Wednesday, June 22, 2011

NATO chief vows to continue Libya war

NATO's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

Source: Press TV

NATO chief has vowed to intensify the bombing missions in Libya despite Italy's call for an immediate ceasefire to the ongoing fighting.

“NATO will continue this mission because if we stop, countless more civilians could lose their lives,” the alliance's Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said in a video statement on the NATO website on Wednesday, AFP reported.

Earlier, Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini called for “an immediate humanitarian suspension of hostilities” in Libya.

Italy's call comes as civilian death toll is mounting. At least 24 civilians have been killed in the airstrikes by NATO warplanes in the past days.

On Monday, Frattini said NATO's credibility was at risk after a deadly airstrike on a residential area in the capital, Tripoli.

However, the alliance's military spokesman Wing Commander Mike Bracken said NATO's “reputation is unquestionable.”

The commander of the NATO operation in Libya, Canada's Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, said a ceasefire will provide both sides in the Libya war with the chance “to reload and to engage in further violence down the road.”

“We must continue to stay engaged to prevent that rearming,” Bouchard said.

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