Libya: UK Apache helicopters used in Nato attacks

UK Apache attack helicopters have been used over Libya for the first time, Nato has confirmed.

They attacked and destroyed two military installations, a radar site and an armed checkpoint near Brega, the Captain of HMS Ocean told the BBC.

The Apaches are understood to have faced incoming fire.

French Gazelle helicopters also took part in simultaneous attacks on different targets in Libya for the first time.

On Wednesday, Nato extended its mission in Libya by 90 days.

Major General Nick Pope, the chief of the defence staff's strategic communications officer, said:"The Apaches were tasked with precision strikes against a regime radar installation and a military checkpoint, both located around Brega.

"Hellfire missiles and 30mm cannon were used to destroy the targets. The helicopters then returned safely to HMS Ocean."

He said the targets had been "carefully and rigorously selected" and said intelligence about the positions of the Gaddafi forces had been improving "despite their efforts to conceal themselves".

Defence Secretary Liam Fox added: "The attack helicopter is yet another potent and formidable aircraft type which has now been added to the Nato forces engaged on this operation. Those who are still supporting Colonel Gaddafi would do well to realise that the best way to remove themselves from danger is to understand that their future lies with the Libyan people, not a discredited regime."