Libyan Rebels Claim Taking Control Of Border Post
April 21, 2011
Libyan rebels say they have seized control of a post on the Tunisian border near a former rebel-held town.
A rebel leader, Shaban Abu Sitta, said the Wazin border post was taken today after three days of battles with Qaddafi loyalists near the town of Nalut.
Also on April 21, NATO urged Libyan civilians to distance themselves from Qaddafi forces and equipment to reduce the risk of civilian casualties from NATO bombing raids.
The warning came as Libya's state-run television reported early the same day that seven people were killed and 18 others wounded in a NATO raid in the capital, Tripoli.
In Tripoli, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim said the authorities were arming civilians to confront any possible land attack by NATO forces. He said Libyans "will unleash hell upon NATO.... We will make it 10 times as bad as Iraq."
The comments came a day after France promised Libyan rebels it would intensify air strikes on Muammar Qaddafi's forces and send military liaison officers to help them.
France, and Italy said they were joining Britain in sending military advisers to Libya to offer advice to the rebels, and the United States is planning to provide the rebels with $25 million in aid.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia was worried by signs of a move toward a ground conflict involving Western forces in Libya. Pointing to the sending of Western military advisers, he said such steps were "risky and fraught with unpredictable consequences."
compiled from agency reports
Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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