NATO to continue airstrikes to aid Libya civilians

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April 11, 2011, 12:58 p.m. | World — by Reuters

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi
© AP


NATO will continue to target Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's forces as long as they continue to threaten civilians, a NATO official said on Monday. South African President Jacob Zuma has urged NATO to stop air strikes on government targets to give a ceasefire "a chance", after Gaddafi accepted an African Union roadmap for ending the conflict in Libya including an immediate ceasefire.

"We will continue to put pressure on forces threatening civilians and our operations will continue," a NATO official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Our aircraft are still flying and when we see a threat to civilians, we will engage," the official said.

The official said Libyan government forces shelled the Libyan city of Misrata on Monday morning.

"It does not appear that this indication of a peace deal has any substance at this point," the official said.

Earlier on Monday, NATO said it had taken note of reports of the African Union ceasefire proposal, adding it welcomed all contributions to the international effort aimed at stopping violence against the civilian population.
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