Friday, April 29, 2011

NATO: Gadhafi forces caught mining Misrata port

NATO warships have intercepted several boats laying anti-shipping mines outside the harbor of the Libyan city of Misrata, a senior military officer said Friday.

Alliance air strikes, meanwhile, had also destroyed or damaged 600 targets in Libya since NATO's aerial operations were launched a month ago, said British Brig. Rob Weighill, director of NATO operations in this North African country.

Misrata has been under siege by forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi for several weeks, and though rebels have managed to expel regime forces from the city itself, the enclave is isolated and remains dependent for much of its food and other supplies on the sea link with the rebel capital of Benghazi. It appeared to be the first time sea mines have been used in the Libyan conflict.

"We have just seen Gadhafi forces floating anti-ship mines outside Misrata harbor today," Weighill said. (read more)