U.S. military attack three Libyan ships in Misrata

ROME, (Reuters) – U.S. forces attacked three Libyan ships, including a coast guard vessel, to stop them firing indiscriminately at merchant ships in the port of Misrata, military officials said today.

The action on Monday night was against the Libyan coast guard vessel Vittoria and two smaller craft. The Vittoria was beached. One of the smaller craft was destroyed and the other abandoned, the U.S. Sixth Fleet said in a statement.

The statement from the fleet flagship’s home port in southern Italy said the the U.S. forces involved were an Air Force A-10 thurderbolt attack aircraft, the guided missile destroyer USS Barry, and a Navy P-3C maritime patrol aircraft.

The statement said the attack took place after “confirmed reports Vittoria and accompanying craft were firing indiscriminately at merchant vessels” in the port of the city 200 km (120 miles) east of Tripoli.

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