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Libya

Kadhafi promises victory amid ongoing Western assault

Reuters

On the fourth day of UN-backed military strikes on Libya, leader Moamer Kadhafi promised his supporters victory, saying the country was "ready for battle". Meanwhile coalition airstrikes were reported overnight Tuesday near the city of Misrata, east of the capital.

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Television footage showed Kadhafi rallying supporters at his Bab Al-Aziziyah compound in Tripoli, which was the target of a coalition missile strike.

Meanwhile rebels said they had been under intense attack in their Misrata enclave, where four children were killed on Tuesday.

A standoff persisted in eastern Libya, where Kadhafi forces in and around Ajdabiya, south of Benghazi, fought off attempts by the rebels to advance.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama, due in Washington on Wednesday after cutting short a Latin American trip, said he expected "clarity" on the future command structure of allied military operations in the next few days.

Obama said there had been a "significant reduction" in US military flights over Libya as Western allies try to establish the UN-approved no-fly zone aimed at protecting civilians.

France has called for the creation of a committee of foreign ministers, and is resisting calls to give total control of the mission over to Nato, which meets Wednesday to discuss taking over. But Washington said that France, Britain and the US had agreed Nato would play a key role.

Despite Kadhafi's speech to supporters, there have been reports that he may be looking for a way out of the conflict.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told ABC News that people close to Kadhafi have been contacting Libya's allies worldwide to see how they can "get out of this".

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