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Libya: NATO accused of killing 85 civilians in airstrike

08-10-2011 14:07 BJT Special Report:Int'l Intervention in Libya |

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Libyan officials say 85 people have been killed in a NATO airstrike on farmhouses east of Tripoli. The alliance has rejected the claims, insisting that it hit a legitimate military target.

Charred bodies of young children, wounded women and children in hospital-These were the pictures shown by Libyan state television after what it claimed was a NATO airstrike on the village of Majar, about 150 kilometers east of the capital Tripoli.

A resident in Majar village, said, "They were innocent people - men, women and children - they all died. Among them were my two-year-old daughter and other families who came all the way to escape the bombings and the airstrikes. Twenty families are dead, all of them innocent people."

The Libyan government has announced three days of mourning for the victims. NATO insists its airstrike hit a military target, and it is unaware of any civilian casualties caused by the strike.

Col. Roland Lavoie, spokesman for NATO Operation Unified Protector, said, "This was a military facility clearly with two huge agricultural buildings that were occupied by Gaddafi forces and with military tents and temporary accommodation beside it. So basically we had very clear intelligence demonstrating that this was clearly a military target, so there is no expectations of any civilian casualties."

NATO is still waiting for a post-strike assessment. But it has acknowledged casualties among military personnel, including mercenaries, are very likely due to the nature of the target.

NATO also confirmed its warplanes bombed a frigate in Tripoli on Monday. The alliance claimed pro-Gaddafi forces were removing weaponry and ammunition from the warship with the intent of using them from old platforms.

Meanwhile, NATO has rejected growing criticism of its airstrike on a Libyan state television base last month, saying it has no evidence the attack caused any casualties. Libyan officials have said the July 31st airstrike on satellite dishes killed three journalists and injured 15 others.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: CNTV.CN

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