Protest in Libya
Photo: A7 Fadhomar
Gaddafi. 'I'm in Tripoli'
Photo: Sky News

Libya: Benghazi airport runways destroyed

Egypt's foreign minister says flights cannot land in Benghazi airport . Egyptian military reinforces border with Libya

Runways at Libya's Benghazi airport have been destroyed in the violence that has gripped the country and passenger planes cannot land there, Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said on Tuesday.


"Regarding east of Libya, the Benghazi airport runways have been destroyed. It is not possible for Egyptair flights or any other flights to land in that airport," Aboul Gheit told a news conference.


Egypt's new military rulers reinforced their border with Libya on Tuesday and opened the frontier round-the-clock to thousands fleeing the turmoil unleashed by the revolt against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.


Earlier on Tuesday, Libya's ambassador to India resigned his post and called on the international community to stop the violent government crackdown against protesters in his country.


Ali al-Essawi told The Associated Press that he resigned because he could not tolerate the violence his government was using against Libyan civilians.


He said: "The authorities are killing peaceful people, which is not acceptable. We have to stop the bloodshed. It's the responsibility of the international community to stop the bloodshed."


The UN spokesperson's office said late Monday that the Security Council had scheduled consultations on the situation in Libya for Tuesday morning.


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters in Beverly Hills, California, on Monday described the crackdown as "a serious violation of international humanitarian law."


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on Tuesday for an international investigation into Libya's attacks on anti-government protestors, saying they may amount to crimes against humanity.


In a statement, Pillay called for the immediate halt to human rights violations and denounced the reported use of machineguns, snipers and military planes against civilians.


"Widespread and systematic attacks against the civilian population may amount to crimes against humanity," said Pillay, a former United Nations war crimes judge.


On Monday, Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi appeared briefly on TV to dispel rumors that he had fled. Sitting in a car in front of what appeared to be his residence and holding an umbrella out of the passenger side door, he told an interviewer that he had wanted to go to the capital's Green Square to talk to his supporters, but the rain stopped him.


"I am here to show that I am in Tripoli and not in Venezuela. Don't believe those misleading dog stations," Gaddafi said, referring to the media reports that he had left the country. The video clip and comments lasted less than a minute - unusual for the mercurial leader, who is known for rambling speeches that often last hours.


AP and Reuters contributed to this report



פרסום ראשון: 02.22.11, 12:53
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