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Updated: April 8, 2011 15:24 IST

NATO says its planes struck Libyan rebels

AP
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An injured Libyan rebel fighter bandages his wounded leg by himself at the overcrowded hospital of Ajdabiya, Libya on Thursday. Rebel fighters claimed NATO airstrikes blasted their forces on Thursday in another apparent mistake that sharply escalated anger about coordination with the military alliance in efforts to cripple Libyan forces. Photo: AP.
An injured Libyan rebel fighter bandages his wounded leg by himself at the overcrowded hospital of Ajdabiya, Libya on Thursday. Rebel fighters claimed NATO airstrikes blasted their forces on Thursday in another apparent mistake that sharply escalated anger about coordination with the military alliance in efforts to cripple Libyan forces. Photo: AP.

At least five rebel fighters were killed on Thursday when their combat convoy was hit by a NATO airstrike. Rear Admiral Harding, deputy commander of the NATO operation, says the military alliance will not appologize for those deaths.

NATO says its planes have struck rebels using tanks in their fight with the government forces in eastern Libya.

Rear Admiral Russell Harding, the deputy commander of the NATO operation, says NATO had no previous information the rebels were operating tanks.

At least five rebel fighters were killed on Thursday when their combat convoy was hit by a NATO airstrike. Rear Admiral Harding says the military alliance will not appologize for those deaths.

He says the situation between the towns of Brega and Ajdabiya remains fluid, with the opposing forces engaged in a series of advances and retreats, making it difficult for pilots to distinguish between them.

Rear Admiral Harding said on Friday that NATO jets had conducted 318 sorties and struck 23 targets in the past 48 hours.

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