Tripoli: NATO warned it will bomb
civilian facilities if Muammar Gaddafi`s forces use them to
launch attacks, as the UN said Libya`s warring parties remain
at daggers drawn on ways to end the conflict.
The Western military alliance made it clear it would
target facilities including factories, warehouses and
agricultural sites being used by loyalist troops.
The warning came yesterday, a day after foreign
reporters were taken to Zliten, east of Tripoli, by government
minders and shown what they were told was the remains of a
clinic hit by a NATO bomb that killed seven people.
Alliance military spokesman Colonel Roland Lavoie said
in Brussels that in recent days NATO had hit a concrete
factory near Brega where regime forces were hiding and firing
multi-barrel rocket launchers.
"Pro-Gaddafi forces are increasingly occupying
facilities which once held a civilian purpose," Lavoie told
reporters in a video conference from the operation`s
headquarters in Naples, Italy.
"By occupying and using these facilities the regime
has transformed them into military installations from which it
commands and conducts attacks, causing them to lose their
formerly protected status and rendering them valid and
necessary military objectives for NATO," Lavoie said.
Earlier, a NATO official said the alliance had "no
evidence" that civilian facilities were hit in air raids near
Zliten on Monday.
Baghdadi Mahmudi, the Libyan premier, reiterated
yesterday that Gaddafi`s departure is "not up for discussion,"
after meeting UN special envoy to Libya Abdul Ilah al-Khatib.
"The departure from power of Colonel Gaddafi is not up
for discussion," he told a news conference after British
Foreign Secretary William Hague demanded on Monday that
Gaddafi step down but said he might be allowed to stay in the
"With all due respect to the British foreign minister,
it is not up to him to take decisions on behalf of the Libyan
Khatib in a statement issued yesterday in New York
said the two parties to the Libya crisis "remain deeply
divided on how to reach a political solution."
Khatib this week visited the rebel capital Benghazi in
Libya`s east as well as the capital Tripoli.