17:49 ET: Qaddafi leaves after giving a short interview to a Turkish reporter, according to CNN — after keeping reporters waiting in the lobby for eight hours.The Colonel was seen pumping his fists defiantly in Al Jazeera footage.
That may be all for tonight in Libya. Civil war will resume shortly.
EARLIER: Sky News posted an incredible video of the Battle Of Zawiya.
50 tanks and 120 pick-up trucks joined the attack on Zawiya this afternoon, sources tell the BBC.
10:10 ET: Qaddafi is expected to speak soon, according to Al Jazeera.
There’s also an offer out from the Libyan National Council that if Qaddafi leaves within 72 hours he will have criminal immunity, according to Al Jazeera. But it’s not clear if the International Criminal Court would abide by such immunity.
EARLIER: The peace talk rumour started yesterday when Qaddafi reportedly sent a representative to rebel-held Benghazi to negotiate his exit from the country. It was reported today that rebels had rejected negotiations.
Anyway the battles continue.
Pro-Qaddafi forces are surrounding Zintan and positioning mobile rocket launchers for an attack, according to the AFP.
They’ve bombed a residential area in Ras Lanuf and seem intent on menacing the civilians and inexperienced rebels, rather than attacking the frontline, according to The Guardian. They have also surrounded Zawiya and are launching another attack, according to Al Jazeera. They’ve even bombed hotels in Benghazi where reporters are staying, according to Al Arabiya.
Meanwhile the rebels keep trying to mount an attack on Sirte, Qaddafi’s home town, but they were delayed by battles over Bin Jawad.
LAT’s David Zucchino describes how the rebels lost Bin Jawad over the weekend:
On Saturday, Libyan rebels in jeans and sneakers danced in the streets of Bin Jawwad, celebrating a victory over government forces in the hamlet by firing thousands of rounds of precious ammunition into the air. By Monday, the unruly gunmen had retreated almost 30 miles and were fighting to hold an important oil complex as Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi’s aircraft scattered them with strafing runs. Any momentum rebels may have mustered from two quick battlefield successes was gone.
Here’s a good map from the BBC:
Photo: Courtesy of BBC
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