UK backtrack on comments made by defence secretary

by Kirsty Tobin

14.10 UN officials reiterate the importance of coalition forces being in complete agreement on strategy for dealing with the Libya situation.

13.20 Cuban and Venezuelan officials have come out against the coalition’s strikes on Libya, citing the risk of civilian casualties as the reason for their opposition of the operation.

12.27 UK officials scramble to retract comments made by defence secretary Liam Fox stating that Gaddafi is a legitimate target. Speaking on the BBC, chief of the defence staff, General Sir David Richards, said: “Absolutely not. It is not allowed under the UN resolution and it is not something I want to discuss any further.”

New York Times reports that four of their journalists being held in Libya have been released. One, Stephen Farrell, has dual Irish and British citizenship.

11.20 According to reports, the building has been destroyed. Coalition forces say this building was a command centre.

11.13 Building in Colonel Gaddafi’s compound damaged in Tripoli airstrike.

10.51 Airstrikes by RAF Tornado jets aborted at risk of civilian casualties at target site.

For live updates, follow us on twitter: Edinburgh Napier News

To follow our account of today’s events as they unfolded,

10.49 Germany defends decision not to get involved in the Libyan conflicts. When asked whether inaction was just as detrimental as intervention, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle answered: “The alternative to military operations is hardly inaction. After examining the repercussions of a military mission, with all of its uncertainties, which could possibly go as far as deploying ground troops and maintaining a military presence for years, I came to the following conclusion: No, we will not take part with German troops, no matter how honourable the motives of our partners who have decided differently.”

10.27 Reuters report that forces loyal to Gaddafi are taking civilians from local towns into Misrata and using them as human shields.

10.15 Confusion arises as Sky News reports that Gaddafi is a legitimate target for UK military, while coalition forces have maintained that they are not targeting the dictator.

10.04 Unconfirmed reports are surfacing that one of Gaddafi’s sons is critically injured. He is reportedly fighting death in a Libyan hospital, following injury when a fighter jet crashed into the Gaddafi compound. Some reports state that he died yesterday.

9.43 Building in Gaddafi compound damaged by air strikes.

9:35 New air strikes launched around Ajdabiya. Ajdabiya is currently held by forces loyal to Gaddafi. Forces previously encamped in Benghazi have been pushed back to this north-eastern town.

British and French forces maintain that targets are being carefully chosen to avoid civilian casualties.

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