Make us your home page

NATO not protecting Libyans, says rebel leader

BENGHAZI, Libya — A rebel military leader lashed out at NATO on Tuesday, saying it was falling short in its mission to protect Libyan civilians. The alliance responded that ruler Moammar Gadhafi's forces position heavy weapons in populated areas, preventing some airstrikes.

Abdel-Fattah Younis, chief of staff for the rebel military and Gadhafi's former interior minister, said he was asking the opposition's leadership council to take their grievances to the U.N. Security Council, which authorized force in Libya to stop government troops from wiping out the anti-Gadhafi uprising that began Feb. 15.

NATO forces "don't do anything" even though the United Nations gave them the right to act, he said. He said bureaucracy means that NATO strikes sometimes come eight hours after rebels' have communicated targets. The fighting is at a stalemate.

Also Tuesday:

• NATO said nearly a third of Gadhafi's heavy weapons have been destroyed in airstrikes.

• The U.S. envoy to the opposition was in the rebel stronghold of Benghazi for talks.

New clashes in Yemen: Tribesmen loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Tuesday clashed with a group of soldiers whose commander has sided with the opposition. The fighting in a suburb of the capital left three tribesmen dead, tribal elders and military officials said.

NATO not protecting Libyans, says rebel leader 04/05/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 10:38pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours