NATO Defends Airstrike That Killed Gadhafi's Son
Attack causes mobs to ransack British, Italian embassies in Tripoli
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted May 2, 2011 6:26 AM CDT
CORRECTION-IPTC CREATION DATEEDITOR'S NOTE: THIS PICTURE WAS TAKEN ON A GUIDED GOVERNMENT TOUR ---This image is on a tour organized by the Libyan government, and inspecting the damage to the Libyan leader...   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The controversial airstrikes in Libya that killed one of Gadhafi's sons and three grandchildren Saturday fall within the UN mandate to protect civilian life, said NATO officials and other Western leaders yesterday. The compound housed an operations bunker underneath, said NATO officials, making it a military target, reports the New York Times. But the killings set off a wave of violence in Tripoli against Western targets, with mobs trashing the British and Italian embassies.

“The narrative we want to come out of this is that the Libyan people overthrew a dictator, not that we came in and toppled a despot,” said a former national security adviser to President George W. Bush. "And that’s the problem with going after command and control if it results in the death of Gadhafi, because what we really want him to do is for him to leave or to die at a Libyan hand, not an American hand.”