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Libya: French planes take off, human shields in Misurata

21. March 2011. | 15:02

Source: ANSAmed

French air operations resumed this morning in Libya, reports the French Defence Ministry. French planes did not fly over Libya during the night but took off again early this morning, noted French Defence Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhard.

French air operations resumed this morning in Libya, reports the French Defence Ministry. French planes did not fly over Libya during the night but took off again early this morning, noted French Defence Ministry spokesman Thierry Burkhard.

Their mission is to enforce the no-fly zone imposed on Libya. The planes, which leave from bases on French territory, noted the French Defence Ministry, have an approximately three-hour flight to arrive at the area of operations.

A French government spokesman said that he did not have any information on civilian casualties in the attacks on Libya.

''There have been no reports of civilian casualties of which the French command is aware,'' said French government spokesman Francois Baroin to the television station Canal+.

Meanwhile on the ground a rebel spokesperson said that pro-Gaddafi forces are bringing civilians to Misurata from nearby cities in order to use them as human shields. The spokesman added that pro-government forces killed seven people yesterday in Misurata.

According to a resident, the city has been surrounded by pro-Gaddafi forces, who cut off water supplies to the population. The source also noted that pro-government fighters in civilian clothing had also penetrated into the centre of the city.

According to opposition website Almanara, which is also on Facebook, one of the sons of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, Khamis, has reportedly been killed due to injuries sustained after an air strike on Tripoli.

According to sources cited by the site, Khamis died yesterday after he was seriously injured in recent days during an air strike carried out by a Libyan aircraft flown by a pilot who switched sides to join the rebels on the Bab al Aziziya compound, where Gaddafi and his followers have allegedly taken refuge

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