UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.S. envoy to the United Nations told the Security Council on Thursday that troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi were increasingly engaging in sexual violence and some had been issued the impotency drug Viagra, diplomats said.
Several U.N. diplomats who attended a closed-door Security Council meeting on Libya told Reuters that U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice raised the Viagra issue in the context of increasing reports of sexual violence by Gaddafi's troops.
"Rice raised that in the meeting but no one responded," a diplomat said on condition of anonymity. The allegation was first reported by a British newspaper.
Pfizer Inc's drug Viagra is used to treat impotence.
Diplomats said if it were true that Gaddafi's troops were being issued Viagra, it could indicate they were being encouraged by their commanders to engage in rape to terrorize the population in areas that have supported the rebels. That would constitute a war crime.
Several diplomats said Rice provided no evidence for the Viagra allegation, which they said was made in an attempt to persuade doubters the conflict in Libya was not just a standard civil war but a much nastier fight in which Gaddafi is not afraid to order his troops to commit heinous acts.
"She spoke of reports of soldiers getting Viagra and raping," a diplomat said. "She spoke of Gaddafi's soldiers targeting children, and other atrocities."
RAPE AS WEAPON?
Rice's statement, diplomats said, was aimed principally at countries like India, Russia and China, which have grown increasingly skeptical of the effectiveness of the NATO-led air strikes, which they fear have turned the conflict into a protracted civil war that will cause many civilian deaths.
Most council members, diplomats said, had expected Gaddafi's government to collapse quickly. They said the frustration felt by India, Russia and China would likely grow if the war dragged on.
The use of rape as a weapon during wartime has received increasing attention at the United Nations. Last year, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a special envoy on sexual violence during armed conflict, Margot Wallstrom.
Earlier this month, Wallstrom chided the Security Council for failing to mention sexual violence in two recent resolutions on Libya, despite having made the subject a priority.
Wallstrom said at the time that reports of rape in Libya remained unconfirmed but she cited the highly publicized case of Eman al-Obaidi, the woman who burst into a journalists' hotel in Tripoli last month saying she had been raped by pro-government militiamen.
The International Criminal Court is already investigating whether Gaddafi's government committed war crimes in its violent crackdown against demonstrators who demanded greater freedoms. The crackdown sparked a rebellion that has turned into a civil war.
The U.S. mission to the United Nations declined to comment.
By Louis Charbonneau taken from http://ca.news.yahoo.com/u-says-gaddafi-troops-raping-issued-viagra-envoys-213303457.html
KABUL, Afghanistan – A senior U.S. defense official says all eight of the military troops and the contractor killed by an Afghan pilot Wednesday in Kabul were Americans.
The official says it is not certain what branch of the military the troops were in. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the information has not yet been made public.
Officials said it was the deadliest episode to date of an Afghan turning against his own coalition partners.
The shooting took place in an Afghan Air Corps meeting room at Kabul airport. Officials said a veteran Afghan military pilot fired on the foreigners after an argument.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Eight NATO troops and a contractor died Wednesday after an Afghan military pilot opened fire in a meeting — the deadliest episode to date of an Afghan turning against his own coalition partners, officials said.
The Afghan officer, who was a veteran military pilot, fired on the foreigners after an argument. The shooting occurred in an operations room of the Afghan Air Corps at Kabul airport.
"Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started," said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Col. Bahader, who uses only one name. "After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away."
The nationalities of the eight NATO service members have not been released.
Five Afghan soldiers were wounded. At least one Afghan soldier was shot — in the wrist — but most of the soldiers suffered broken bones and cuts, Bahader said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the shooting and offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims. He said those killed were trainers and advisers for the Afghan air force. The president ordered his defense and security officials to investigate the recent incidents to determine why they occurred.
It was the seventh time so far this year that members of the Afghan security forces, or insurgents impersonating them, have killed coalition soldiers or members of the Afghan security forces.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the gunman, who was killed during the shooting, was impersonating an army officer and that others at the facility helped him gain access.
However, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the gunman was an Afghan military pilot of 20 years.
"An argument happened between him and the foreigners and we have to investigate that," Azimi said.
An Afghan pilot who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the gunman was Ahmad Gul, a 50-year-old pilot from Tarakhail district of Kabul province.
Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on government and military installations across Afghanistan.
_On April 18, an insurgent managed to sneak past security at the heavily fortified Afghan Defense Ministry compound in the capital and killed two Afghan soldiers and an officer.
_Two days before that, an Afghan soldier walked into a meeting of NATO trainers and Afghan troops at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan and detonated a vest of explosives hidden underneath his uniform. The blast, the worst before Wednesday's shooting, killed six American troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter.
_On April, 15, a suicide bomber dressed as a policeman blew himself up inside the Kandahar police headquarters complex, killing the top law enforcement officer in the restive southern province.
_In northwest Afghanistan, a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform shot and killed two American military personnel on April 4 in Faryab. The gunman was upset over the recent burning of the Quran at a Florida church, according to NATO intelligence officials.
_In February, an Afghan soldier, who felt he had been personally offended by his German partners, shot and killed three German soldiers and wounded six others in the northern province of Baghlan.
_In January, an Afghan solider killed an Italian soldier and wounded another in Badghis province. The two soldiers were cleaning their weapons at a combat outpost when an Afghan soldier approached them with an M16 rifle and asked to use their equipment to clean his gun. The Italians saw that the Afghan soldier's rifle was loaded and asked him to unload it, at which point the Afghan soldier shot the two Italians and escaped from the base.
Before the airport shooting, the coalition had recorded 20 incidents since March 2009 where a member of the Afghan security forces or someone wearing a uniform used by them attacked coalition forces, killing a total of 36. It is not known how many of the 282,000 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed in these type of incidents.
According to information compiled by NATO, half of the 20 incidents involved the impersonation of an Afghan policeman or soldier. The cause of the other 10 incidents were attributed to combat stress or unknown reasons. NATO said that so far, there is no solid evidence — despite Taliban assertions — that any insurgent has joined the Afghan security forces for the sole purpose of conducting attacks on coalition or Afghan forces.
By RAHIM FAIEZ and LOLITA C. BALDOR taken from http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_afghanistan