Qaddafi Dismisses Libya's 'Traitors' As EU Mulls Military Humanitarian Mission
Last updated (GMT/UTC): 09.03.2011 11:26
Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi has dismissed rebels as "traitors" as his forces continued to attack rebel-held towns with air strikes, tanks, and artillery.
In a speech to supporters broadcast by state television, Qaddafi said the United States, France, and Britain were conspiring against Libya to get control of its oil fields.
The European Union's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, meanwhile told the EU parliament in Strasbourg that the bloc is considering sending a military mission to Libya to help evacuation efforts and address the humanitarian crisis.
A meeting of EU foreign ministers on March 10 and an EU summit the next day will be dedicated to the situation in Libya.
Meantime, media reports say three private planes reportedly belonging to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi had taken off from an airport near the capital, Tripoli. One plane had crossed Greek airspace en route to Egypt.
The reports -- citing sources in the Greek defense ministry -- said it was not known who was on board the plane.
In Libya, intense fighting was reported in Zawiyah, the closest rebel-held city to Tripoli, with witnesses saying up to 50 tanks were taking part in the siege of the city.
Government warplanes also targeted rebel positions around Ras Lanuf and Bin Jawad in the rebel-held east.
Western powers have been considering imposing a no-fly zone above Libya.
compiled from agency reports