16 May 2011

UK army chief calls for intensified Libya attacks

8:51 am on 16 May 2011

The head of the British armed forces, General Sir David Richards, says NATO must intensify its air campaign in Libya by bombing a wider range of targets or risk allowing Muammar Gaddafi to cling to power.

General Richards told the Sunday Telegraph that the alliance should launch direct attacks against the infrastructure propping up the Libya's leader's adminstration, to demonstrate that he must go.

But the UN's under-secretary general for humanitarian relief, Baroness Amos, told the BBC there was an urgent need for an end to the conflict and she was concerned that "any upscaling" in the fighting would have a significant impact on innocent civilians.

British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said there had already been an extension of the targeting in Libya.

An international coalition began carrying out strikes on forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi in March, under a UN mandate to protect Libyan civilians.