Rebels give Gadhafi forces deadline to surrender

Talks are being held as rebel leader suspends fighting during Eid festival

The leader of Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) has given Gadhafi loyalists an ultimatum, saying they must surrender by Saturday or face further military engagement. NTC head Mustafa Abdul Jalil made the announcement Tuesday to reporters in Benghazi, saying there would be a reprieve from fighting to mark the Eid al-Fitrm feast at the end of the holy month of Ramadan. “From Saturday, if no peaceful solution is in sight on the ground, we will resort to military force,” he said, adding that talks of surrender are underway with loyalists in Sirte and other towns that remain under Gadhafi’s control. Although his whereabouts are still unknown, Gadhafi’s wife and three of his children have fled to neigbouring Algeria. A rebel spokesman told reporters that Algeria should return the Gadhafis to face a “fair trial” in Libya. Algeria defended it’s decision to allow Gadhafi’s family into the country, saying UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon had been informed, and that it was done for humanitarian reasons. Gadhafi’s daughter, Aisha, gave birth just hours after leaving Libya, Algerian officials said.

Agence France-Presse

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