Rebels claim to have seized Sirte, the hometown of Colonel Gaddafi, it has been reported.
A rebel spokesman, Shamsiddin Abdulmolah, earlier this morning announced:
“It’s confirmed Sirte has fallen into pro-democracy hands,”
Gaddafi intent on regaining control
Sirte, situated 280 miles from Tripoli, were for the first time hit by airstrikes by the allied forces yesterday, but the rebels’ claim has not yet been confirmed by an independent source.
Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim said that said three young Libyan men had been killed in an air strike on a nearby harbour.
He also said the Allied forces had been attacking the Libyan Army in retreat, saying those actions were against United Nations mandate to protect civilians.
“Some were attacked as they were clearly moving westbound,” he said. “Clearly NATO is taking sides in this civil conflict. It is illegal. It is not allowed by the Security Council resolution. And it is immoral, of course.”
Meanwhile a Downing Street spokesman defended the military actions of Nato, telling Sky News: “The military mission has helped to save countless civilians lives; has successfully established a no-fly zone; and has helped shift the momentum on the ground against
Gaddafi’s attacks on the Libyan people”.
“The agreement to transfer complete command and control of all military operations to Nato both ensures that partners from the region are able to participate and represents a significant step forward as we plan for the next phase of this vital mission.”