Rebel says own plane downed over Benghazi

BENGHAZI, Libya Sat Mar 19, 2011 4:46pm GMT

BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A warplane was shot down on Saturday over the Libyan city of Benghazi and an opposition activist said it was a rebel fighter jet hit by accident.

Azeldin al-Sharif, an opposition activist, said rebel forces had brought the plane down by mistake over the city of Benghazi.

The city came under attack from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi on Saturday, including air strikes by planes loyal to the government.

"The fighter jet that was brought down this morning, was a revolutionary fighter jet and was hit by mistake. There is no communication on the ground," said Sharif, head of the British-Libyan Solidarity Campaign.

Earlier, Reuters correspondent Angus MacSwan described seeing the warplane come down.

"I saw the plane circle around, come out of the clouds, head toward an apparent target, and then it was hit and went straight down in flames and a huge billow of black smoke went up," he said.

(Reporting by Angus MacSwan and Mohammed Abbas; Writing by Tom Perry in Cairo; Editing by Sophie Hares)

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Comments (11)
Airdoc wrote:
Since when did they have their own aircraft? They aren’t trained enough to know how to shoot their own weapons correctly and they have jet fighters? Who is flying them and why do we have to have a no fly zone then?

Mar 19, 2011 6:13pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
CppThis wrote:
And these are the guys we’re willing to sacrifice troops to hand Gaddafi’s power over to? Interesting…

Mar 19, 2011 6:19pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
JohnSvengali wrote:
Did the pilot eject? These dummies on the ground should know if the plane ISN’T shooting at them, he’s friendly. For a jet to be downed by conventional anti-aircraft weaponry, it has to be moving fairly slow and not evading.

Mar 19, 2011 6:22pm GMT  --  Report as abuse
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