedly show heavy bombardment by tanks in Misurata today, the cease fire. WATCH:

Libya Feb 17 rebel movement has a purported translation of the video. READ:

Translation:

Cameraman: And here a residential block was shelled today situated in Tripoli Street in the middle of Misratah at exactly 2:15pm.
**Explosion**
Cameraman: There is no god except God! Another shell targeting the civilians near the People’s Hall. Random bombardment, random!
Chant: God is Greater! God if Greater!
Guy: A shell, FOUR shells!
Another guy: Get in the car, get in. Tell him to go!
Guy: Record record!
Guy: Look, in the same place.
Guy: Record this, 4 shells and now another 2 more. This is clear targeting of the civilians. It seems they know our position
Chant: God is greater! God is greater!
Chant: There is no god except God!
Guy: Shadi! Come! Come here Shadi. It came here
Cameraman: It seems they are focusing in the areas most busy in Tripoli Street in Misratah. The random bombardment is in the middle of the city near the People’s Hall on either side of the road. This is because the revolutionaries came out this morning after the announcement of the UN Security Council resolution in happiness and celebration. And now they are being fired at randomly. Even the light weaponry they don’t use anymore. They’re just using tanks
Chant: God is Greater! God is Greater! God is Greater!
Cameraman: This will be sent to Al Jazeera today God-willing
Cameraman: We can’t come any closer, the majority of shells are landing in Tripoli Street.
Cameraman: This is a clear plan from Gaddafi’s dogs and security forces they want to come and withdraw their tanks because this morning we destroyed 7 of their tanks. They want to pull them out so that we don’t film them and cause a scandal.
Cameraman: A shell has just hit a Girl’s Secondary School called Misratah’s Girl’s Secondary School for Humanities. The shelling is occurring in an area with a diameter of approximately 200m. This is a residential area and many people are unable to leave their homes
This man does not care about the No-fly zone. Like he said, it’s only ink on paper
Cameraman: He’s insane!
Cameraman: This is another cameraman who has been injured

U.S. 11:15 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 5:15 p.m. Friday (EET)

Gaddafi backers, foes react to U.N. vote

Opponents of leader Moammar Gaddafi were celebrating after the U.N. Security Council voted to authorize a no-fly zone over Libya. But he claimed the council had no mandate, and his supporters remained defiant.he cease-fire in Libya. WATCH:

U.S. 10:45 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 4:45 p.m. Friday (EET)

Violating cease fire already?

Less than an hour after the cease-fire was declared, there were reports that it was already being violated.

Members of “The Libyan Youth Movement“ on Facebook expressed doubt about the outcome of the declared cease-fire. According to user Bilal Asselah:

“It’s not guaranteed that Gaddafi will fall. Saddam managed to crush the Shiite rebellion in southern Iraq, the US imposed no-fly zone.

AJE reports that Qaddafi is already violating the ceasefire -- still bombing in Misrata #Libyaless than a minute ago via Twitter for Mac

while #Gaddafi foreign secretary bluffs with a call of cease fire his forces are still killing civilians in #Misurata and #Nafousa, #Libyaless than a minute ago via web

Gaddafi's announcement helps keep him in power either thru negotiation or buying him time to close the gap on remaining rebel areas #Libyaless than a minute ago via web

U.S. 10:00 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 4:00 p.m. Friday (EET)

Missing NYT journalists in Libya found


Shadid: among four missing NYT journalists located in Libya. (Steven Senne)
Four New York Times journalists reported missing in Libya Wednesday have been located and will be released by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

The journalists are Anthony Shadid, the Times’s current Beirut bureau chief; reporter and videographer Stephen Farrell; and photographers Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario. More about them here.

U.S. 10:00 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 4:00 p.m. Friday (EET)

Dow is up after cease fire announced

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 138 points, or 1.2%, to 11912, on track to post its fourth day of triple-digit moves, according to the Wall Street Journal.

U.S. 9:40 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 3:40 p.m. Friday (EET)

Live stream from Libya

Libya Alhurra is purportedly live streaming from the Sultan area. WATCH:

libya17feb on livestream.com. Broadcast Live Free

U.S. 9:40 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 3:40 p.m. Friday (EET)

Voicing support

Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) and officials from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Britain were among those taking to Twitter to voice support:

I applaud UN Security Council for "authorizing all necessary measures" to impose a no-fly zone in #Libya & protect civilians under attackless than a minute ago via web

PM: we simply can not stand back & let a dictator whose people have rejected him kill his people indiscriminately http://ow.ly/4h7TD #Libyaless than a minute ago via HootSuite

U.S. 9:30 a.m. (ET) // LIBYA 3:30 pm Friday (EET)

Libya foreign minister declares cease fire

The Associated Press reports that Foreign Minister Musa Kusa said the cease-fire would “take the country back to safety” and ensure security for all Libyans, but that international intervention was a violation of the country’s sovereignty. Most Americans said they supported a no-fly zone in a March 14 Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Twitter resources from Libya

Twitter resources from Libya, including ShababLibya, AlArabiya English and others:

By and  |  09:33 AM ET, 03/18/2011

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