TRIPOLI, March 27 (Reuters) - Libya accused NATO on Sunday of “terrorising” and killing its people as part of a global plot to humiliate and weaken the North African country.
The government says Western-led air attacks have killed more than 100 civilians, a charge denied by the coalition which says it is protecting civilians from Gadaffi’s forces and targeting only military sites to enforce a no-fly zone.
“The terror people live in, the fear, the tension is everywhere. And these are civilians who are being terrorised every day,” said Mussa Ibrahim, a Libyan government spokesman.
“We believe the unnecessary continuation of the air strikes is a plan to put the Libyan government in a weak negotiating position. NATO is prepared to kill people, destroy army training camps and army checkpoints and other locations.”
Earlier on Sunday, NATO officials said the alliance had agreed to take command of military operations in Libya. [nLDE72Q0ES]
Ibrahim acknowledged that rebel forces in the east were advancing westwards but declined to give any details on the retreat of government troops.
“The rebels are making their advances,” he said.
“(Western nations) are starving the Libyan population, (they want) to put Libya on its knees, to beg for mercy.
“It’s a very simple plan. We can see it happening in front of our eyes. They are not trying to protect civilians.”
Ibrahim said three Libyan civilian sailors were killed in a coalition air strike on a fishing harbour in the city of Sirte on Saturday. (Writing by Maria Golovnina)