The International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant for Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, and rebels trying to oust him said their forces had advanced to within 80 km of the capital Tripoli.
The court approved warrants for Gaddafi as well as his son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi on charges of crimes against humanity. ICC prosecutors allege they were involved in the killing of protesters who rose up in February against Gaddafi’s 41-year rule.
Celebrations erupted in Benghazi after the ICC ruling. People honked their car horns, waved flags, fired shots into the air and flashed victory signs in the street
Gaddafi’s government denies targeting civilians, saying it was forced to act against armed criminal gangs and al Qaeda militants.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said China had had contact with both sides in the Libyan conflict.