NATO destroys 8 Libyan warships
Battle of Libya Rages on.
ICC to investigate institutionalized gang-rape of women in Libya
Obeidi the woman had been Assaulted.
|Ministries ablaze after Tripoli strikes|
Security services building and anti-corruption agency hit in overnight strikes
as NATO bombing campaign continues.
Last Modified: 17 May 2011 06:54
have been set ablaze after being hit by apparent NATO air strikes.
The two buildings on Al-Jumhuriya Avenue are close to the residence of leader
Muammar Gaddafi, in an area where two explosions were heard at around 1.30am
on Tuesday (1130 GMT).
By 3am firefighters were battling to control flames that were tearing through the two
facing buildings, according to an AFP correspondent brought to the area by
The head of Libya's Ministry for Inspection and Popular Control, the anti-corruption agency,
was at the scene and said that some ministry employees had been injured,
but provided no further details.
Government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim later said that the rebel National Transitional
Council (NTC), based in eastern city of Benghazi, had directed NATO to attack
the agency in a bid to destroy files related to former regime officials who
have joined the rebellion.
"We believe that NATO has been misled to destroy files on their
corruption cases," he told reporters.
Three explosions had also been heard earlier in the same area.
Parts of Tripoli have been targeted almost daily by NATO-led strikes carried out
since a March 19 UN resolution called for the protection of civilians from Gaddafi's regime.
The assertion that Gaddafi is authorising the killing of civilians in a crackdown on
anti-government rebels has prompted the International Criminal Court (ICC) to
seek arrest warrants on Monday for the Libyan leader, his son and the country's
The call for the inquest was the first such action in the Netherlands-based court linked to the Arab uprisings.
The international warrants could further isolate Gaddafi and his inner circle and potentially complicate the options for a negotiated settlement.
But they could also harden his resolve to stand and fight, since the legal action has been seen in Libya as giving NATO more justification to go after him.
Because the United Nations Security Council ordered the ICC investigation, UN member states would be obliged to arrest him if he ventured into their territory.
Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said he was seeking warrants against Gaddafi,
his son, Saif al-Islam, and intelligence chief Abdullah al-Sanoussi for ordering,
planning and participating in illegal attacks.
Moreno-Ocampo said he had evidence that Gaddafi's forces attacked civilians in their
homes, shot at demonstrators with live ammunition, shelled funeral processions
and deployed snipers to kill people leaving mosques.
Judges must now evaluate the evidence before deciding whether to confirm the charges
and issue international arrest warrants.
Still, an earlier case where the ICC did step in at the request of the UN did not
result in the desired arrest.
Although Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has been indicted for crimes
including genocide in the Darfur
region of Sudan, at least three countries have allowed him to visit without
Libyan spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told reporters in Tripoli that the government
would pay no attention to the arrest warrants, saying the prosecutor had relied on
faulty media reports and reached "incoherent conclusions".
In the eastern city of Benghazi, headquarters for the opposition movement, rebel
spokesman Abdel-Hafidh Ghoga said the rebels welcomed the ICC case.
"It is these three individuals who are primarily running the campaign for genocide of the
Libyan people and the criminal activities that have taken place so far," he said at a
He said, however, that the opposition would like to see Gaddafi tried first in Libya,
then before the world body.
During Gaddafi's more than four decades in power, the regime had "committed many
crimes against the Libyan people, and the Libyan people want to see him
punished for that,'' Ghoga said.
In Brussels, NATO said Moreno-Ocampo's announcement was "further proof that
the international isolation of the Gadhafi regime is growing every day".