France bombs Libya as battle for Benghazi begins

France has launched military strikes on Libyan tanks advancing on rebel-held Benghazi, Paris announced March 19. After an international meeting on the situation in Libya at Elysee Palace, President Nicolas Sarkozy said: “At unity with our partners our air forces will counteract any attacks from Col. Qaddafi planes on the residents of Benghazi. Other French aircraft are ready to countervail against armored vehicles which may threaten civilians.” The French air-strikes on Qaddafi’s forces came just as Qaddafi’s planes carried out their first air-strikes on Benghazi, sending thousands of residents fleeing the city. The highway to al-Bayda, the next town to the east, is reported to be clogged with cars packed with families fleeing Benghazi. (APA, BBC News, AP, AGI, March 19)

See our last posts on Libya, the regional revolutions, and France in Africa.

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