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13 Killed as Gadhafi Forces Attack Misrata

At least 13 people were killed and some 50 wounded Thursday in an attack by Moammar Gadhafi's forces on the port area of Libya's third city Misrata, a rebel spokesman said.

"At least 13 people died, including women and children and four Egyptians who had attempted to be evacuated from the port," the spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

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U.N. Chief Urges Libya Political solution, Ceasefire

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon on Thursday called for a "political" solution and immediate ceasefire to the conflict in Libya, at an international conference hosted by the Arab League in Cairo.

"We call for a political process so that the Libyan people can reach their aspirations," Ban, who co-chaired the meeting, told a news conference at the end of the gathering.

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Libya's Foreign Minister Seeks 'Political Solution'

Libya's foreign minister expressed hopes for a "political solution" to end the two-month conflict in his country, his Cypriot counterpart said after the pair held talks on Thursday.

Abdelati Laabidi reiterated a "commitment to the initiative of the African Union and the wish for a political solution to be achieved," Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou told reporters in Nicosia.

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Libyan Deputy FM: Hizbullah, Amal are Helping Rebels

Libya's deputy foreign minister, Khaled Kaim, has accused Hizbullah of joining the ranks of the rebels fighting against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.

Kaim claimed Wednesday that several members of Hizbullah are fighting alongside the rebels in Misrata, but did not provide evidence.

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World Offers Cash, Defense Means to Gadhafi Foes

World powers offered cash to Libya's rebels and the means "to defend themselves" as they issued fresh demands for strongman Moammar Gadhafi to relinquish power, at a meeting in Doha on Wednesday.

In a final statement after the day-long gathering, the international contact group on Libya decided to set up a "temporary financial mechanism" to aid the rebels seeking to oust Gadhafi.

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Talk of Gadhafi Stepping Down 'Ridiculous', Says His Son

Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi's son Seif al-Islam admitted Monday that it was time for "new blood" in his country's leadership but said talk of his father stepping down was "ridiculous".

"The Libyan Guide does not want to control everything. He is at an advanced age. We would like to bring a new elite of young people onto the scene to lead the country and direct local affairs," Seif told French network BFM.

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Libya Rebels Reject Truce Plan, Say Gadhafi Must Go

Libyan rebels on Monday rejected an African Union initiative for a ceasefire accepted by Moammar Gadhafi, and said the only acceptable solution was the ouster of the veteran strongman.

The rebel rejection came after NATO chiefs warned that any deal must be "credible and verifiable," and as alliance warplanes were again in operation against Gadhafi armor pounding the cities of Ajdabiya and Misrata.

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Libyan Rebels Reject to Ceasefire without Gadhafi Pullback

Libyan rebels said Monday that any ceasefire would require the withdrawal of government troops from the streets and freedom of expression, as African mediators were due in their stronghold.

"The people must be allowed to go into the streets to express their opinion and the soldiers must return to their barracks," Shamsiddin Abdulmolah, a spokesman for the rebels' Transitional National Council, told Agence France Presse.

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Oil Down in Asia on Profit-Taking

World oil prices fell in Asian trade Thursday as investors continued to lock in profits from recent gains and Libyan rebels exported the country's first crude shipment from a region that they control, analysts said.

New York's main contract, light sweet crude for May, pulled back 39 cents to $108.44 per barrel after crossing $109 for the first time in two-and-a-half years in U.S. trade Wednesday.

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Libya Contact Group to Meet April 13 in Doha

The international contact group on Libya will meet on April 13 in the Qatari capital Doha, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said on Thursday.

France is trying "to convince the African Union to be present in Qatar next week because that's where the contact group is to meet on April 13," Juppe told lawmakers.

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