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Apr 2, 2011 6:05 PM by AP posted By James H Egbert

Libyan rebels say airstrike kills 13 of their own but blame selves

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) - Libyan rebels say 13 of their troops were killed when they tried to advance during a NATO airstrike against Moammar Gadhafi's forces near the oil city of Brega.

Calling it an "unfortunate accident," an opposition spokesman says the incident does not diminish rebel support for the international air campaign.

Another opposition figure says it's an example of the lack of coordination in rebel ranks that has proved to be a key obstacle to victory over the more organized Libyan military. NATO says its investigating.

Ex-military officers who have joined the rebel side are stepping up training efforts and taking a greater role in the fight, in an effort to make the rebels a more competent fighting force.

Rebels control much of eastern Libya, but in the west the only significant city they hold is Misrata. It's been besieged for weeks by Gadhafi forces who have cut off water, power and food supplies.

Medical officials there say government forces have killed 37 civilians over the past two days in an unrelenting campaign of shelling and sniper fire.

 

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