TRIPOLI - The regime of Libyan leader Moamer Gathafi threatened on Friday to execute anyone found to be using a Thuraya satellite telephone without official authorisation, saying they will be deemed to be communicating with the enemy.
"Any citizen in possession of a Thuraya must hold an authorisation to use it in accordance with the laws and regulations," the official JANA news agency said.
"Otherwise, he will be punished according to the law that criminalises communicating with the enemy in time of war, and stipulates penalties up to the death penalty," the agency added.
In explaining the measure, it said "spies among the traitors, (who are) agents of the Atlantic alliance (NATO), provided information on sites that were bombed by the Crusaders, leading to a large number of victims among innocent civilians."
Several regions of Libyan territory controlled by Moamer Gathafi's regime have been deprived of mobile phone coverage, as in Zliten, 120 kilometres (75 miles) east of Tripoli.
On Tuesday, Gathafi's regime accused NATO of killing 85 people, including women and children, in air raids on a village near Zliten, but the alliance has reported no evidence of civilian deaths.