COMMENT: More propaganda, or greater sign of enlarging military engagement?

Ashish Kumar Sen
Washington Times
May 5, 2011

Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s troops in and around the rebel-held western Libyan city of Misrata have been issued gas masks, a sign that the regime may be preparing to use chemical weapons, rebels told The Washington Times on Wednesday.

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The regime is thought to have about 9 tons of poisonous mustard gas at a secret desert location near Col. Gadhafi’s hometown, Sirte, multiple sources in Libya said.

Meanwhile, in New York, a special prosecutor for the International Criminal Court appeared before the U.N. Security Council to describe what he called “evidence” of “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilians by Col. Gadhafi’s forces.

Rebels received what they called reliable eyewitness accounts from Misrata residents who reported seeing gas masks distributed to Col. Gadhafi’s forces, said Mohamed, a spokesman in Misrata who asked that his last name be withheld.

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