NATO forces, in what may have been an attempt to kill Muammar Qaddafi, killed his youngest son and three grandsons in an attack on his residential villa in Tripoli.
The Libyan dictator reportedly was inside the building when NATO planes bombed it, killing Saif al-Arab Qaddafi. NATO stated they were not targeted.
The building sustained extensive damage. A government spokesman stated, “The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Qaddafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren. The leader, with his wife, was there in the house with other friends and relatives. The leader himself is in good health. He wasn’t harmed.
“This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country.”
A NATO official was quoted by Reuters as saying, “We need to see actions, not words”. NATO’s commander in Libya, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said that “NATO’s targets are military in nature and have been clearly linked to the Qaddafi regime’s systematic attacks on the Libyan population … We do not target individuals.
“I am aware of unconfirmed media reports that some of Qaddafi’s family members may have been killed. We regret all loss of life, especially the innocent civilians being harmed as a result of the ongoing conflict.”
Qaddafi’s forces and rebels have been locked in a seesaw war for several weeks as Western nations try to break the dictator’s violent crushing of the opposition while not appearing as a direct ally of the rebels.
Muammar Qaddafi delivered another meandering speech on Libyan state television on Saturday, offering a ceasefire if NATO would halt its strikes. However, he refused to resign.
NATO official stated, “NATO will continue operations until all attacks and threats against civilians have ceased, until all of Qaddafi’s forces have returned to base and until there is a full, safe and unhindered humanitarian access to all people in need of assistance.
“The regime has announced ceasefires several times before and continued attacking cities and civilians … Any ceasefire must be credible and verifiable.”
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