At Least 11 Libyan Rebels Killed in Misrata Clashes

Posted July 5th, 2011 at 6:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

At least 11 Libyan rebels have been killed in clashes with pro-government forces near the opposition-held city of Misrata.

Medics and rebels say the deaths occurred late Monday and Tuesday after forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi shelled targets on the outskirts of Misrata, about 200 kilometers east of Tripoli. They say more than 40 rebels were wounded.

Separately, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu voiced hope for a political settlement to the conflict in Libya.

Davutoglu spoke after meeting Tuesday in Ankara with his counterpart from the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, and a senior Libyan opposition leader, Mahmoud Jibril.

The talks were meant to lay the groundwork for a meeting later this month of the Libya Contact Group, which includes countries participating in the NATO-led campaign in Libya.

Sheikh Abdullah said if Mr. Gadhafi is a true leader of the Libyan people, then he must show the world he can self-sacrifice for the sake of his country. The sheikh added that “unfortunately, he is sacrificing the Libyan people instead.”

One of Mr. Gadhafi's sons warned Tuesday his family will not quit or leave Libya. French TV channel TF1 quoted Saif al-Islam Gadhafi as saying “We will never surrender.”

In Washington Tuesday, the U.S. Senate postponed voting on a resolution that authorizes U.S. military involvement in Libya for up to a year, but prevents the use of American ground troops in the conflict.

The sponsors of the resolution, Democrat John Kerry and Republican John McCain , say it is important not to abandon the U.S. mission, arguing that Mr. Gadhafi is close to losing his grip on power.

The Libya resolution recently failed to pass in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Some Republican and Democratic lawmakers are angry with U.S. President Barack Obama for failing to seek congressional authorization to intervene in Libya.