NATO asks civilians to stay away from Gadhafi forces

Updated: 2011-04-21 09:10


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BRUSSELS - NATO advised on Wednesday Libyan civilians to keep themselves away from Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi's forces to help NATO airstrike achieve "greater success."

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In a statement posted on NATO's website, Canadian Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, commander of the NATO mission, said that if Libyan civilians stay away from government forces, the NATO airstrike on Gadhafi forces and equipment would achieve "greater success" with "the minimum ricks to civilians."

NATO acknowledged Tuesday the limitations of the alliance's air campaign in Libya as Gadhafi's forces changed their tactics by hiding their tanks in urban areas and using human shields to avoid airstrikes.

Bouchard said NATO would try the best to reduce the risk to civilians when attacking Libyan targets, "but the risk cannot be reduced to zero."

A stalemate continues on the ground in Libya as the opposition, under the cover of NATO-led airstrikes, are locked in a tug-of-war with government forces. The French and Italian governments on Wednesday joined Britain in pledging to send military advisors to assist the opposition.


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