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Three Libyan military officers defect to Tunisia

Arab World Materials 16 May 2011 17:18 (UTC +04:00)
Three Libyan military officers have defected from Moamer Gaddafi's regime and escaped by boat to Tunisia, state-run Tunisian news agency TAP reported Monday, citing unnamed Tunisian officials.
Three Libyan military officers defect to Tunisia

Three Libyan military officers have defected from Moamer Gaddafi's regime and escaped by boat to Tunisia, state-run Tunisian news agency TAP reported Monday, citing unnamed Tunisian officials.

"Such defections have occurred several times in recent days, with an influx of defectors coming to Tunisia by sea," the official said, DPA reported.

The officers arrived at the Tunisian port of Bijr Jeis, some 540 kilometres south of the capital Tunis, aboard a ship coming from the Libyan town of al-Zawiya.

The Libyan opposition estimates that over 1,500 have died in clashes between rebels and Gaddafi's forces in al-Zawiya since the uprising to oust the Libyan leader from power erupted in mid- February.

Meanwhile in The Hague, the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court announced he was seeking arrest warrants for Gaddafi, one of his sons, and two other regime members, for "crimes against humanity."

The charges largely relate to the alleged indiscriminate machine- gunning and use of incendiary devices in built-up urban areas, especially Misurata.

NATO said Monday that it hit a command and control node in the restive town a day earlier.

The military alliance also said it struck at four missile launchers in the Libyan capital Tripoli and at sites in the northwestern city of Misurata and in Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte on Sunday.

Libyan rebel spokesman Ahmed Bani told the German Press Agency dpa by telephone that the opposition is trying organize in Sirte, which remains under Gaddafi's control.

Bani also affirmed that rebels in Misurata, the country's third most populous city, have been in control there since Gaddafi's forces were pushed back last week.

However, Bani said rebels were now fighting for control in the nearby town of Taourgha, which Gaddafi's forces have used as a site to launch missiles at Misurata from.

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