U.S. Official: Gadhafi's Momentum Stopped

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's momentum has stopped and rebels have been able to hold onto areas that government forces had been poised to capture just a few days ago, a U.S. official said Monday.

Gadhafi has declared a cease-fire, the official said, and the coalition is watching carefully to see if that declaration "is a pledge or just words."

An opposition spokesman said Monday there is no cease-fire, at least not in Misrata, a key city about two hours east of Tripoli.

The spokesman, Mohamed -- who would not divulge his last name out of concern for his safety -- said the destruction there is "unimaginable" and that Misrata was bombarded heavily over the past four days by forces loyal to Gadhafi.

"He keeps talking about a cease-fire, but he hasn't observed that for one minute here," Mohamed said.

Based on what he saw at a hospital, Mohamed said Monday's death toll among civilians at the hands of pro-Gadhafi forces was 15. Another 51 civilians died in weekend attacks by pro-Gadhafi forces, Mohamed said.

Late Monday, state television reported that Misrata was firmly in the hands of government forces, and it urged residents to celebrate.

The head of U.S. forces in Libya told reporters that coalition forces had made "very effective" progress Monday toward their goal of enforcing a U.N. Security Council resolution intended to protect civilians from attack by forces loyal to Gadhafi.