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'Rebels in Libya capture British special forces'

March 6, 2011 15:19

Source says forces being held due to safety concerns, expects end to situation soon; British defense secretary refuses to confirm reports.

Libya: Rebel fighters wait for pro-Gaddafi forces

Libya rebels waiting for a fight 311 Reu. (photo credit:Asmaa Waguih / Reuters)

Rebels in eastern Libya have captured members of the British special forces, but the group are being treated well and the issue will be resolved shortly, a source in the rebel movement said on Sunday.

British Defense Secretary Liam Fox on Sunday said he could not confirm the reports. "We have a small British diplomatic team in Benghazi," Fox said.

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"We are in touch with them. I can't say more," the British defense secretary explained during an interview with the BBC.

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The Sunday Times had earlier reported that Libyan rebels had captured a British special forces unit in the east after a secret diplomatic mission to make contact with opposition leaders backfired.

"They (the rebel army) did capture some British special forces. They could not ascertain if they were friends or foes. For our safety we are holding them and we expect this situation to be resolved soon," said the source in rebel-held Benghazi.

"They are safe and in good hands. We do not know why they (British government) did not get in touch first or (detail) the purpose of their mission," he told Reuters.

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