NATO Blames Target Flaw in New Civilian Strike

Missiles hit civilians twice in less than a week
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser User
Posted Jun 20, 2011 1:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – The killing of two babies and seven other Libyan civilians in a NATO raid has been linked to a suspected "weapons systems failure." A NATO official revealed the problem as he apologized yesterday for the "loss of innocent civilian lives," adding that the operation takes "great care in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens." Some 18 people were injured in the attack yesterday. Just last week NATO apologized for another "possible loss of life" from an accidental air strike on a rebel column near the oil refinery town of Brega.

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The latest NATO apology comes just as rebels have revealed that they're running out of funds, and need $3 billion to cover salaries and other needs for the next six months. NATO's mission to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya to protect civilians began in March and was supposed to last 90 days, but was extended for another 90 days. Both the civilian deaths and plea for more funds are likely to reopen a heated debate among allies about the ongoing bombings, notes the BBC. (Read more Libya stories.)

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