TRIPOLI, Libya (AP / THE BLAZE) -- Libya declared an immediate cease-fire and promised to stop military operations Friday in a bid to fend off international military intervention after the U.N. authorized a no-fly zone and "all necessary measures" to prevent the regime from striking its own people.
But a Libyan rebel spokesman has dismissed the cease-fire announcement, claiming Moammar Gadhafi's forces are still attacking key cities in the east and the west.
According to Reuters:
Twenty-five people, including several children, were killed during heavy bombardments by forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on the western city of Misrata on Friday, a doctor in the city told Reuters.
The doctor and another resident said government tanks were still shelling the city, despite an earlier claim by rebels that the attack had been defeated.
"Gaddafi's forces are bombing the city with artillery shells and tanks. We now have 25 people dead at the hospital, including several little girls," the doctor said by satellite phone.
Mustafa Gheriani, a spokesman for the national opposition council based in Benghazi, says "no cease-fire."
Gheriani says regime forces are shelling the eastern city of Ajdabiya and Misrata, the last rebel-held city in the western half of the country.
Western powers are racing to prevent more attacks after the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution setting the stage for airstrikes, a no-fly zone and other military measures short of a ground invasion.
Hillary Clinton said today that she was not impressed by Libya's declaration of a ceasefire. Gadhafi, she said, must go. According to Reuters:
"We are going to be not responsive or impressed by words, we would have to see actions on the ground and that is not yet at all clear," Clinton said to reporters after meeting with Ireland's Deputy Prime Minister Eamon Gilmore.
"We will continue to work with our partners in the international community to press Gaddafi to leave and to support the legitimate aspirations of the Libyan people," she said.
Libya said it would halt military operations and comply with the U.N. resolution after the United Nations authorized a no-fly zone and attacks on forces loyal to Gaddafi.
Clinton said the U.N. resolution was only one step and the international community would continue to consider options.
"While this resolution is an important step, it is only that, an important step," she said.
"We and our partners will continue to explore the most effective measures to end this crisis," Clinton said.
Libyan protesters were initially elated at the news of the ceasefire. For a moment, no longer fearing a massacre at Gadhafi's hands, they celebrated: