Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Libya News Bulletin: US-led Airstrikes Hit Civilians

'US-led airstrikes hit Libya civilians'

Tue Mar 29, 2011 9:2AM

Western airstrikes hit civilian areas in the Libyan towns of Garyan and Mizdah late on Monday.

Western airstrikes have hit civilian areas in the Libyan towns of Garyan and Mizdah, leaving scores of men and women wounded in the cities, reports say.

"Civilian and military areas in Garyan and Mizdah were hit on Monday night by the colonial and crusader aggressors," Libyan television said in a written news flash.

Garyan lies about 100 kilometers south of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, while Mizdah is about 184 kilometers south of the capital.

Western coalition forces have been bombarding strategic cities across the war-hit country to push government forces back.

But Western offensive is coming under intense scrutiny by critics worried about civilian lives in the North African country.

The Libyan regime says over a hundred civilians have already been killed in over 980 US-led air raids over troubled Libya, but the United States denies civilian casualties in the military operation so far.

Fighting intensifies in key Libyan town

Tue Mar 29, 2011 4:9PM

Latest reports say heavy fighting continues between revolutionaries and forces loyal to the embattled Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in town of Misratah.

Gaddafi troops have reportedly launched a new attack on the positions of the revolutionary fighters in Misratah, the town located some 200 kilometers east of the capital Tripoli.

"Misrata is in danger. The criminal forces are advancing on the city and the tanks are firing shells indiscriminately," AFP quoted an opposition spokesman as saying.

The revolutionaries say eight civilians were killed in overnight attacks by the Gaddafi loyalists on Monday night.

The opposition fighters have made swift progress westwards from their stronghold in Benghazi in recent days. But pro-Gaddafi troops have reportedly used heavy weaponry to check their advance.

Medical sources earlier put at 142 the number of people killed in Misratah by pro-Gaddafi forces since March 18.

The Libyan government says over one hundred civilians have been killed in Western air attacks on the country. The US, however, denies any civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, over 40 governments and international bodies are planning for the post-Gaddafi Libya in London.

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has stressed in the conference that the air attacks on Libya will continue until Gaddafi would comply with the UN resolutions. Clinton has also met with a Libyan opposition leader in London.

Libyan deputy foreign minister Khaled Kaim accuses the West of seeking to split Libya into two parts.

Gaddafi troops kill 142 in Misratah

Tue Mar 29, 2011 12:10PM

Troops loyal to longtime Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi have killed at least 142 civilians during an ongoing offensive against revolutionary forces in Misratah over the past ten days.

Medical sources said on Tuesday that Gaddafi's loyalists also wounded 1,400 others in the key Libyan town during the 10-day period, AFP reported.

This comes as fighting between opposition fighters and Gaddafi's loyalists have been continuing in strategically important towns.

Sources say intense fighting has created a dire situation in the western Libyan port city of Misratah

Ahmed Khalifa, a spokesman for the opposition told a news conference in Benghazi that medicine was running low.

He added that boatloads of supplies have been dispatched to the coastal city.

Latest reports also indicate that a new round of western airstrikes has left civilian causalities in the cities of Gharyan and Mizdah.

The Libyan government says over one hundred civilians have been killed in Western air attacks on the country.

The US denies any civilian casualties caused by the airstrikes.

Meanwhile, more than 40 governments and international bodies have gathered in London to plan for the post-Gaddafi Libya.

Britain and the US have signaled they could accept a plan under which Gaddafi would quickly leave Libya and escape a war crimes tribunal.

Revolutionary fighters insist that the Libyan ruler stand trial for crimes against Libyan people.

US plans regime change in Libya

Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:53AM

US President Barack Obama says Washington will help implement a civilian government in Libya after a possible fall of embattled Libyan ruler Muammer Gaddafi's regime.

Obama said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet representatives from the Libyan opposition at an international summit in London on Tuesday.

Speaking at National Defense University in Washington DC, he defended the US-led strikes on Libya.

However, he stressed that the US forces will not be bogged down in Libya, since Washington cannot afford repeating its errors during war in Iraq.

“Regime change there took eight years, thousands of American and Iraqi lives and nearly a trillion dollars. That is not something we can afford to repeat in Libya,” Obama said in a nationally televised address on Monday.

The US president warned that should Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi be ousted in Libya, the transition to a legitimate government would be a “difficult task.”

He said that NATO will take full command of all coalition military operations in Libya beginning Wednesday.

American officials claim that although the coalition warplanes have carried out 983 missions over Libya, not one civilian has been killed, despite reports that over 100 civilians have been killed by NATO bombardment alone.

The US cannot afford to repeat the same costs as incurred in the Iraq war by seeking to overthrow the Libyan leader militarily, as it would be a “costly mistake,” he said.

Seeking to refute criticism from the Republicans, he strongly defended his interventionist war launched on Libya, and said it was to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world's conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are.”

But he failed to give any estimation as to when the so-called conflict may end.

Obama very bluntly said the US-led response had stopped Gaddafi's advances and halted a slaughter that could have shaken the stability of an entire region.

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