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Qaddafi Accused of Ordering Mass Rapes Against Women

Muammar Qaddafi

May 11: In this image made from Libyan TV, Libyan leader Muammar al-Qaddafi holds a meeting with tribal leaders from eastern Libya. (AP)

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor has accused Libyan strongman Muammar al-Qaddafi of ordering mass rapes and giving Libyan troops sex drugs to encourage them to attack women, Sky News reported.

ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said during a news conference Wednesday that witnesses confirmed the Libyan government was buying containers of a Viagra-type sex drugs to encourage the rapes.

"It was never the pattern he [Qaddafi] used to control the population. The rape is a new aspect of the repression. Apparently, he decided to punish using rapes," Moreno-Ocampo said, according to Sky News.

A spokesman for the Libyan government denied the allegations.

"It's the same old nonsense. We have always asked, time and again, for people to come on the ground and investigate all accusations against us," spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told Sky News.

A spokeswoman for Pfizer -- the drug company that manufactures Viagra -- said the company is "appalled" by the allegations of rape and that it "stopped shipping all products to Libya in February, when sanctions were implemented by the international community."

These latest allegations come as more NATO airstrikes rattled the Libyan capital of Tripoli Thursday.

The intensity of the attacks suggested a return to the heavy NATO bombardment of the city on Tuesday that hit military installations across the capital and flattened major buildings in Qaddafi's sprawling compound in the center of the city. Government officials did not say what had been targeted in the Thursday bombing runs.

On Tuesday, NATO conducted its heaviest attacks on Tripoli since it began airstrikes two months ago in support of a rebel insurgency. The four-month old rebel uprising seeks to push Qaddafi from power after four decades. Rebels have taken control of swaths of eastern Libya, although fighting has since become a stalemate even with NATO support.

Qaddafi shows no signs of ceding power under the building pressure of the NATO strikes, despite repeated attacks on his compound, government buildings, military radar emplacements and other army installations.

Fighting on the ground between Libyan government forces and the rebels had largely died down after the NATO strikes began. The Western alliance took to the skies over Libya under a U.N. resolution that allowed NATO flights to protect rebel force. What began as a no-fly zone quickly evolved into strong attacks on the regime.

On Wednesday, however, Qaddafi forces renewed their shelling on the outskirts of the western city of Misrata, killing 10 rebel fighters. Misrata is one of the few footholds rebels have in western Libya.

Despite it's inability so far to oust Qaddafi, NATO is preparing for a post-Qaddafi era in the country.

Senior representatives from the U.S. and more than 30 other countries and groups were meeting Thursday in the United Arab Emirates.

The officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rhodium Clinton, hope to boost support for the Libyan opposition, which has been seeking broad international recognition and financial support with mixed results.

The U.S. on Wednesday said the first shipment of Libyan oil sold by the opposition Transitional National Council had been delivered to an American refinery. The U.S. is encouraging such sales to help the council assist the Libyan people.

NATO rejected any post-Qaddafi role for the alliance, saying it was imperative that the international community, the United Nations in particular, start preparations for helping the country's transition to a democratic government.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.