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The Turkish news service Anatolia Agency said a Turkish civilian ferry carrying 15 medics, three ambulances and medical equipment was heading for Misrata to help treat some 1,300 people injured in attacks there.

Libya accused NATO of becoming directly involved in the fighting.

“This is the objective of the coalition now; it is not to protect civilians because now they are directly fighting against the armed forces,” Khaled Kaim, the deputy foreign minister, said in Tripoli. “They are trying to push the country to the brink of a civil war.”

His position found some support in Russia, where Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said strikes on Col. Gadhafi’s forces would amount to interference in what he called Libya‘s civil war, and thus would breach the U.N. Security Council resolution that envisaged a no-fly zone only to protect civilians. The council mandate, however, goes beyond a no-fly zone to allow “all necessary measures” to protect civilians.

After retaking two key oil complexes east of Sirte in the past two days, rebels promised to quickly restart Libya‘s stalled oil exports, prompting a slight drop in the soaring price of crude oil to around $105 a barrel.

The tiny Persian Gulf state of Qatar, however, formally has recognized the rebels as the legitimate representatives of the country and promised to help them sell their crude oil on the international market.

Qatar has been well ahead of other Arab countries in embracing the rebels and also is participating in the U.N.-mandated no-fly zone over Libya.

Associated Press writers Christopher Torchia in Istanbul and Paula Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.