Libyan government rejects rebel ceasefire

Source Al Jazeera

A Libyan government spokesman has termed the conditions set by the opposition for a ceasefire "mad", and asserted that troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, will remain stationed where they are. "They are asking us to withdraw from our own cities. .... If this is not mad then I don't know what this is. We will not leave our cities," said Mussa Ibrahim, the government spokesman, on Friday. Fighting raged on Friday near the key oil town of Brega, in the country's east, and the towns of Misurata and Az Zintan in the west. Earlier, the opposition had said it would agree to a ceasefire as long as Gaddafi pulled his military out of opposition-held cities and allowed peaceful protests against his government. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the opposition's interim governing council based in Benghazi, spoke during a joint press conference on Friday with Abdelilah Al-Khatib, the UN envoy. Al-Khatib is visiting the rebels' de facto stronghold of Benghazi in hopes of reaching a political solution to the crisis embroiling the North African nation.