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Libya town shelled as France urges NATO action

April 12, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
As Moammar Gadhafi's forces shelled the only major city in the western half of Libya that remains under partial rebel control Tuesday, France urged NATO to do more.

Weeks of fierce government bombardment of Misrata have terrorized the city's residents. According to residents, doctors and rights groups, dozens are dead and food and medical supplies are scarce.

In an interview on France-Info radio, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe said NATO's actions are "not enough" and that the alliance should be firing on the weapons being used by Gadhafi's troops to target civilians in Misrata.

"NATO has to play its role in full. NATO wanted to take the military command of the operations," Juppe said. He also urged the EU to do more to get humanitarian aid to Misrata.

A NATO general rejected the criticism and said the alliance is performing well and protecting civilians.

"I think with the assets we have, we're doing a great job," said Dutch Brig. Gen. Mark Van Uhm.

NATO took over command of the operation over Libya from the U.S. on March 31.

Libya's former foreign minister Moussa Koussa is traveling to Qatar to take part in a conference on Libya. He's expected to share his insight into the workings of Gadhafi's inner circle.

Rebels rejected a ceasefire proposal brokered by the African Union, saying they won't accept a plan that does not require Gadhafi to give up power.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.