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French air force jets shoot down 5 Libyan planes, 2 helicopters in last 24 hours

RIA Novosti

23:29 26/03/2011

MOSCOW, March 26 (RIA Novosti) - French fighters jets shot down at least five Libyan Galeb planes and two Mi-35 combat helicopters in the past two hours, the country's defense ministry reported on Saturday.

"During their missions, French warplanes launched several airstrikes in the regions of Zintan and Misrata," the ministry reported on its web site.

The ministry added that the destroyed Libyan aircraft were preparing for military operations.

The UN Security Council imposed a no-fly zone over Libya on March 17, also permitting "all necessary measures" to protect civilians from Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's attacks on rebel-held towns.

The operation to enforce the no-fly zone, codenamed Odyssey Dawn, is being conducted jointly by 13 states, including the United States, Britain and France.

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