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NATO Denies Libyan Forces Hit Warship

Libya's National Oil Corporation Chairman Shokri Ghanem
NATO has denied a report that Libyan forces hit one of its warships off the coast near Misurata.

NATO said the report on Libyan state television was "totally fabricated."

Earlier, at least seven people were reported killed in fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi in Misurata, which is controlled by the rebels.

Meanwhile, a Tunisian security source said the chairman of Libya's National Oil Corporation had defected to neighboring Tunisia.

Analysts said the defection of Shokri Ghanem would deal a major blow to Qaddafi's efforts to shore up his 41-year rule.

Earlier in Moscow, Russian officials met with Qaddafi representatives and called on Tripoli to stop using force against civilians, comply fully with UN Security Council resolutions, and withdraw armed groups from cities.

compiled from agency reports