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Libyan rebels welcome US drones: official

April 22, 2011

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“Drones have much better accuracy than planes flying at 30,000 feet; we hope it is going to relieve the siege in Misrata,” media liaison official Mustafa Gheriani said. –Photo by AP

BENGHAZI: Libyan rebels Friday hailed a US decision to deploy unmanned armed drones over Libya, saying they hoped the aircraft will help end the siege by Muammar Qadhafi’s troops of Misrata.

“We are so pleased,” media liaison official Mustafa Gheriani told AFP in reference to the pilotless planes. “We hope that this can bring some relief to the people in Misrata.

The drone, he said, is suited for helping break the six-week-old siege of Misrata because it is a “specialised plane that can be used in tight quarters and be more accurate at low elevations.”

“They have much better accuracy than planes flying at 30,000 feet,” he added. “We hope it is going to relieve the siege in Misrata.”

US President Barack Obama authorised deployment of missile-carrying drone warplanes over Libya “because of the humanitarian situation,” US Defence Secretary Robert Gates said on Thursday.