Army spokesman says command has gone out to all units to stop fighting as Allied planes resume sorties
The Libyan armed forces have issued a command to all units to observe an immediate ceasefire, a Libyan army spokesman told a news conference on Sunday.
The announcement came after some 24 hours of air bombardment from American, French and British forces aiming to implement a UN resolution authorising the use of force to protect Libyan civilians from government troops.
"The Libyan armed forces ... have issued a command to all military units to safeguard an immediate ceasefire from 9pm (11pm UAE time) this evening," a Libyan army spokesman said.
Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has been using tanks and
artillery to try to crush an uprising against his
Minutes before the army spokesman made the
announcement, heavy anti-aircraft gunfire boomed above
central Tripoli, followed by sustained machine gun fire.
Earlier in the day, residents of Misrata, east of
Tripoli, said government tanks and snipers had entered the
centre of the city after a military base on the outskirts
was hit by Western strikes.
The Libyan government in Tripoli had already announced
a unilateral ceasefire last week, but Western powers then
accused Gaddafi of breaking the truce -- a charge denied by
The latest announcement appeared to contradict a
defiant speech by Gaddafi earlier in the day in which he
said he was giving out weapons to his people to help defend
Libya against Western forces. He also said Libya was ready
to fight a long war to defeat its enemies.
Mohamed Sharif, a tribal official, delivered a
statement in the name of the government inviting people to
join a symbolic procession, "using all means of transport",
from Tripoli to the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi,
to open reconciliation talks.
"... we could sit down as one family to discuss the
affairs of our homeland and the future of Libya in a
democratic and peaceful way," he told reporters.