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Africa

First US drone attack on Libya

media Rebels launch rockets agains Kadhafi's forces at the frontline along the … Reuters/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

The US carried out its first drone strike on Libya on Saturday, the Pentagon said. Heavy fighting is taking place in Misrata after Moamer Kadhafi’s regime gave its army an ultimatum to win back the besieged port city.

US officials refused to give details of the hit by the Predator drone but Nato claimed that the use of the unmanned aircraft, approved by President Barack Obama two days ago, will mean more precise targeting in populated areas.

THE BATTLE FOR LIBYA

"The use of drones will make it easier to target Kadhafi forces in crowded urban areas,” an official said. “A vehicle like the Predator, that can get down lower and can get IDs, will better help us carrying out the mission with precision and care."

The use of drones in Pakistan and Afghanistan has given rise to controversy, inclluding accusations of civilian casualties.

At least 10 people were killed and 50 wounded in street battles in Misrata after the army was ordered to seize the city following Nato air raids near a compound used by Kadhafi in Tripoli.

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