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Storm over Libya: timeline

Key events since the United Nations Security Council approved international measures to protect civilians in Libya.

world Updated: Mar 22, 2011 22:52 IST

Key events since the United Nations Security Council approved international measures to protect civilians in Libya:

Tuesday, March 22:
- Despite the coalition offensive, fighting continues in several parts of Libya.

- Gaddafi forces again attack the besieged rebel-held town of Misrata, near Tripoli. Rebel officials say four children are among the dead.

- Residents of another western town, Yafran, say nine people died there in an offensive that began on Monday.

- A stand-off continues around Ajdabiya in the east, where poorly organised rebels fail to dislodge pro-Gaddafi troops.

- A US fighter jet crashes in a rebel-held part of eastern Libya. US officials say its two crew are safe.

- The driver of three missing journalists, two of whom work for AFP, say they were detained by pro-Gaddafi forces in eastern Libya on Saturday.

Monday, March 21:
- Pro-Gaddafi forces retreat from Benghazi, but put up a stiff fight at Ajdabiya, to the west.

- India calls for a halt to the attacks and Germany confirms its decision to stay on the sidelines. Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin calls the Western offensive a "mediaeval crusade", although President Dmitry Medvedev rejects his statement.

- Among facilities targeted by the Western attacks is a building inside Gaddafi's Tripoli compound.

- Four New York Times journalists detained by Gaddafi forces are freed in Tripoli.

Sunday, March 20:
- A top US commander says the first phase of the operation to enforce a no-fly zone was successful, with Gaddafi's forces prevented from marching on Benghazi.

- Gaddafi says all Libyans are armed and ready to fight "a long, drawn-out war with no limits" against "barbaric aggression."

- The Arab League criticises the scale of the bombardment while the African Union calls for an "immediate stop" to all coalition attacks.

- The regime says 48 people died and 150 were wounded in the initial assault.

- Four Al-Jazeera journalists are detained in Tripoli, while two AFP journalists and a Getty agency photographer go missing in eastern Libya.

Saturday, March 19:
- Pentagon officials say US and British warships fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya's air defences in "Operation Odyssey Dawn." France says its warplanes carried out air strikes.

- Gaddafi says the Mediterranean has become a "real battlefield" and threatens to attack civilian and military targets in the region. He says he is opening arms depots for his people.

- Fighting rages around Benghazi, killing 94 and causing hundreds to flee eastward.

Friday, March 18:
- The Gaddafi regime announces an immediate ceasefire, but there is no evidence it is being implemented.

Thursday, March 17:
- As forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi are poised to attack Benghazi, the United Nations Security Council agrees a resolution approving military action to halt them, using all means short of troops on the ground. Five countries, China, Russia, Germany, Brazil and India, abstain.

- Rebel forces in the eastern city of Benghazi celebrate.

Friday, March 18:
- France says strikes against Gaddafi's forces could begin "within hours." Libya announces an immediate ceasefire, saying it is obliged to obey the UN resolution, but there is no evidence it is being implemented.

Saturday, March 19:
- French jets attack pro-Gaddafi forces on the ground near Benghazi.

- Pentagon officials say US and British warships fired 110 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Libya's air defences in what they are calling "Operation Odyssey Dawn."

- Gaddafi threatens to attack civilian and military targets in the region. He also says he is opening arms depots for his people to defend the country.

- Fighting rages around Benghazi, killing an estimated 94 people and causing hundreds to flee towards the Egyptian border.

Sunday, March 20:
- Top US military commander Michael Mullen says the first phase of the operation to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya has been successful, with most sites targeted destroyed and Gaddafi's forces stopped from marching on Benghazi.

- Coalition air strikes destroy dozens of military vehicles outside Benghazi and target Gaddafi's air defences, while the US says its B-2 stealth bombers have hit an airfield.

- Coalition bombs land near Gaddafi's Tripoli headquarters.

- Gaddafi says all Libyans are armed and ready to fight "a long, drawn-out war with no limits" against what he brands a "barbaric aggression."

- Gaddafi's son Seif al-Islam says there will be no retaliation on commercial flights around the Mediterranean, and that there has been a "big misunderstanding" about Libya's rebellion.

- The Arab League criticises the scale of the attacks while the African Union's panel on Libya calls for an "immediate stop" to all coalition attacks.

- Pope Benedict XVI appeals to political and military leaders to ensure "the safety of Libyan citizens and guarantee access to humanitarian aid".

- Four Al-Jazeera journalists are detained in Tripoli, while two AFP journalists and a photographer for the Getty agency go missing in eastern Libya.

Monday, March 21:
- Britain and France say their forces have resumed strikes over Libya.

- In eastern Libya, pro-Gaddafi forces retreat from near Benghazi to the town of Ajdabiya, where they continue to put up resistance.

- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that the "international community" must speak with one voice on Libya.

- Dissenting voices become more affirmative, with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin saying that the Western offensive resembles a "medieval crusade", India calling for a halt to the attacks and Germany confirming its decision to remain on the sidelines.

- Among facilities targeted by the Western attacks is a building inside Gaddafi's Tripoli compound.

- Four New York Times journalists detained by the Libyan authorities are freed in Tripoli, but seven other journalists, including four working for Al-Jazeera and two for AFP, remain missing.