Explosions Rock Libyan Town Of Zintan; EU Foreign Policy Chief Arrives

by
Jackson
At least four explosions rocked the Libyan rebel-held town of Zintan on Sunday, as the foreign policy chief of the European Union arrived in the war-torn nation and a former U.S. congresswoman criticized American policy on Libyan state television.

Explosions Rock Libyan Town Of Zintan; EU Foreign Policy Chief ArrivesAt least four explosions rocked the Libyan rebel-held town of Zintan on Sunday, as the foreign policy chief of the European Union arrived in the war-torn nation and a former U.S. congresswoman criticized American policy on Libyan state television.

Rebels in Zintan, in western Libya, said they believe the explosions were from Grad rockets. It was not immediately clear whether any damage or casualties resulted.

Meanwhile, Catherine Ashton, foreign policy chief for the European Union, arrived Sunday in the Libyan rebel stronghold of Benghazi, according to military sources in the opposition's National Transitional Council. Officials earlier said the European Union would open an office in Benghazi Sunday.

"It will be an honor to meet the people who have been fighting for democracy and a better future for Libya," Ashton said in a statement released by the council. "I plan to meet key people from the National Transitional Council, civil society groups and our international partners, and will report back to EU foreign ministers on Monday.

"Opening an EU office is an important signal of our unfaltering support for the Libyan people," Ashton said. "It is the EU putting words into action."

NATO warplanes have been pounding military targets since March after the U.N. Security Council approved a resolution to protect civilians by any means necessary as Gadhafi's forces try to quash a nearly three-month revolt against Gadhafi's nearly 42 years of rule.

But former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, on Libyan state television late Saturday, decried U.S. policy, saying the "last thing we need to do is spend money on death, destruction and war."

State television is fiercely loyal to longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, and McKinney's interview was spliced with footage of what appeared to be pro-Gadhafi rallies.

"I think that it's very important that people understand what is happening here," McKinney said in the interview. "And it's important that people all over the world see the truth. And that is why I am here ... to understand the truth."

She said she was invited to Libya by the "nongovernmental organization for fact-finding," adding that she intends to bring more people to the country soon so that "they too can understand."

Gadhafi's government has repeatedly urged the international community to send fact-finding teams to Libya to report what's happening on the ground.

At one point during the interview, state TV cut to what it said were live airstrikes, hitting Gadhafi's compound.

"Is that a bomb?" McKinney asked.

"I want to say categorically and very clearly that these policies of war ... are not what the people of the United States stand for and it's not what African-Americans stand for," she told state TV.

The former Georgia representative also slammed the economic policies of U.S. President Barack Obama and said the government of the United States no longer represents the interests of the American people.

"Under the economic policies of the Obama administration, those who have the least are losing the most. And those who have the most are getting even more," she said. "The situation in the United States is becoming more dire for average ordinary Americans and the last thing we need to do is to spend money on death, destruction and war."

Separately, McKinney appeared on state-run Press TV this week in Iran. She was reported to be in Tehran attending the International Conference on Global Alliance Against Terrorism for a Just Peace.

CNN