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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

US: Libya 'In the Hands of its People'

VOA News September 14, 2011

Senior U.S. State Department official Jeffrey Feltman says he has assured Libyans that the American administration will respect the country's sovereignty, adding that the future of Libya "is in the hands of its people."

Feltman met with the head of Libya's National Transitional Council Mustafa Abdel Jalil in Tripoli on Wednesday. He is the highest ranking U.S. official to visit the country since provisional authority forces drove Moammar Gadhafi from power last month.

Feltman added that the U.S. does not have ground troops in Libya and is using military means only to support the NATO-led mission. He said the U.S. will soon reopen a fully-functioning embassy in the capital.

The meeting comes a day after the World Bank recognized the NTC and said it will work to assist in the country's transition.

World Bank recognition

The World Bank said in a statement Tuesday its decision is based on events in Libya and the views of its member countries. It also said it has been asked to examine the need for repairs to Libya's water, energy and transportation sectors, and to help the country's banking sector in conjunction with the International Monetary Fund.

The U.S. State Department said Tuesday Gadhafi's son, Saadi, is being detained in a state guest house in Niger, after crossing into the country earlier this week. A State Department spokeswoman said it is "appropriate" for Niger and Libya to work together on the issue, and that it is up to the NTC to decide how to proceed.

Gadhafi loyalists in Niger

Officials in Niger say 32 people close to Gadhafi have fled to the central African nation since September 2.

Meanwhile, residents of one of Gadhafi's remaining strongholds fled Tuesday as NATO and NTC fighters continued to attack pro-Gadhafi forces. Witnesses say dozens of cars left the town of Bani Walid while NATO planes flew overhead.

NATO said Wednesday its airstrikes a day earlier struck several targets near Sirte, another Gadhafi stronghold, including anti-aircraft guns and radar systems.

War crimes accusations

Tuesday, Amnesty International issued a report saying both sides of the conflict have committed war crimes during the six-month civil war. The report mainly details crimes against civilians committed by Gadhafi loyalists, but it also documents brutal revenge crimes committed by some provisional authority forces when loyalist fighters were ejected from eastern Libya.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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