Two Libyan Fighter Pilots Defect Rather Than Bomb Protesters
Posted on Feb 21, 2011
Two Libyan air force colonels landed their Mirage F-1 fighter jets in Malta on Monday, explaining that they were ordered to bomb protesters in Benghazi, Libya’s second-largest city, and chose instead to flee.
Many of the country’s diplomats around the world, appalled by their government’s vicious assault on protesters, have resigned.
The two Mirage F1 jets touched down in Malta after the pilots said they urgently needed to refuel and sought emergency clearance to land. The Times of Malta reported on its website the pilots had told officials they flew to the island after being ordered to bomb protesters occupying Libya’s second-biggest city of Benghazi.
One report said they had also brought with them two other members of the Libyan armed forces. The pilots – both colonels – said that, after taking off from Okba Ben Nafi base, they flew low through Libyan air space to avoid radar detection.