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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Qaddafi loyalists said to inflict heavy casualties on foes; U.N. Council eases Libyan sanctions


Muammar Qaddafi loyalists have inflicted heavy losses on fighters of Libya’s new rulers in Bani Walid and are prepared for a long fight, a spokesman for Qaddafi said on Friday in audio comments broadcast on a Syria-based television station, as the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution to ease sanctions against Libya.

“The battle is far from over,” Moussa Ibrahim told Arrai television. “We have prepared ourselves for a long war. We have the equipment and the weapons,” he said, according to Reuters.

Many anti-Qaddafi fighters were killed or captured in Bani Walid, he said.

The Security Council, meanwhile, unanimously passed a resolution to ease economic and military sanctions against Libya and set up a U.N. mission to help the interim government.

The resolution was passed only hours after the U.N. General Assembly voted to give the National Transitional Council Libya’s seat at the U.N., formally ending its recognition of Qaddafi’s government.

The council has lifted U.N. asset freezes and other measures against Libyan National Oil Corporation and Zueitina Oil Company, and eases sanctions against the central bank, Libyan Arab Foreign Bank, Libyan Investment Authority and Libyan African Investment Portfolio, AFP reported.

Measures against Qaddafi, his family and associates are maintained. The former Libyan leader, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court, is now on the run.

The Security Council expressed concern at the “proliferation of arms in Libya and its potential impact on regional peace and security.”

But the resolution allows arms supplies and technical assistance to Libya’s transitional government for the security of the authorities and for the protection of U.N. personnel, media and aid workers in the country.

A no-fly zone which has been used to justify NATO air strikes in Libya against Qaddafi targets was maintained. But Russia’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin demanded that the no-fly zone be quickly reviewed, renewing allegations that NATO has diverted U.N. resolutions.

Al Arabiya

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