US still considering arming Libyan rebels
The United States continues to leave open the possibility of arming rebels in Libya who are under heavy attack by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi, a US official said Tuesday, dpa reported.
"In terms of arming the rebels, that option's not been taken off the table. All options remain on the table," US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said.
Washington has said for weeks that supplying weapons to the opposition forces had not been decided.
Answering repeated questions from reporters about what the US was doing to help the rebels, Toner noted the international agreement last week to set up financial mechanisms to funnel money to them.
With Britain sending military officers to Benghazi to train and advise the rebels, Toner repeated US President Barack Obama's insistence that no US ground troops would be sent.
"The president was clear at the onset of this operation that the US would not be putting in troops into Libya," Toner said.
At least 29 people have been killed over the last two days in Misurata, Libyan rebels said Tuesday, as forces loyal to Gaddafi continued to besiege and shell the city, which has suffered the worst fighting of the conflict so far.
Libya's third-largest city and a gateway to Tripoli, Misurata has been under attack for nearly two months, with rebels saying at least 1,000 people have been killed there.