Wed March 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Live Blog: Conflict In Libya; Wednesday's News

In this post: The latest news on the conflict in Libya, where forces loyal to Col. Moammar Gadhafi continue to attack positions held by the opposition even as an international military campaign aimed at stopping the Libyan leader's attacks continues. (This post will automatically refresh every 30 minutes — or sooner if we update it in between):

Update at 9:45 a.m. ET. Allies Target Gadhafi Forces Near Misrata:

According to the BBC, "international forces have launched new air strikes near Libya's rebel-held western city of Misrata, witnesses say. Forces loyal to Col Muammar Gaddafi initially pulled back, but Misrata residents say snipers have continued to target people from rooftops."

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Gadhafi Allies Looking For Ways Out?

"People close to Libya's embattled leader Moammar Gadhafi are reaching out to allies around the world exploring their 'options,' Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News' Diane Sawyer [Tuesday], and the U.S. government has gotten unconfirmed reports that at least one of Gadhafi's sons has been killed."

Update at 8:25 a.m. ET. Gadhafi's Tanks Pull Back From Misrata:

"International airstrikes forced Moammar Gadhafi's forces to withdraw tanks that were besieging a rebel-held western city Wednesday, residents [in Misrata] said, while people fleeing a strategic city in the east [Ajdabiya] said the situation was deteriorating amid relentless shelling," The Associated Press reports.

Our Original Post:

-- "Moammar Gadhafi's snipers and tanks reportedly were attacking civilians in the coastal city of Misurata, a resident said, and the U.S. military warned it was 'considering all options' in response to dire conditions there that have left people cowering in darkened homes and scrounging for food and rainwater. ...

" Gadhafi's forces [also] intensified the shelling of rebel positions outside [the] strategic eastern city [of Ajdabiya] Wednesday as they fought to prevent the opposition from taking advantage of the 5-day-old international air campaign to regroup in the east. (The Associated Press)

-- "Pro-Gadhafi forces" are again bombing the opposition-held city of Zintan, a resident there says. (Reuters)

-- "Western warplanes launched air strikes on Muammar Gaddafi's artillery and tanks besieging rebel-held Misrata in western Libya on Wednesday after a U.S. admiral warned his armour was the next target." (Reuters)

-- Gadhafi, in what Libyan TV said was a live address, told supporters that "in the short term, we'll beat them; in the long term, we'll beat them." According to the translation on a video posted by The Guardian, he also declared that the allied military campaign is "a new crusade, a crusade against Islam!" and that "I am defiant! My home is here! I am here! I am here! I am here!":

-- Some people in Tripoli are beginning to criticize Gadhafi, despite the threat that his security forces might come after them, NPR's David Greene reported on Morning Edition.

Note: NPR follows Associated Press style on the spelling of Gadhafi's name. Other news organizations used different spellings. Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.