Plane shot down over Benghazi

Plane shot down over Benghazi

Rebels claim victory as they push Gadhafi forces out of city

Fatal fall A combo picture shows a Libyan jet bomber crashing after being shot down in Benghazi on Saturday. AFP“We revolutionaries have taken control of four tanks inside Benghazi. Rebel forces have pushed Muammar Gadhafi’s forces out of Benghazi,” said Nasr al-Kikili, a lawyer who works for the rebel media centre in Benghazi, as crowds celebrated by firing guns in the air and parading on top of a tank.

Earlier, an unidentified fighter jet was shot down over Benghazi.

“I saw the plane circle around, come out of the clouds, head towards an apparent target, and then it was hit and went straight down in flames and a huge billow of black smoke went up,” Reuters correspondent Angus MacSwan said.

“It seems it was attacking the Benghazi military barracks.”

Inside the city, residents set up make-shift barricades with furniture, benches, road signs and even a barbecue in one case at intervals along main streets. Each barricade was manned by half a dozen rebels, but only about half of those were armed.

Al Jazeera said there were 26 dead and more than 40 wounded in Jala hospital in Benghazi, without giving more details.

‘Attacks must stop’

US President Barack Obama has made clear that any military action would aim to change conditions across Libya, rather than just in the rebel-held east, by calling on Gadhafi’s forces to pull back from the western cities of Zawiyah and Misrata as well as from the east.

“All attacks against civilians must stop,” Obama said, a day after the UN Security Council passed a resolution authorising international military intervention.

“Gadhafi must stop his troops from advancing on Benghazi, pull them back from Ajdabiya, Misrata and Zawiyah, and establish water, electricity and gas supplies to all areas. Humanitarian assistance must be allowed to reach the people of Libya ...

“Let me be clear, these terms are not negotiable... If Gadhafi does not comply ... the resolution will be enforced through military action.”