Nato bombs Libyan TV as rebels launch Yunis death inquiry
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Nato claimed Saturday to have knocked out three Libyan television transmitters, as rebel forces said they had imprisoned the killed of their military chief and are investigating his death.
Nato said it hit the transmitters in Tripoli in precision strikes and insisted that the move fell within its mandate to protect civilians.
"Our intervention was necessary as TV was being used as an integral component of the regime apparatus designed to systematically oppress and threaten civilians and to incite attacks against them," a statement quoted spokesperson Colonel Roland Lavoie as saying.
However, the channel targeted was still on air after the attack.
In the rebels’ de facto capital, Benghazi, National Transitional Council (NTC) has appointed a committee to investigate the assassination of military chief General Abdel Fatah Yunis.
The head of an Islamist militia behind the crime has confessed and is in prison, according to NTC member Ali Tarhuni.
Yunis’s body was found, riddled with bullets and partly burned, early on Friday after the leader of the Jirah Ibn al-Obeidi brigade confessed late on Thursday, Tarhuni said, adding that other perpetrators are still at large and that the motive was not yet clear.
"The NTC has appointed an investigative committee and we will publish all the facts of this investigation," he announced.
Moamer Kadhafi’s regime blamed Al-Qaeda for the killing and said it exposed the NTC’s weaknesses.
"By this act, Al-Qaeda wanted to mark out its presence and its influence in this [rebel-held] region", spokesperson Mussa Ibrahim told reporters in Tripoli. "The other members of the National Transitional Council knew about it but could not react because they are terrified of Al-Qaeda."
Washington urged the rebels to stand united.
They should "work both diligently and transparently to ensure the unity of the Libyan opposition", State Department spokesperson Mark Toner said.
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