NATO sinks boat carrying Gaddafi troops

Canadian F18 jet fighters in NATO

From Slobodan Lekic, the AP:  NATO warplanes sunk a tugboat carrying troops loyal to Moammar Gadhafi away from the strategic western city of Zawiya as rebels advanced closer to the Libyan capital, the alliance said Friday.

The attack struck the boat Wednesday as rebels in Zawiya laid siege to Libya’s last functioning oil refinery in a symbolic coup for the opposition, although government forces still hold the center.

An officer with the alliance said the boat was targeted because the troops on board were “threatening civilians,” but he declined to elaborate on the threat.

“They weren’t fleeing, they were continuing their attacks against local civilian population,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity according to NATO policy. He said a rescue attempt was made after aircraft spotted several individuals swimming toward a nearby buoy.  (photo: Getty)

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