Pro-Gaddafi forces use more civilian facilities

Pro-Gaddafi forces use more civilian facilities

(REUTERS/Louafi Larbi)

Brussels (ANTARA News/Xinhua-OANA) - NATO on Tuesday accused the pro-Gaddafi forces of occupying and using civilian facilities for military purposes in Libya, and thus make them valid targets for NATO`s airstrike campaign.

"(Libyan leader Muammar) Gaddafi forces are increasingly occupying facilities, which once for civilian purposes," said Colonel Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO`s Libya operation.

These sites include former stables, agricultural facilities, commercial and industrial warehouses, factories, basic food processing plants, added Lavoie.

"By occupying and misusing these facilities, the regime has transformed them into military installations ... rendering them valid and necessary military objectives for NATO," Lavoie said.

In addition, Lavoie said the situations on the ground in Libya remain "very dynamic" as fighting between pro-Gaddafi forces and rebels continue in several fronts.

"In Brega, pro-Gaddafi forces are trying to prevent the advance of anti-Gaddafi forces by using obstacles, including mine fields and burning oil trenches," he said.

U.S. officials had met with representatives of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi last weekend, in a bid to press him to step down, media reports said here on Monday.

The meeting took place Saturday in an undisclosed third country and involved three senior U.S. diplomats, including U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, along with four senior members from Gaddafi`s government, reported CNN, quoting anonymous U.S. officials.

Embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi would not influence decisions on the country`s future, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said Friday.

He was speaking a day after Libyan Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi ended a visit here to discuss the North African country`s conflict.