Rebels in Libya offered ceasefire terms to veteran strongman Moammar Gadhafi on Friday, if his forces will leave cities they are attacking as well as allow peaceful protests, Al-Jazeera television and other media reported.
Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the head of the Libyan interim government that supports the rebel forces, spoke with a United Nations envoy regarding the ceasefire.
Jalil’s conditions for a ceasefire are “that the Gadhafi brigades and forces withdraw from inside and outside Libyan cities to give freedom to the Libyan people to choose, and the world will see that they will choose freedom,” according to the television station.
Jalil added that opposition forces are seeking Gadhafi’s ouster. He also said that rebels would need better arms if pro-government forces, which are better equipped and trained, keep attacking cities.
“Our aim is to liberate and have sovereignty over all of Libya with its capital in Tripoli,” he said, according to Al-Jazeera.
Other reports say that Jalil’s comments regarding a ceasefire might be part of a larger diplomatic initiative to end military conflict in the embattled nation.
"The rebels never offered peace. They don't offer peace; they are making impossible demands," Gadhafi spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim told reporters, according to AFP.
"We will not leave our cities. We are the government, not them," he added.
As opposition leaders were meeting with the U.N., Gadhafi forces stormed the western town of Misrata—the third-largest city in the state— with heavy artillery and tanks, a rebel spokesman told Reuters on Friday.
"They used tanks, rocket-propelled grenades, mortar rounds, and other projectiles to hit the city today. It was random and very intense bombardment," the spokesman told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We no longer recognize the place. The destruction cannot be described."