February 23, 2011 / 2:52 PM / 9 years ago

UPDAT 1-Libya crew abort bombing mission on Benghazi:report

(Adds details, background)

ALGIERS, Feb 23 (Reuters) - A Libyan air force plane crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi after its crew bailed out because they refused to carry out orders to bomb the city, Libya’s Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying.

Quryna’s online version quoted the source, a colonel at an air base near Benghazi, as saying captain Attia Abdel Salem al Abdali and his number two Ali Omar Gaddafi bailed out of the Russian-made Sukhoi-22 plane and parachuted to earth.

The aircraft, which took off from Tripoli, came down near the city of Ajdabiya, 160 km (100 miles) south-west of Benghazi, the newspaper said.

Benghazi and most of eastern Libya has not been under central control since an uprising last week against the rule of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

In a televised speech on Tuesday night, Gaddafi threatened violence against groups who were defying his rule.

Benghazi-based Quryna is Libya’s most reliable media outlet. It was owned by a media group linked to Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam but since Tripoli lost control over Benghazi it has begun to report openly on events in the city and further afield. (Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed; writing by Christian Lowe; editing by Philippa Fletcher)

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