NATO Won't Apologize for Bombing Rebel Tanks

Four killed in airstrike yesterday
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 8, 2011 7:17 AM CDT
In this image made from television, a dust cloud is seen following the explosion of a missile, outside the strategic oil port of Brega, Libya, April 7, 2011   (AP Photo/National Transitional Council in Libya via AP Television News)

(Newser) – A NATO airstrike hit a rebel tank convoy yesterday, killing at least four people and, according to one driver in the convoy, damaging or destroying eight tanks. Gen. Abdul Fattah Younes demanded an apology, telling the New York Times that his forces gave NATO plenty of advance warning that their tanks were advancing. “It is not possible to make a mistake with 20 tanks advancing on a large patch of desert land,” he said.

NATO Rear Admiral Russ Harding confirms that it was NATO planes that hit the convoy. But “I am not apologizing,” he tells the AP. “The situation on the ground was and remains extremely fluid, and until yesterday we did not have information that (rebel) forces are using tanks.” Until now, only Moammar Gadhafi’s forces have employed tanks, and “those are the vehicles that can cause the greatest harm to civilians,” Harding said.

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