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Libyan government shatters hopes of a ceasefire

The Libyan government has said it will not accept a rebel offer of a ceasefire. This comes as forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi step up attacks on the rebels' last western enclave.

Libyan rebels hanging onto car

Libyan rebels are trying to recapture their lost cities

The Libyan government has rejected a rebel offer of a ceasefire, saying forces loyal to leader Moammar Gadhafi would stay put.

On Friday, a rebel leader had offered a truce on the condition that Gadhafi leave Libya and his forces quit cities now under government control.

"If this is not crazy, I don't know what is," said government spokesman Musa Ibrahim as he rejected the rebel demands late Friday. "We will not relinquish our cities."

Increased attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces

On Friday, pro-Gadhafi forces intensified their attacks in the western rebel outpost of Misrata.

Rebels say Gadhafi's forces have subjected the enclave to an intense bombardment that is killing and injuring civilians. They have appealed to the international community for more weapons to fight the government's superior firepower.

The rebels have been fighting to recapture the key oil towns of al-Burayqa and Brega, according to broadcaster Al Jazeera. Earlier in the week, pro-Gadhafi forces retook key eastern cities that had been seized by rebel troops.

Germany, China call for political solution

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, left, meets with Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang

Westerwelle and Yang want a political process in Libya

Both Germany and China called Friday for non-violent solutions to the conflict.

Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle reiterated Germany's call for a political solution to end the crisis in Libya, saying on a visit to China that "military means" were not the answer.

"There can only be a political resolution and we must get the political process underway. That should begin with a ceasefire that Gadhafi must heed to allow the peace process to begin," he said after talks with his Chinese counterpart.

'Military action likely to escalate'

Foreign Minister Yang Liechi said he was "very concerned" by recent developments in Libya as the conflict showed no signs of abating.

"We see and hear every day reports that more civilians have been injured and killed and that the military action is likely to escalate," Yang said. All countries should respect the "spirit of the Security Council's resolution."

Both Germany and China abstained in the UN Security Council vote on a resolution authorizing the implementation of a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures", and they are not taking part in the allied military operations.

Author: Tim Jones, Rob Mudge (dpa, Reuters, AFP, AP)
Editor: Martin Kuebler

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