The Libyan army has told people in Benghazi to lay down their arms as its troops advanced closer to the rebel stronghold for what could be the decisive battle in the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi.Read the rest here.
Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam, speaking to French-based TV channel Euronews, said his troops were near Benghazi and "everything will be over in 48 hours".
The town of Ajbadiyah, 150 km (90 miles) south of Benghazi on the Gulf of Sirte, was firmly in government hands after most of its rebel defenders retreated under fire from a withering artillery barrage on Tuesday. Those who stayed had now handed over their guns, a rebel officer said.
In Benghazi, seat of the insurgents' provisional national council, the mood was a mixture of defiance and nervousness, with some citizens predicting a bloodbath and others confident the rebels would still snatch victory against the government offensive.