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NATO airstrike kills Libyan military spokesman - media

RIA Novosti

06:07 16/05/2011

MOSCOW, May 16 (RIA Novosti) - Colonel Milad Hussein al-Fiqhi, spokesman for the Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces, was killed on Sunday in a NATO raid that targeted an intelligence headquarters in the capital Tripoli, Al Arabiya television reported.

"Colonel Fiqhi is most probably responsible for the crimes that took place in Zawiyah town," Al Arabiya quoted an opposition source.

The Libyan state news agency said on Sunday that the recent NATO airstrikes again led to civilian casualties. No details were given, though.

The revolt in Libya against Gaddafi's forty-year rule, which began in mid-February, has already claimed thousands of lives, with Gaddafi's troops maintaining their combat capabilities despite NATO airstrikes against them.

Since NATO took over command of airstrikes in Libya on March 31, its aircraft have conducted 6,661 sorties, including 2,608 strike sorties.

Despite allied efforts under UN mandate, fighting between the rebels and Gaddafi loyalists has come to a standstill on several fronts.

General David Richards, Britain's chief of defense staff, said in an interview with Sunday Telegraph newspaper that NATO must step up pressure on Gaddafi's forces by expanding the range of targets subject to airstrikes.

"If we want to increase the pressure on Gaddafi's regime then we need to give serious consideration to increasing the range of targets we can hit," Richards said.

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