9:50am

Wed February 23, 2011
The Two-Way

Latest On Libya: Pilot Refuses To Bomb Benghazi; Gadhafi Ordered Lockerbie?

Just in:

-- Reuters writes that "a Libyan air force plane crashed near the eastern city of Benghazi after its crew bailed out because they refused to carry out orders to bomb the city, Libya's Quryna newspaper cited a military source as saying."

There's a very rough English translation of that Quryna story here.

-- The Associated Press reports that the Swedish tabloid Expressen "says Libya's recently resigned justice minister claims Moammar Gadhafi personally ordered the Lockerbie bombing that killed 270 people in 1988."

Expressen's website is here. The main headline doesn't need translation: "Khadaffi gav order om Lockerbiebomb."

-- The AP also reports that "militiamen loyal to Moammar Gadhafi clamped down in Tripoli, with the sound of gunfire ringing in the air, while protesters who control much of the eastern half of Libya claimed new gains in cities and towns closer to the heart of Gadhafi's regime in the capital."

-- NPR's Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who is in eastern Libya, reports that "all through the streets, you see men in uniform — either police or army — but they have basically gone over to the other side. And they are keeping the peace. They're working with pro-democracy forces. They no longer are loyal to Gadhafi."

NPR's Andy Carvin (@acarvin) continues to monitor reports on Twitter about events in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and elsewhere.

Update at 11:55 a.m. ET: From Benghazi, The Guardian's Martin Chulov reports that he has seen "defecting troops pouring into the courtyard of a ransacked police station carrying tonnes of weaponry and ammunition looted from a military armoury to stop it being seized by forces loyal to the Libyan dictator. ... The former Libyan flag, dating from the reign of the monarch ousted by Gaddafi, King Idris, is flying above ransacked government buildings on the waterfront."

And on his Twitter page, Chulov says that "Ghaddafi's house in benghazi ransacked by looters."

(Note: while we follow Associated Press style and write "Moammar Gadhafi," other news outlets spell the Libyan leader's name differently.)

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET: "Protesters in Misurata [Libya] said on Wednesday they had wrested the western city from government control," Al-Jazeera reports. "In a statement on the internet, army officers stationed in the city pledged 'total support for the protesters.' " Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.