Libyan rebels, backed forcefully by European leaders, rejected a cease-fire proposal by African mediators on Monday because it did not insist that Moammar Gadhafi relinquish power.
A day after an announcement that the Libyan leader had accepted the truce, a doctor in rebel-held Misrata said Gadhafi’s forces battered that western city and its Mediterranean port with artillery fire that killed six people.
“He is the biggest lie in the history of Libya,” said Jilal Tajouri, 42, who joined more than 1,000 flag-waving protesters in the eastern rebel stronghold of Benghazi as the African Union delegation arrived.
“All the people in Libya agree on this: Gadhafi and all his sons must leave Libya so we can have democracy,” Tajouri said, echoing the opposition of other demonstrators to any dealmaking while Gadhafi remains in power.
The rebels’ leadership council agreed.