British missiles target Libyan air defences: military

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A British submarine launched a fresh salvo of Tomahawk missiles at Libyan air defence systems in a coordinated strike with other coalition forces, the defence ministry said Thursday.

The launch was the latest in a series by Britain, which along with France and the United States is leading efforts to enforce a UN-backed no-fly zone over Libya in order to protect civilians.

"British armed forces have again participated in a co-ordinated strike against Libyan air defence systems in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973," said Major General John Lorimer, the spokesman for the chief of defence staff.

"The UK launched guided Tomahawk Land Attack Missiles from a Trafalgar Class submarine at air defence targets as part of the coalition plan to enforce the resolution," Lorimer said in a statement.

It did not give further details about the targets or the result of the strikes.

Blasts and anti-aircraft fire rattled Tripoli early Thursday as allied raids against Moamer Kadhafi's forces entered a sixth day following the UN resolution authorising "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.

A British officer said Wednesday that Libya's air force was mostly obliterated and that forces were now also targeting Kadhafi's ground forces.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said Thursday that coalition airstrikes against Libya had been a "success" and would continue, while denying Libyan claims of civilian casualties.

© 2011 AFP

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