UN denounces Libya 'war crimes', NATO extends air blitz

Muammar Gaddafi
Tripoli, June 1: The UN today (June 2) accused both Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's regime and opposition forces of committing war crimes in their 15-week conflict, as NATO extended its Libya air war by three months.

Libyan Oil Minister Shukri Ghanem announced in Italy meanwhile that he had resigned and left Libya to join the uprising against Gaddafi "to fight for a democratic country." And on the ground in Libya, a huge blast rocked a major hotel used by journalists and diplomats in Benghazi, the rebels' bastion in the east of the country, an AFP correspondent said.

There were no immediate reports of casualties and the cause of the blast, which occurred in the parking lot of the Tibesti hotel and wrecked two cars, was not clear.

"In accordance with its mandate to look also at crimes committed in Libya, the commission has ... reached the conclusion that crimes against humanity and war crimes have been committed by the government forces of Libya," said the UN Human Rights Council in a statement issued in Geneva.

"The commission received fewer reports of facts which would amount to the commission of international crimes by opposition forces, however did find some acts which would constitute war crimes," it added.

The 47-member UN Human Rights Council set up the investigation into suspected crimes against humanity in February after Gaddafi's regime dispatched Libya's army and air force to fire on civilians when they staged a popular uprising. 


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