Libyan TV shows 1 captured Dutch marine is woman

AP News
Posted: Mar 04, 2011 12:13 PM
Libyan TV shows 1 captured Dutch marine is woman

Libyan state television images appear to show that at least one of three Dutch marines captured in Libya after a botched evacuation mission is a woman.

Dutch government officials refused Friday to confirm any details of the identity or the gender of the marines, amid intense diplomacy to secure their release.

Footage aired by Libyan state TV purported to show two of the marines, a man and a woman, as well as their Lynx helicopter that was seized by armed men loyal to Moammar Gadhafi on Sunday. The footage also shows weapons and other equipment alleged to be from the helicopter, including a large machine gun, ammunition, cash and what appears to be a two-way radio.

The Dutch Cabinet discussed the plight of the captured marines at its regular Friday meeting, but Prime Minister Mark Rutte refused to reveal any details.

"Everything is focused on getting the three safely back to the Netherlands," he said.

Holding three marines from a NATO member state could complicate any possible outside military help for anti-government protesters, such as enforcing a no-fly zone to prevent Gadhafi's forces hitting rebels with air strikes.

U.S. President Barack Obama insisted Thursday he is considering every intervention option, including military pressure, along with America's allies.