BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) – Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces pushed into the rebel-held city of Benghazi on Saturday, defying world demands for an immediate ceasefire and forcing rebels to retreat.
The advance into Libya's second city of 670,000 people appeared to be an attempt to pre-empt Western military intervention which diplomats say will come only after an international meeting on Paris on Saturday.
A Libyan rebel spokesman said Gaddafi's forces had entered Benghazi while a Reuters witness saw a jet circling over the city shot down and at least one separate explosion near the rebel movement's headquarters in the city.
"They have entered Benghazi from the west. Where are the Western powers? They said they could strike within hours," rebel military spokesman Khalid al-Sayeh told Reuters.
Gaddafi said Western powers had no right to intervene.
"This is injustice, this is clear aggression," government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim quoted Gaddafi as saying in a letter to France, Britain and the United Nations. "You will regret it if you take a step toward interfering in our internal affairs."
The Libyan government blamed the rebels, who it says are members of al Qaeda, for breaking the ceasefire around Benghazi.
Gaddafi defies West and pushes forces into Benghazi - Yahoo! News (external - login to view)
So much for cease fires, guess both sides have to do it for there to be one. Americans will get hurt in this one.