UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called for the killings in Libya to stop as fierce fighting continues between the rebels and pro-Gaddafi forces in Misrata.

The UN secretary-general pleaded with Libyan authorities to  "stop fighting and stop killing people" and called for a ceasefire to be introduced post haste.

"At this time our priority is to bring about a verifiable and effective ceasefire, and then we can expand our humanitarian assistance, and we are going to engage in political dialogue," he said from Moscow where he is visiting.

Ki Moon’s plea came as pro-Gaddafi forces continued to pummel the western rebel stronghold of Misrata with mortar fire where 300,000 civilians are believed to be trapped.

Doctors reported treating residents for shrapnel and bullet wounds.

The rebels who have taken control of key parts of Tripoli in recent days continued to make progress after capturing a key border crossing with Tunisia, in the west.

In other developments the US government have approved use of armed, unmanned Predator drones.

NATO forces have been enforcing a no-fly zone and conducting air raids on pro-Gaddafi forces since March 19 in an attempt to help the rebels end the dictators 41 year rule.


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