Saturday, March 19, 2011

Gaddafi’s forces enter Benghazi as U.S., allies prepare military action against Libya

TRIPOLI, LIBYA — Forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi entered the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi Saturday after shelling and fierce fighting, a fresh act of defiance even as the United States and its allies prepared to launch military attacks on Libya as reported in The Washington Post.

Government troops in tanks and trucks entered Benghazi from the west, in the university area, and began to shell the city, including civilian areas. Intense fighting broke out in some enclaves. The city of 1 million quickly became a ghost town, with residents fleeing or seeking cover in barricaded neighborhoods.

A warplane was shot down over Benghazi, and rebel leaders later claimed it as one of their own. While they said mechanical problems caused the crash, calls from mosques across the city suggested that friendly fire brought down the plane. “Don’t attack the airplanes because these are our planes,” a mosque preacher urged over loudspeakers.

It appears that the international community is prepared to come to the Libyans aid in the face of Gaddafi's defiance of the U.N. Security Council's resolution.  Let's hope that it is not too little too late.

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