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Libyan rioters killed in NATO air strike

RIA Novosti

23:43 02/04/2011

MOSCOW, April 2 (RIA Novosti) - At least 13 Libyan rebels have accidentally been killed in a NATO air strike targeting dictator Muammar Gaddafi forces, the Al Jazeera TV channel said on Saturday.

The rebels are reported to have been killed when a NATO plane enforcing a UN 'no-fly' zone fired on a convoy between the eastern oil city of Brega and Ajdabiya on Friday night.

Opposition spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga called the air strike "unfortunate accident," adding that the rebels were killed as they moved forward while the NATO strike was in progress.

The Libyan political crisis, which evolved into military clashes between opponents and supporters of the country's longtime ruler Gaddafi, began in mid-February. The conflict has already left thousands of people dead and forced many more to flee the country.

UN Security Council Resolution 1973, adopted on March 17, imposed a no-fly zone over Libya and authorized measures to protect civilians from Gaddafi forces, but stopped short of authorizing ground operations in the North African country.

Responsibility for leading and conducting this mission was shifted to an integrated NATO command on March 27.

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