This article is from the archive of our partner .

The Libyan government has an answer to rebel leader Mustafa Abdel Jalil's demand earlier today that Muammar Qaddafi withdraw his forces from Libyan cities in exchange for a ceasefire: No.

"They are asking us to withdraw from our own cities," said government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim, according to Reuters. "If this is not mad then I don't know what this is."

The regime's defiant stance comes on a day when Qaddafi's forces attacked the besieged, rebel-held city of Misrata in the west with tanks and artillery, according to a rebel spokesman. In a report that has yet to be confirmed by coalition officials, a Libyan doctor told the BBC that a coalition air strike on a Qaddafi convoy on Wednesday killed seven civilians and wounded 25 more in eastern Libya, where rebel forces are clashing with Qaddafi's troops.

Even as it laid out its terms for a ceasefire, the opposition appeared to be making an effort to organize rebel fighters into a more disciplined fighting force. Opposition commanders in the eastern town of Ajdabiya only allowed "experienced" fighters into the city today, according to Al Jazeera.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.