Gadhafi Offers Truce as NATO Strikes Tripoli

Bombs hit government buildings during Libyan leader's speech
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 30, 2011 6:27 AM CDT
Gadhafi Offers Truce as NATO Strikes Tripoli
A portrait of Moammar Gadhafi is seen inside a damaged government building in Tripoli following an airstrike early today.   (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)

(Newser) – Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi called for a ceasefire and negotiations with NATO powers in a live speech on state TV early Saturday, just as NATO bombs struck a government complex in the Libyan capital. The targeted compound included the state television building and a Libyan official alleged the strikes were meant to kill Gadhafi. However, the TV building was not damaged and Gadhafi spoke from an undisclosed location.

In the rambling pre-dawn speech, Gadhafi appeared both subdued and defiant, repeatedly pausing as he flipped through handwritten notes. "The door to peace is open," he said. "You are the aggressors. We will negotiate with you. Come, France, Italy, UK, America, come, we will negotiate with you. Why are you attacking us?" He said Libyans have the right to choose their own political system, but not under the threat of NATO bombings. Rebel leaders say they won't lay down their arms until Gadhafi and his sons step aside. (Read more Moammar Gadhafi stories.)

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