Gaddafi may be using cluster bombs: Hillary Clinton

The Obama administration said that Muammar Gaddafi`s govt may be targeting Libyan civilians with cluster bombs, cautiously endorsing claims by rebels and human rights groups.

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2011, 00:34 AM IST

Washington: The Obama administration said
on Thursday that Muammar Gaddafi`s government may be targeting
Libyan civilians with cluster bombs, cautiously endorsing
claims by rebels and human rights groups that the Libyan
strongman`s troops are using the indiscriminate weapon on the
western city of Misrata.

Attacks by Gaddafi`s forces have been deplorable,
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. Despite
outlining more examples of what she termed Gaddafi`s
"inhumanity," Clinton refused to signal any new course for the
United States to help anti-government forces in their war to
end four decades of dictatorship.

"Col Gaddafi`s troops continue their vicious attacks,
including the siege of Misrata," Clinton told reporters in
Washington. "There are even reports that Gaddafi forces may
have used cluster bombs against their own people."

She also offered her condolences to the friends and
families of two Western journalists killed in Misrata on
yesterday: Tim Hetherington, 40, a British-born war
photographer and the Oscar-nominated co-director of the
documentary "Restrepo" about US soldiers on an outpost in
Afghanistan; and Chris Hondros, 41, a New York-based
photographer for Getty Images.

Two other photographers, Guy Martin, a Briton affiliated
with the Panos photo agency, and Michael Christopher Brown,
were treated for shrapnel wounds, doctors said.

Pressing the case of journalists in Libya, Clinton
demanded the immediate release of all American citizens
"unjustly detained," including at least two reporters. James
Foley, of the Boston-based GlobalPost, and Clare Morgana
Gillis, a contributor to The Atlantic and USA Today, were
taken prisoner on April 5 by forces loyal to Gaddafi.

"I say `at least` because we do not have any accurate
information coming from Libyan authorities about other
inquiries that we have made regarding their continuing
harassment and detention of journalists, including Americans,"
Clinton said.

PTI