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NATO’s top official said Wednesday the alliance won’t put troops on the ground in Libya to keep order once the civil war ends and it will be up to the United Nations to help the north African country toward its future once Gadhafi is no longer at its helm.

Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen spoke after meeting with defense ministers from the 28 members of the North Atlantic military alliance, and after NATO war planes pounded the Libyan capital, Tripoli, with the heaviest bombardment of the campaign.

“For Gadhafi, it is no longer a question of if he goes but when he goes,” he said. “It may take weeks, but it could happen tomorrow and when he goes the international community has to be ready.”

But when Gadhafi goes, Rasmussen said, it would be up to the United Nations and not NATO to usher Libya peacefully toward democracy.

Source: Mike Corder for the Associated Press.

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