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Obama orders non-lethal aid of $25 mln to Libyan rebels

RIA Novosti

06:17 27/04/2011 WASHINGTON, April 27 (RIA Novosti) - U.S. President Barack Obama has authorized the allocation of $25-million in non-lethal assistance to the Libyan opposition, fighting to overthrow the Muammar Gaddafi regime, the White House said.

"I therefore direct the drawdown of up to $25 million in nonlethal commodities and services from the inventory and resources of any agency of the United States Government to support key U.S. Government partners such as the Transitional National Council in efforts to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in Libya," the U.S. leader said in a memorandum for state and defense secretaries, posted on the White House website.

NATO has been bombarding Gaddafi's forces under a UN-mandated no-fly zone to protect civilians. The alliance said it had stepped up strikes around Tripoli and four other cities in recent days.

On Sunday, Gaddafi's forces shelled areas of the port city of Misurata, the only major rebel-held city in western Libya, despite the government saying it had halted fighting so that local tribes could negotiate with the rebels.

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