Archive for 7 april 2011

‘No-fly zone’ Libya

april 7, 2011

They didn’t know that there is some difference between a ‘no-fly zone’ and a ‘bombing zone’

LibyanNATOcollaborators.jpg

The BBC’s Wyre Davies: “There is a lot of anger and confusion at the hospital”

Rebels in eastern Libya say their forces have been mistakenly hit in a Nato air raid.

Doctors in Ajdabiya told the BBC at least 13 rebel fighters had been killed by the strike on a rebel tank position.

The BBC’s Wyre Davies reports chaotic scenes on the outskirts of Ajdabiya, with rebel forces in retreat reporting being hit by Nato air strikes.

It is the third such incident in recent days involving international forces deployed to protect Libyan civilians.

One rebel commander told the BBC he saw at least four missiles land among rebel fighters.

Many people have been killed and many more have been injured, he said.

Civilians are reported to be fleeing Ajdabiya in their thousands, according to the latest wire reports, after rumours spread that Gaddafi forces were preparing to attack the city.

Rebel angerThe rebels had been taking a group of tanks, armoured vehicles and rocket launchers near the front line between the towns of Ajdabiya and Brega in more than 30 transporters.

Whether or not a Nato pilot mistook all of that heavy armour for Gaddafi weaponry remains unclear.

Following the apparent Nato attack, ambulances were seen heading in the opposite direction, towards the hospital in Ajdabiya.

There is considerable anger among rebel troops after what appears to have been a terrible mistake.

They are asking why rebel units were hit, when they could be seen clearly advancing in a westerly direction towards the front line.

“It is unbelievable,” said one Benghazi resident. “Nato, with all the equipment they have – is this the second mistake? Is it really a mistake or something arranged secretly.”

Another said: “The allies and the UN Security Council must allow us to be armed. We don’t want anything, just to be armed to defend ourselves against this dictator and fascist.”

Rebel forces in the area began retreating on Wednesday after heavy bombardment from government forces.

They had been calling for more Nato air strikes in recent days.

Nato is said to be looking into the incident.

‘Friendly-fire incidents’The alliance took over a week ago air operations from a US, French and British coalition to enforce a UN mandate to protect civilians in Libya.

Last Friday, at least 13 people were reportedly killed when a coalition plane fired on a rebel convoy between Brega and Ajdabiya.

Three medical students were among the dead.

The attack came after rebels reportedly fired an anti-aircraft gun.

In a separate incident, seven civilians died and 25 were hurt in a coalition air strike on a pro-Gaddafi convoy near Brega.

‘Libyan rebels near Ajdabiya killed in Nato air strike’ (7 April 2011)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12997181

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