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LIBYA: NATO forces assist hunt for Kadafi

August 25, 2011 |  8:15 am

Kadafimural NATO intelligence and reconnaissance forces were being used to track down Moammar Kadafi on Thursday.

"I can confirm that NATO is providing intelligence and reconnaissance assets to the NTC to help them track down Col. Kadafi and other remnants of the regime," British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said of the National Transitional Council, the rebel government, while talking to Sky News

Fox declined to confirm whether troops from Britain's elite Special Air Service or Special Boat Service were involved in the effort to locate Kadafi.

“We never comment about special forces, not least because if we were to use them under those circumstances it would compromise their security,” Fox told BBC Radio 4.

He said the effort had picked up in recent days.

“Last night, NATO was more active than we have been in recent days in terms of air activity against the resisting elements,” Fox told the Associated Press.

European officials have confirmed in recent days that small numbers of British, French, Qatari and other special forces have been working inside Libya in recent months.

The United States is the largest contributor to NATO, but there was no immediate word from Washington about U.S. military resources being used in the hunt for Kadafi.

A Western diplomat, who spoke with the Associated Press on condition of anonymity, said special forces from some NATO nations — operating outside the alliance's command structure — may now be engaged in the hunt for Kadafi. In Brussels, a NATO spokeswoman declined to comment Thursday, saying only that the alliance does not discuss intelligence matters.

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--Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: A bullet-riddled mural depicting Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi and reading "The leader of victory and challenge" is pictured in Tripoli on Thursday. Hardened fighters streamed into Tripoli as Libya's rebels sought to defeat Kadafi loyalists and, backed by NATO, to flush out the elusive strongman. Credit: Filippo Monteforte/Agence France Presse/Getty Images.

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