French President Sarkozy and Libyan leader Mummar Gadaffi during the North African head of state's visit to Paris. A deal was sealed involving arms and nuclear energy. Today France is bombing the country and has sent military advisors., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
France deploys advisors to Benghazi
Wed Apr 20, 2011 1:26PM
A poster of French President Nicolas Sarkozy bears the slogan "Sarkozy is a murderer of children along with his Arab agents" is plastered on the wall of a building in Tripoli on April 20, 2011.
France says it has sent a team of military advisors to Libya in an attempt to organize opposition fighters against the embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
The French foreign ministry says military advisors would provide logistics and intelligence training to anti-government forces in Benghazi, the opposition stronghold.
"France has placed a small number of liaison officers alongside our special envoy to Benghazi who are carrying out a liaison mission with the TNC," AFP quoted foreign ministry spokeswoman Christine Fage as saying.
The move comes a day after Britain announced a similar measure.
The developments also come as French President Nicolas Sarkozy is set to meet the head of the Libyan National Transition Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Paris on Wednesday.
Jalil was among the first high-profile Libyan figures to join protesters following the Gaddafi regime's brutal crackdown on the opposition.
Meanwhile, local residents say troops loyal to Gaddafi have increased their attacks on the country's western mountain region.
Dozens of civilians are said to have been killed in the attacks over the past week. Many more have been wounded.
The region -- which includes the towns of Nalut, Kalaa, Yafran and Zintan -- has received little international attention.
The region is populated by Berbers, an ethnic group traditionally viewed with suspicion by colonel Gaddafi.
The continued fighting has raised questions about the west's military intervention in Libya.
The US and NATO troops have been accused of allowing Gaddafi's troops to continue their massacre of Libyan civilians by not targeting their weaponry and military facilities.
Some believe that the Western military alliance only acts when criticized by Libya's revolutionary forces.
NATO warplanes launched airstrikes on the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and the city of Aziziyah in the north and Gaddafi's hometown of Sirt in the east Monday night.
Dozens of civilians have been killed in Libya since US-led forces launched aerial attacks on the North African country.
NATO has recently admitted to killing revolutionary fighters and civilians in an airstrike in eastern Libya but has refused to apologize for the deadly bombing.