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Libya Says NATO Air Strike Hits Residential Area

Last updated (GMT/UTC): 19.06.2011 07:53

Government officials in Tripoli have taken journalists to a site in the Libyan capital allegedly bombed by NATO warplanes.

The reporters also toured a local hospital where they were shown at least four people said to be killed in the strike, including two young children.

Earlier, NATO admitted its forces mistakenly targeted a column of Libyan rebels.

NATO said its warplanes struck rebel vehicles in Brega on June 16 and regretted any loss of life.

Brega is an eastern oil town and the site of recent fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Muammar Qaddafi.

On June 18, NATO accused Qaddafi's forces of using mosques and children's parks as shields for his military operations.

NATO also rejected fresh Libyan casualty figures, showing 856 civilians had been killed in NATO air strikes up to June 7.

Two air strikes were also reported in Tripoli a day after Qaddafi vowed "NATO will be defeated."

Political Solution 'Urgently Needed'

In Cairo, officials from the Arab League, UN, EU, and the African Union met to discuss developments in Libya.

Arab League chief Amr Musa said the NATO mandate was not for deposing Qaddafi's regime and a political solution was urgently needed.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon -- who took part in the meeting in a video linkup -- said his special envoy to Libya, Abdul-Ilah al-Khatib, had launched what the UN leader described as "the beginnings of a negotiation process" in Libya.

Ban said finding a political solution was a top priority in Libya, where a four-month uprising has devolved into a civil war.

In an interview with Reuters, the oil chief for Libya's rebels accused the West of failing to keep its promises of urgent financial aid. Ali Tarhouni also said the rebels are running out of money.

Meanwhile, "The New York Times" reported that U.S. President Barack Obama ignored the warnings of top lawyers at the Defense and Justice departments when he continued the air war in Libya without congressional authorization.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/nato_strike_ libya_civilians/24239337.html

Copyright (c) 2011. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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