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Libya's opposition says it would consider ceasefire: April 1 Mideast update

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Nasser Nasser/AP

(Read caption) A Libyan rebel shells pro-Qaddafi forces with mortar fire, along the front line outside the eastern town of Brega, Libya, Thursday, March 31.

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Check back weekday mornings for a quick tally of the latest developments in the Middle East and North Africa.


Another day of protests kicked off in Syria after Friday prayers, despite more than 100 deaths so far from the government crackdown on demonstrations. Protesters seem unconvinced that government officials are serious about reform, despite hints of change.


Libya's opposition government said that it would accept a cease-fire with Qaddafi's forces if Qaddafi pulls his troops out of all Libyan cities and allows Libyans to demonstrate peacefully. However, the end goal remains Qaddafi's removal from power, said Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, head of the interim government.

Unnamed sources reported that a Libyan government aide met with British officials while in Britain visiting family. He was told Qaddafi must step down, the Associated Press reported.

US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates insisted that there would be no American forces on the ground in Libya.


Both supporters of President Ali Abdullah Saleh and those calling for his removal from office turned out in the streets of Sanaa on Friday. According to The New York Times, the opposition protests were the largest yet since protests began several weeks ago.

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Thousands came to Tahrir Square on Friday to protest a recently passed law that criminalizes protests. The protesters whose efforts brought down former President Hosni Mubarak are concerned that Egypt's interim government has sidelined reform.

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