French fighters shoot down Libyan warplane violating no-fly zone

French fighter jets shot down a Libyan warplane, which violated the imposed no-fly zone, ABC TV-channel reported.

The UN Security Council last week imposed a no-fly zone over Libya allowing “all necessary measures” to protect civilians from Muammar Gaddafi’s attacks on rebel-held towns. Russia and four other countries abstained from the vote.

The plane was shot down over the rebel-held city of Misurata. This was the first Libyan plane flying over the country since the western coalition imposed the no-fly zone, the channel said.

Operation Odyssey Dawn entered its fifth night of airstrikes on Libyan air defenses on Wednesday. Libyan state television has reported that at least 60 civilians have been killed and over 150 wounded.

NATO is also expected to launch an operation soon to enforce an arms embargo against Libya. On Wednesday, NATO said that Turkey offered to supply five warships and a submarine to international operations in Libya for humanitarian purposes and control over possible arms reaching Libya. Turkey has so far declined to participate in the NATO no-fly zone.

The decision was made by NATO ambassadors and aims to “stop the intolerable violence against Libyan civilians.”

MOSCOW, March 24 (RIA Novosti)


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