Babylon & Beyond

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LIBYA: Warship defects to Malta

February 22, 2011 |  7:03 pm

Libyalatest A Libyan warship arrived in Malta on Tuesday after its crew refused to carry out orders to bomb Benghazi, the satellite network Al Jazeera reported.

A second Libyan ship has also reportedly been sighted in the area, the network reported.

A Libyan pilot, speaking from Switzerland, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that he had flown a planeload of mercenaries into Libya. The pilot said he did not realize what he was doing at the time, according to Al Jazeera, but that the group was chanting, although the members did not speak Arabic.

He urged fellow pilots not to go to work or answer their phones, Al Jazeera reported. He said that, in the chaos of Tripoli, they would not be found and he was sure that they and their families would be safe as the regime collapsed and lost power, according to Al Jazeera.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske

Photo: Graffiti targeting Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi appear on the walls of the burned City Council building Tuesday in the eastern port city of Tobruk. Libyan soldiers in the city told a Reuters correspondent that they no longer backed Kadafi and that the eastern region was out of his control. Residents said the city was now in the hands of the people and had been so for about three days. The Arabic graffiti read: "Enough for 41 [years]," referring to Kadafi's four-decade rule in the country. Credit: Asmaa Waguih / Reuters