Factbox: Latest developments in Libyan conflict

Reuters News
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Posted: Jul 19, 2011 10:09 AM
Factbox: Latest developments in Libyan conflict

(Reuters) - Following are the latest political and military developments in the Libyan crisis.

* Libyan and U.S. officials have met in secret -- Tripoli seeking talks with no preconditions, but Washington saying it delivered the clear message that Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi must go.

* The Libya-U.S. meeting was not a negotiation but the delivery of the message that Gaddafi must step down, a U.S. State Department official said, with no more meetings planned.

* Libya's foreign minister is to meet his Russian counterpart in Moscow Wednesday, Itar-Tass news agency said. The meeting, requested by the Libyans, would be first known visit by a Libyan government official to Moscow since the war began.

* Libya denied rebels had routed its forces in Brega as Libyan TV, in a bid to counter the rebel claims, showed what it said was footage taken Monday of ordinary life in Brega, with students taking an exam and workers at a natural gas plant.

* The International Energy Agency has not yet decided whether to conduct a second release of emergency oil reserves by member countries to fill a supply gap from missing Libyan output, IEA executive director Nobuo Tanaka said Tuesday.

* NATO said it conducted 129 air sorties Monday, 44 of them strike sorties that aim to identify and hit targets, but do not always deploy munitions.

* NATO said key targets hit Monday included:

-- Eight armed vehicles and two armored fighting vehicles near Brega;

-- One artillery piece, one radar, one surface-to-missile launcher, one command-and-control vehicle and one command-and-control node near Tripoli;

-- Six artillery pieces near Misrata;

-- One military storage facility near Waddan.

* Since NATO took over command of air strikes on March 31, its aircraft have conducted 15,669 sorties, including 5,902 strike sorties. NATO members participating in air strikes in Libya include France, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Italy and the United States.

* Seventeen ships under NATO command are patrolling the central Mediterranean Sea to enforce a U.N. arms embargo. On Monday, 11 vessels were hailed to determine destination and cargo. One was boarded but it was not diverted.

A total of 1,813 vessels have been hailed, 176 boarded and nine diverted since the start of the arms embargo.

(Reporting by Alysha Love)