Rebels in Libya hold British special forces: source

BENGHAZI, Libya/LONDON (Reuters) – Rebels in eastern Libya have captured members of a British special forces team but the issue will be resolved shortly, rebel sources said on Sunday. The Special Air Service (SAS) unit was on a secret diplomatic mission to make contact with opposition leaders involved in the struggle against Muammar Gaddafi’s government, the Sunday Times reported earlier.
The British government declined to comment on the affair. But a Libyan human rights activist with links to the rebels told Reuters that Britain was negotiating to secure their release.
“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 rebel source in 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.
Another rebel source said the group, numbering eight people carrying British diplomatic passports, were arrested about 30 km from Benghazi.
“We think this issue will be settled very swiftly,” he said.
British Defence Secretary Liam Fox said a British diplomatic team was in Benghazi but he declined to comment on whether special forces had been captured.   Continued…

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