Libya: 19 Civilians Killed in Another NATO Strike

Government says they were killed when NATO bombed an official's home
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2011 7:56 AM CDT
In this photo taken on a government-organized tour local residents stand next to ruined official building in the city of Surman, some 40 miles west of Tripoli, Libya, on Monday, June 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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(Newser) – Fresh woes for NATO: The Libyan government yesterday claimed that a NATO strike on the residence of one of Moammar Gadhafi's officials killed 19 civilians, including members of the official's family. This comes on the heels of NATO's admission Sunday that nine civilians were killed in another strike due to a "weapons system failure." Reuters reports that Libyan officials took reporters to the scene yesterday before leading them to a hospital where the bodies of seven adults and two children, along with body parts, were shown to them.

NATO said it bombed a "legitimate military target — a command and control node"; it neither confirmed nor denied the deaths. Reuters notes that if these civilian casualties are confirmed, it will be another blow to the NATO-led military alliance, which is starting to sag under the strain of a campaign that's turning out to be more expensive and time consuming than expected. Libyan officials say NATO has killed more than 700 civilians, a figure NATO denies.

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