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NATO: 'No Evidence' Of Libya Civilian Casualties

August 09, 2011

NATO has said overnight air strikes near the city of Zliten in western Libya were "legitimate" and that it has no evidence of Tripoli claims that the bombs killed 85 villagers.

Colonel Roland Lavoie, the alliance's spokesman for the Libya campaign, said at a video conference held at its Naples headquarters that raids by NATO planes south of Zliten were against "a legitimate target," two former farms used for military purposes by troops loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi.

Lavoie said NATO "takes extreme precaution not to harm innocent civilians living or working nearby."

In Libya, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told reporters on a guided tour that the village of Majer, south of Zliten, was attacked late on August 8 "to allow rebel fighters to enter" the government-held city from the south.

He said 85 villagers, including 33 children and 32 women, were killed in what he called a "massacre" of civilians.

Libyan state television showed the charred bodies of several childen, saying they had been killed in Majer.

The television pictures also showed women and children being treated for injuries.

compiled from agency reports

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/libya_nato_accusations_of_massacre/24291564.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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