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CIA sends teams to Libya

March 30, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
An American official and former U.S. intelligence officer told The Associated Press that CIA operatives were sent to Libya this month after the agency's station in the capital was forced to close. CIA officers also assisted in rescuing one of two crew members of an F-15E Strike Eagle that crashed, they said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the information.

A new wave of allied air strikes may be under way in Libya, as rebels retreat from the key port city of Ras Lanouf.

A new wave of allied air strikes may be under way in Libya on Wednesday morning, as rebel forces retreat from three separate towns, including the key port city of Ras Lanouf.

Forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi ramped up their attacks after rebels advanced within 60 miles of Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte.

NATO planes flew over the zone where the heaviest fighting was under way and an Associated Press reporter at the scene heard explosions, indicating a new wave of airstrikes against Gadhafi's forces.

"The circle around Gadhafi understands that the noose is tightening, that their days are probably numbered," said President Barack Obama.

U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Clint Gebke, a spokesman for the NATO operation aboard the USS Mount Whitney, said he could not confirm any specific strikes but said that western aircraft were engaging pro-Gadhafi forces.

Meantime, NATO is expected to take command of allied military operations on Wednesday.

Diplomats from more than 3 dozen countries met in London on Tuesday to discuss Libya in a potential post-Gadhafi era.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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