India gravely concerned over air strikes on Libya: Krishna

March 21st, 2011 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

New Delhi, Mar. 21 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna on Monday said the Indian Government is gravely concerned about the ongoing violence in Libya, and has expressed regret about the air strikes launched by Western countries on that nation.

In a statement aired by television channels, Krishna said New Delhi was also concerned about the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Libya.

“I am sure the air strikes will lead to more harm of innocent civilians, diplomatic missions….We call on all countries to abjure violence and the use of threat. India will exert influence in international fora to prevent further violence,” Krishna said in his statement.

Krishna’s statement came even as media reported more air strikes involving warplanes and missiles against air defence targets in Libya.

Missiles were fired from a British submarine in the area. A building inside Colonel Muammar Gaddafi’s compound inside Tripoli, and which the coalition said was a command centre, was destroyed an overnight missile strike.

Libyan Information Ministry spokesman Ibraham Moussa said Gaddafi was being targeted by the coalition and that citizens were volunteering to be human shields.

However US Vice Admiral William Gortney denied this allegation.

‘I can guarantee he’s (Gaddafi) not on the targeting list. We’re not targeting his residence,’ Vice Admiral Gortney said.

NATO has said it has agreed that an arms embargo should be enforced, although there has been some disagreement because of concerns from Turkey, which has blocked plans to enforce the no-fly zone.

Further discussions are to take place later today.

Meanwhile, United States Defence Secretary, Robert Gates said his country expects to handover military operations to either Britain, France or NATO in a matter of days.

A Libyan government health official has said 64 people have been killed since the military operations began early yesterday morning.

However, those numbers have yet to be confirmed.

The Ambassador of the League of Arab States to the United States, Hussein Hassouna, has criticised the severity of the bombardment.

However, Hassouna said the league still supports the military action against the Libyan regime. (ANI)

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