Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Libya Live Blog - March 29

As the uprising in Libya continues, we update you with the latest developments from our correspondents, news agencies and citizens across the globe. Al Jazeera is not responsible for content derived from external sites.

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(All times are local in Libya GMT+2)


11:50pm That's it for tonight. Our rolling coverage of events in Libya continues with a brand new live blog for March 30. And you can stay up to date with it by clicking here.

11:11pm Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, says human rights abuses in Libya must be "judged", adding that he does "not support repression in the face of criticism". He maintains his condemnation of the international military intervention.

11:10pm Al-Arabiya television reports that two explosions have shaken the Aziziyah gate area of Tripoli.

11:05pm Anita McNaught in Tripoli reports that the airstrikes in the Tajoura district of Tripoli targetted bases used by the Khamis brigade, one of the "better armed brigades" that is loyal to Muammar Gaddafi. She says these bases have been repeatedly targetted, and that this could be because they are said to have "underground facilities".

She also says that very few people have been comfortable speaking to the press expressing opposition to Gaddafi, as doing so in February resulted in "unpleasant consequences" for many people. She reports that people who do speak, do so quietly, and say they are waiting for things to change.

10:55pm The images below were taken at a hospital in the town of Mizdah, about 180km south of Tripoli. They show the damage caused by an explosion at a nearby army ammunition depot. Libyan officials say the depot was hit by a coalition airstrike, and that the ensuing explosion damaged buildings up to 15km away.

10:30pm Nick Clegg, the UK's deputy prime minister, says that the military intervention in Libya is fundamentally different from the war in Iraq. He has called for a new era of "multilateralism" during comments made in Mexico City.

The lesson of Iraq is not that intervention in support of liberal aims is always wrong. The lesson of Iraq is that any such action must only and must always be multilateral sanctioned and driven by humanitarian concerns ... The action in Libya doesn't signal a return to the trigger-happy policies of the past. It represents a responsible collective decision to intervene on clear and moral grounds.

"A new 'axis of openness' is forming."

10:27pm Carl Levin, a US Senator, says he may approach the US Congress seeking full congressional approval for US military action in Libya.

Levin, a Democrat, says he will speak to Harry Reid, the Senate Majority leader, about the prospects for a vote on the military action, which so far, while hotly debated, has not faced any test of approval amongst US lawmakers.

Levin says Barack Obama, the US president, has said that he would "welcome" a vote.

10:05pm Members of the Dutch parliament have blasted the cabinet over a botched rescue mission by three Dutch marines, who were easily captured by Libyan forces soon after their helicopter touched down near the town of Sirte on February 27.

Harry van Bommel, an opposition lawmaker, called the operation "inexplicable and irresponsible", and Uri Rosenthal, the foreign minister, has admitted that a miscalculation may have been made.

9:12pm Reuters names the French envoy to Benghazi as Antoine Sivan, who will act as the diplomat "in charge of relations with the Libyan National Council". Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, has confirmed that an envoy has been appointed, but did not name him.
9:06pm Anita McNaught, our correspondent in Tripoli, reports that the explosions reported in the capital earlier today were missile strikes on a military base in the Tajoura district.