Libya live blog: Gadhafi to Obama, Sarkozy: Butt out
A warplane goes down in flames Saturday in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, Libya.
March 19th, 2011
The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where the government declared a cease-fire Friday after the United Nations voted to impose a no-fly zone in response to weeks of bloody clashes between forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi and rebels. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world.
[7:35 a.m. ET, 2:35 p.m. in Libya] Oil production has been dropping and Libya wants foreign and Libyan employees to go back to the oil fields, Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem told reporters Saturday.
[6:19 a.m. ET Saturday, 1:19 p.m. in Libya] Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's government on Saturday sent harsh messages to leaders such as U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. "You have no right ever to intervene in our internal affairs," said a letter read by Libyan government spokesman Musa Ibrahim. The letter also said the government would never fire "a single bullet" against its citizens. Gadhafi's government continued to blame the conflict in Libya on al Qaeda.
[6:05 a.m. ET Saturday, 1:05 p.m. in Libya] A CNN team saw tanks belonging to forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi enter Benghazi on Saturday, and observed rebel tanks moving to confront them. Tank, mortar and artillery fire echoed across the city, interspersed with sustained bursts of small arms fire. Plumes of smoke could been seen rising above Benghazi.
[4:35 a.m. ET Saturday, 11:35 a.m. in Libya] CNN journalists observed tanks moving north from 5 kilometers south of Benghazi and other tanks moving through the western part of the city. It is not known which side the tanks belonged to. The journalists also saw tank and artillery rounds land inside the city.
[3:56 a.m. ET Saturday, 10:56 a.m. in Libya] A fighter jet was shot down and burst into flames Saturday in the area of Benghazi. Meanwhile, explosions could be heard in the city, which has been a stronghold for rebels opposing Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. It was not immediately clear who the fighter jet belonged to. Rebels have vowed to defend Benghazi to the death.
On Friday, the Libyan government said it was abiding by a cease-fire, but witnesses have said violence from pro-Gadhafi forces has continued.
[12:23 a.m. ET Saturday, 7:23 a.m. in Libya] Agence France-Presse reported airstrikes and explosions Saturday morning in an area southwest of Benghazi. CNN had not independently confirmed the report.
Post by: CNN's Arwa Damon, CNN's Jim Kavanagh, The CNN Wire
Filed under: Latest news • Libya • War