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West pounds Libya, Govt says UN ceasefire invalid

world Updated: Mar 20, 2011 09:27 IST

AFP
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Libya today said it regarded as invalid a UN resolution ordering a ceasefire by its forces and demanded an urgent meeting of the Security Council after its territory was attacked by Western forces.

The United States, Britain and France pounded Libya with air strikes and Tomahawk missiles on Saturday, two days after a UN Security Council resolution with Arab backing authorised military action.

The attacks on Libya "threatens international peace and security," the foreign ministry said in a statement.

"Libya demands an urgent meeting of the UN Security Council after the French-American-British aggression against Libya, an independent state member of the United Nations," the statement said.

The Security Council had passed Resolution 1973, which authorised the use of "all necessary means" to protect civilians and enforce a ceasefire and no-fly zone against strongman Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

The following day, Libya declared a ceasefire in its battle to crush an armed revolt against Kadhafi's regime which began on February 15 and said it had grounded its warplanes.

As a result of the Western attacks, however, "the effect of resolution 1973 imposing a no-fly zone are over," the ministry statement said.

Libya "has the right to use its civilian and military aircraft to defend itself after France violated the air exclusion zone," it added.