France using concrete 'training bombs' in Libya: military

28th April 2011, Comments 0 comments

French jet are dropping inert bombs packed with concrete instead of explosives to destroy Libyan ruler Moamer Kadhafi's tanks without killing civilians, the military said Thursday.

Military spokesman Thierry Burkhard denied rumours the use of the 300-kilo (660-pound) training devices was prompted by a shortage of real bombs. He said the first such strike crushed an armoured vehicle on Tuesday.

"The aim of this munition ... is to use the effect of the impact while limiting the risk of collateral damage," Burkhard told reporters. "It is a very precise strike. There is no, or very little, shrapnel thrown out."

The military said French warplanes have made 216 sorties in Libya over the past week and destroyed targets including 15 armoured vehicles and big guns as well as a munitions depot.

Burkhard said French forces were also continuing to use real bombs against other Kadhafi targets in the NATO-led assault, which aims to frustrate Kadhafi's forces and protect civilians in his assault on rebels.

© 2011 AFP

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