Pro-Gadhafi guards have raped child detainees, and Libyan rebels are abusing children and holding foreign mercenaries as prisoners, Amnesty International charged Thursday, calling on both sides to respect prisoners. The London-based rights group said it gathered testimony from prisoners and survivors of the conflict in the capital, Tripoli, where rebel forces have been clashing with remnants of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in a battle for control of the city. Rice Photos: Libyan rebels who took control
of Moammar Gadhafi’s sprawling compound made a surprising discovery in one of the buildings: a photo album with pictures of Condoleezza Rice. Gaddafi had previously hinted at an admiration for Rice. In an interview with Al-Jazeera television in 2007, he hinted that then-President George W. Bush’s top diplomat wielded considerable influence in the Arab world. “I support my darling black African woman,” he said at the time. “I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. … Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. … I love her very much. I admire her, and I’m proud of her, because she’s a black woman of African origin.”
Bodies found: The discovery of bodies scattered around a grassy square next to Gadhafi’s compound raise the disturbing specter of mass killings of noncombatants, detainees and the wounded. Between Bab al-Aziziya, seized by rebels on Tuesday, and the Gadhafi stronghold of Abu Salim, where fighting raged Thursday, AP reporters saw about two dozen bodies.
U.S.: Not in the Hunt: The Pentagon pushed back on assertions Thursday that either NATO or the U.S. military is actively engaged in a manhunt for Gadhafi, underscoring ongoing sensitivities over the strict parameters of the U.N. mission. Marine Col. David Lapan said the United States is conducting aerial surveillance of Libya in support of NATO’s mission to protect civilians from attack by government forces. But he said this does not amount to targeting Gadhafi, whose whereabouts are unknown.
Mostly Secure: The Obama administration says it’s confident that Libya’s raw nuclear material and deadly chemicals are secure. But the United States doesn’t know how many shoulder-fired rockets are loose in Libya and who might have them. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says sensitive elements of Libya’s nuclear program were removed by 2009. She said U.S. intelligence indicates that the remaining uranium concentrate is safe at a research facility, and Gadhafi’s store of mustard agent is in heavy bunkers.
Fleeing Tripoli: The International Organization for Migration says a ship chartered to rescue foreigners from Tripoli has left for Benghazi with more than 200 people on board.