May 17th Updates

New York: London: Tripoli:

twitter00:06 Tripolitanian tweets: “Unconfirmed reports that Gaddafi has assassinated his top military commander, Abu Bakr Jaber for refusing orders.”

Reuters23:38 Reuters Tunisia has warned Libya that it would refer Tripoli to the UN Security Council if Libya continues to commit “enemy acts” in Tunisia. The warning was made in relation to rockets landing on Tunisian soil. A Tunisian source at the foreign ministry said that the shellings violate Tunisian sovereignty and puts citizens at risk.

Reuters23:06 Reuters NATO has denied allegations of Libyan state TV that Libyan forces hit a NATO warship which state TV said was shelling Misrata. “It’s a totally fabricated allegation,” a NATO official said. “We have checked with our operational headquarters in Naples who have verified that there are no NATO ships close enough to the coast that could be hit by shots fired by pro-Gaddafi forces,” he said.

Al Jazeera19:11 Al Jazeera English Russia called on Gaddafi’s regime to cease using force against civilians as part of an attempt by Moscow to secure a truce between Gaddafi’s forces and the opposition. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russian officials told a Gaddafi representative who travelled to Moscow that Libya must comply fully with UN Security Council resolutions and withdraw armed groups from cities. “The answer we heard cannot be called negative,” Lavrov told reporters, adding the Gaddafi representatives said Libya was ready to look at peace proposals based on those suggested by the African Union and to comply with Security Council resolutions.

Reuters15:19 Reuters British planes attacked a training based used by bodyguards of Gaddafi’s inner circle.

Reuters14:48 Reuters A Tunisian security source has said that Libyan oil minister Shukri Ghanem has left the island of Djerba and is on his way to the capital Tunis.

Reuters14:40 Reuters At least four Grad rockets landed in Tunisian territory, Reuters reporter at the scene said. The rockets were fired from the Libyan side of the border.

13:24 Various sources Arabsat no longer hosts any of the Libyan state TV channels.

Guardian13:04 The Guardian Four foreign journalists who are being held in Libya are expected to be released today after a court hearing. James Foley, a photojournalist working for GlobalPost, Clare Morgana Gillis, who was covering the fighting for The Atlantic and Manu Brabo, a Spanish photojournalist were all detained on April 5.

A fourth unnamed journalist is also expected to be freed today.

Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim said: “It’s not a big deal. They should be fined a certain amount of money …. and then they should be released.”

British-based photographer Anton Hammerl was reported to have captured a day earlier. Ibrahim said he had not been found.

twitter12:30 Major General John Lorimer, the Chief of Defence Staff’s Strategic Communications Officer and Ministry of Defence spokesman says that a Tomahawk missile and RAF planes yesterday attacked intelligence agency buildings used by Gaddafi. One of the facilities which was hit is known to play a significant role in the collection of information by Gaddafi’s secret police, he says. The other facility which was hit was a headquarters for the External Security Organisation, commanded by Abdullah Sanussi. The Executive Protection Force acts as the bodyguard for the inner circle of the regime, and is also entrusted with other sensitive tasks. He added that vehicles at the base have been identified as having been involved in the bloody suppression of public demonstrations in Tripoli on 4 March

Sky News12:30 Sky News Tunisian security official says the Libyan oil minister has defected and fled to Tunisia.

NATO12:21 NATO On May 16th, NATO aircraft flew 136 sorties, 46 of which were intended as strike sorties. Some of the key targets included: In Tripoli: 1 Command & Control Node, 1 Military Training Facility. In the vicinity of Tripoli: 1 Surface-To-Air Fire Control Radar, 2 Land Based Air Surveillance Radars. In the vicinity of Misrata: 1 SelfPropelled Artillery Piece. In the vicinity of Mizdah: 1 Ammunition Storage Facility. In the vicinity of Sabha: 1 Command & Control Node

Reuters10:29 Reuters The opposition leadership has set a budget to spend $3 billion over the next 6 months, oil and finance representative Ali Tarhouni said on Tuesday. He added that they are still hunting money to finance that amount. The budget is a preliminary plan, and could change according to the situation.

CNN10:20 CNN The ICC will investigate claims of institutionalized rape against women in Libya. The ICC will try to determine whether the use of rape was ordered or encouraged by those in command, or whether the crimes were committed independently.

AFP06:52 AFP On May 16th, NATO warships foiled an attempt by Gaddafi forces to harass aid ships off the port of Misrata with small boats packed with explosives. This is the third time NATO ships have come into action off the coast.

twitter02:00 ChangeInLibya tweets that the building hit by NATO was an internal security building on Jumhuriya Street in the Ben Ashour district.

twitter02:00 CNN reporter Jomana reports that two explosions were heard in Tripoli at 1:30 am, and that jets were heard flying overhead just before that.

00:20 Al Arabiya & Al Jazeera both report that Shokri Ghanem, chairman of Libya’s National Oil Company, has defected from Gaddafi’s regime and joined the opposition. Reuters says it was unable to verify this report and there have been earlier mistaken reports about his defection.

This entry was posted in Live News. Bookmark the permalink.