Friday, June 24, 2011

NATO Political Assasination Airstrike In Libya Kills 15 Civilians - 20th June 2011

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NATO said it conducted an airstrike early today on a compound in Sorman, west of Tripoli, after earlier rejecting Libyan claims that it had attacked the site.

The target was a high-level military command and control center, a North Atlantic Treaty Organization official, who spoke on condition of anonymity according to NATO policy, said by telephone from Naples. The organization said yesterday it may have been responsible for civilian deaths in a separate attack on a suburb of the capital.

Reporters were taken by bus today to the still-smoking villa complex in a rural area about 90 kilometers (60 miles) from Tripoli, which officials said was owned by Khweildi Hmeidi, a senior figure with close ties to Muammar Qaddafi. At least 15 people, including six members of Hmeidi’s family, were killed in the attack, which occurred at 2:10 a.m. local time, Libyan government spokesman Moussa Ibrahim told reporters at the scene. It wasn’t immediately possible to establish whether the four destroyed buildings were residential as Ibrahim said.

Opposition has been growing in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East to the aerial campaign carried out under a United Nations mandate to protect civilians in Libya. Four months after the uprising against Qaddafi began, rebel troops have failed to take and hold strategic towns such as Brega while other cities, such as the rebel-held port city of Misrata, remain under siege by loyalist forces.

‘Civilian Casualties’

Reporters, who were prevented from exploring the entire walled compound in Sorman, were later taken to a nearby hospital where they were shown the remains of several people who officials said were killed in the bombing.

Nine residents were killed early yesterday when a house was destroyed in a northern suburb of Tripoli. NATO said in an e- mailed statement that its warplanes didn’t all hit intended targets during the night raid and it may have caused “a number of civilian casualties.” Read More