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Libyan Rebels Say NATO Is Failing; Gadhafi Asks Obama To End 'Unjust War'

Libyan rebel leader Gen. Abdelfatah Yunis speaks during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, on April 5, 2011. i

Libyan rebel leader Gen. Abdelfatah Yunis speaks during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, on April 5, 2011. MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images
Libyan rebel leader Gen. Abdelfatah Yunis speaks during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, on April 5, 2011.

Libyan rebel leader Gen. Abdelfatah Yunis speaks during a news conference in Benghazi, Libya, on April 5, 2011.

MAHMUD HAMS/AFP/Getty Images

Update at 4:15 p.m. ET. Gadhafi 'Knows What He Must Do,' Secretary Clinton Says:

Speaking about the letter that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has sent to President Clinton (copy below), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton just said that "Mr. Gadhafi knows what he must do. There needs to be a ceasefire. His forces need to withdraw from the he cities they have forcibly taken at great human cost. There needs to be a decision made about his departure from power and his departure form Libya." (Reporting from NPR's Michele Kelemen.)

Update at 3:30 p.m. ET. Gadhafi's Letter To 'Our Son, Excellency,' President Obama:

The Associated Press says that the letter sent to President Obama by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, which we posted about earlier, asks "our dear son, Excellency, Baraka Hussein Abu oumama," to intervene to "keep Nato off the Libyan affair for good."

The text is in this file from the AP. Just click the title to make it pop up larger:

Update at 1:30 p.m. ET. More On Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's Message To President Obama:

"Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is appealing to President Barack Obama to halt the NATO operation to protect opponents of his regime. In a letter to Obama obtained by The Associated Press, Gadhafi implores Obama to stop what he called an 'unjust war against a small people of a developing country.' "

Update at 10:30 a.m. ET: NPR's Ari Shapiro confirms Gadhafi sent a letter to the White House. There's no indication what the message contained and Gadhafi's official news agency website remains down. But Reuters says Gadhafi referred to "the withdrawal of America from the crusader colonial alliance against Libya," which could be a reference to the handoff of control of military operations to NATO.

Our original post: Libyan fighters say NATO airstrikes don't go far enough and the alliance isn't doing all it can to protect Libyan civilians. NPR's Eric Westervelt tells Morning Edition rebel leader Gen. Abdel Fattah Younis complained NATO jets respond slowly, especially in the western town of Misrata.

But Carmen Romero, NATO's deputy spokeswoman, says the alliance is carrying out even more airstrikes than last week. The AP reports the organization increased the number of daily bombing runs in Libya. Romero adds NATO pilots are trying to avoid hitting civilians.

The Guardian reports that task may be harder to accomplish; France claims Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is using civilians as human shields to protect certain targets. French foreign minister Alain Juppe says his country has requested no collateral damage - civilian deaths - making military attacks more difficult.

There's a report from Reuters this morning Gadhafi sent a message to President Obama but there's no word on what it contained. Gadhafi's official news agency site also has the news but it's down.

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