Officers Disown Gaddafi As Peace Bid Stalls

The mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma, said after a whistlestop visit on Monday that Gaddafi wanted a cease-fire including an end to NATO bombing — terms already rejected last month after an earlier mediation mission by Zuma.

Zuma added, without elaborating: “We discussed the necessity of giving the Libyan people the opportunity to solve their problem on their own.”

Within hours of his departure, Libyan television reported that NATO aircraft had resumed attacks, striking what it called civilian and military sites in the desert settlement of Al Jufrah, 460 km (285 miles) southeast of Tripoli.

Coalition aircraft also struck a number of civilian and military sites in the capital’s Tajura district, the television reported.

There was no immediate confirmation of the reports.

Western leaders in charge of the two-month old NATO-led air campaign against his forces say they will not stop bombing until Gaddafi steps down.

In Rome, the eight officers, including five generals, appeared at an Italian government-arranged news conference, saying they were part of a group of up to 120 military officials and soldiers who defected from Gaddafi in recent days. Reuters