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UK hits 900 targets in Libya action

British forces have so far hit more than 900 targets in the campaign to protect Libyan civilians from the Gaddafi regime, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has disclosed.

The latest strikes came during armed reconnaissance patrols on Friday against buildings in Bani Walid which had been used by Muammar Gaddafi's forces as a military vehicle depot.

At least 910 targets, including secret police headquarters and command bunkers, had been damaged or destroyed since operations began in March, the MoD said.

The latest update on the input of UK forces to the Nato campaign came after Prime Minister David Cameron insisted that Britain had punched "above our weight" in Libya.

MoD spokesman Major General Nick Pope said the RAF had been patrolling areas where civilians remained "subject to the oppression of Colonel Gaddafi's remaining troops".

Tornado jets had destroyed three targets, making up the vehicle depot, using Paveway laser and GPS guided bombs.

"Since the start of military operations on March 19, Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army Air Corps strikes have damaged or destroyed over 910 targets that were being used by Gaddafi's former regime to threaten the Libyan people, ranging from secret police headquarters and command bunkers to tanks, rocket launchers and armed trucks," he said.

Pressure is intensifying on ousted dictator Gaddafi as rebels prepare for a final showdown.

They are still hoping he will surrender without a fight but although remaining in hiding, he has issued a defiant appeal to his supporters: "We will fight them everywhere," he said. "We will burn the ground under their feet ... Get ready to fight the occupation."

Mr Cameron hit out at those who had doubted Britain's capacity to intervene in Libya: "A lot of armchair generals who said you couldn't do it without an aircraft carrier, they were wrong," he said. "A lot of people who said Tripoli is completely different to Benghazi, the two don't get on, they were wrong. People who said this is all going to be an enormous swamp of Islamists and extremists, they were wrong. People who said we were going to run out of munitions, they were wrong."


From Belfast Telegraph