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|Libya’s government is declaring an immediate ceasefire, hours after a UN Security Council resolution backed a no-fly zone over the country.|
Libyan Foreign Minister Mussa Kussa said the ceasefire was intended "to protect civilians".
The UN resolution supported "all necessary measures" to protect civilians, short of an occupation.
Western powers had been discussing how to enforce the no-fly zone.
Before the announcement of the ceasefire, heavy fighting between troops loyal to Libyan leader Col Muammar Gaddafi and rebel forces was reported to be continuing.
The pro-Gaddafi forces have been advancing eastwards towards the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, and there was fighting on Friday in the coastal town of Al-Zuwaytina.
Rebels said that government forces had also been bombarding the western city of Misrata.
UN Security Council Resolution 1973 gave broad backing to military action against all threats to civilians, which correspondents say could include bombing Col Gaddafi’s forces on the ground if deemed necessary.
Rebel forces in Benghazi reacted with joy to the UN resolution, but a government spokesman condemned UN "aggression". One of Col Gaddafi’s sons, Saif al-Islam, said the resolution was "unfair" as Libya had not been bombing civilians.
It must be accepted as a principle that the rifle, effective as it is, cannot replace the devastation produced on the enemy by the speed of the horse, the magnetism of the charge, and the terror of cold steel. - British Army Cavalry training manual 1907