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Reuters) - The U.S. envoy to the United Nations told the Security Council on Thursday that troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were increasingly engaging in sexual violence and some had been issued the impotency drug Viagra, diplomats said.Several U.N. diplomats who attended a closed-door Security Council meeting on Libya told Reuters that U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice raised the Viagra issue in the context of increasing reports of sexual violence by Gaddafi's troops."Rice raised that in the meeting but no one responded," a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. The allegation was first reported by a British newspaper.
Diplomats said if it were true that Gaddafi's troops were being issued Viagra, it could indicate they were being encouraged by their commanders to engage in rape to terrorize the population in areas that have supported the rebels. That would constitute a war crime.Several diplomats said Rice provided no evidence for the Viagra allegation, which they said was made in an attempt to persuade doubters the conflict in Libya was not just a standard civil war but a much nastier fight in which Gaddafi is not afraid to order his troops to commit heinous acts.Rice's statement, diplomats said, was aimed principally at countries like India, Russia and China, which have grown increasingly skeptical of the effectiveness of the NATO-led air strikes, which they fear have turned the conflict into a protracted civil war that will cause many civilian deaths.
Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri was captured in November 2002 after becoming one of the terrorist cell's most senior members with strong links to Osama bin Laden. During interrogations at CIA camps he is said to have confessed to injecting himself with the powerful chemicals to stop himself being distracted by women.
Syria: U.N. Atomic Watchdog Director Says Bombed Syrian Site Was Reactor
The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Thursday that a target destroyed by Israeli warplanes in the Syrian desert in 2007 was a covertly built nuclear reactor, countering assertions by Syria. The United States has said the target was a reactor, and previous reports by the nuclear watchdog had suggested that it could have been. At a news conference in Paris on Friday, the agency’s director, Yukiya Amano, said the facility was “a nuclear reactor under construction.” The agency later issued a statement saying it had not concluded “that the site was definitely a nuclear reactor,” suggesting Mr. Amano’s comments did not reflect official policy.
France uses unexplosive bombs in Libya
France has started this week to use unexplosive bombs to strike targets on the ground in Libya in the hope to reduce unnecessary damage to nearby civil infrastructures and civilians, the military's spokesman Thierry Burkhard said on Thursday.
At a press conference, Burkhard said the unexplosive bombs, around 300 kilograms and stuffed with concrete mass instead of explosives, have been adopted since Tuesday to hit vehicles of Libya force loyal to Muammar Gaddafi.
The purpose to use concrete bombs was to increase accuracy of each strike and reduce unnecessary damage, he said, denying that the air operation in Libya by the foreign coalition was running short of aircraft or munitions.