4 Mar 2011

International Criminal Court to investigate Gaddafi

4:59 am on 4 March 2011

The chief prosecutor at the International Criminal Court says his office is opening an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity committed during the current unrest in Libya.

Thousands of people are thought to have died after security forces targeted protesters in unrest which began in mid-February.

Luio Moreno-Ocampo says there will be no impunity.

He says members of the regime of Muammar Gaddafi are on notice that they could be held criminally responsible if forces under their command commit criminal acts.

The announcement came as Libyan air force planes launched fresh attacks on the rebel-held town of Brega in the east of the country.

A spokesperson for the rebels involved in an uprising against Colonel Gaddafi says the planes bombed the town's airport.

Brega is home to a major oil terminal and was the target of an assault by forces loyal to Colonel Gaddafi earlier this week.

Rebel forces regained control after that assault.

The ABC is reporting that bombs were also dropped on a rebel position in the nearby town of Ajdabiyah, where people armed with rocket launchers, anti-tank aircraft guns and tanks had earlier shored up defences.

There are no reports of casualties from the latest attacks.

Fourteen people died in the earlier clashes in Brega.

Exodus shows no sign of slowing

As the fighting goes on, thousands of migrant workers continue to flee from Libya and international rescue efforts are being stepped up to move people away from Tunisia's border area.

Planes chartered by Britain have begun flying people out of Tunisia and are expected to take up to 6000 Egyptian migrant workers to Cairo in coming days.

The Tunisian Government says it will provide more than 40 extra flights to transport 8000 people and the French are hoping to airlift up to 5000.