Libyans in Benghazi celebrate on a tank Sunday that had belonged to the forces of Moammar Gadhafi and was destroyed by NATO planes.
As a NATO-led international effort to “protect the Libyan people” enters its second day, the U.S. says its no-fly zone is now in place while Russia and the Arab League have condemned the joint attack.
Also, Libyan state TV reports that 48 civilians are dead after allied military strikes, while Britain’s Foreign Office says “Unlike Gadhafi, the coalition is not attacking civilians.”
The Guardian’s blog is an excellent source for up-to-the-minute news on the civil war in Libya. —JCL
6.13pm: The Foreign Office has released a statement in response to criticism of the bombardment of Libya by the Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, who said that the organisation wanted to see “the protection of civilians and not the bombardment of more civilians”.
The Foreign Office said:
Unlike Qadhafi, the coalition is not attacking civilians. The UN resolution authorises all necessary measures to protect the Libyan people.
For the No Fly Zone to be enforced safely, it is necessary to carry out carefully targeted operations against Libyan air defence capabilities.
All missions are meticulously planned to ensure every care is taken to avoid civilian casualties. We will continue to work with our Arab partners to enforce the resolution for the good of the Libyan people.