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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gaddafi Survives Nato Strike But Son Killed

A Nato airstrike on a house has killed Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, youngest son of the Libyan leader, a Libyan government spokesman has claimed.

Col Gaddafi and his wife were said to have been in the building at the time on Saturday evening but were unharmed.

Three of his grandsons were also killed and friends and other relatives wounded, said spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
"The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader's grandchildren.
"The leader himself wasn't harmed. He is in good health," he said. "This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country."
The loud blast was heard just after 8pm local time at the hotel where international journalists are forced to stay under Libyan government restrictions.
A plume of smoke was seen rising to the west of the Rixos Hotel. At this stage, there was no word on the intended target.
Three hours later, journalists were gathered together and driven 2km to the walled complex of one-story buildings in a residential Tripoli neighbourhood.
One building in the compound had been completely destroyed. A massive crater was surrounded by shattered concrete and twisted metal.
An adjacent building had been partially destroyed but one room remained intact.
On the ground next to the large crater lay a large unexploded missile. Locals brushed the dust from it in a fruitless attempt to identify its origin.
Bizarrely, government officials refused to reveal at this stage whose house it was, who had been inside or who had been killed.
The emergency services could be seen leaving the scene as journalists arrived. There was no sign of any eyewitnesses to interview.
An hour later, back at the hotel, a news conference was called. In Arabic, Col Gaddafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim announced that Saif al-Arab Gaddafi had been killed.
Among those gathered were Libyan government officials hearing the news for the first time. There were angry cries of "Allahu Aqbar!" – "God is greatest!"
As news of the attack spread through the Libyan capital, the sound of heavy gunfire and car horns could be heard.
Today there were reports that several foreign embassies and residences have been damaged, including that of the British ambassador.
Britain has had no diplomatic presence in Tripoli since closing its embassy earlier this year.
Saif gaddafi house nato strike
The Gaddafi regime claims there has been an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader, but there is no way of independently verifying reports that he was there or even that his son has been killed.
Nato later said it struck a "command and control building in the Bab al Azizya neighborhood" on Saturday evening.
Following the clams that the building attacked was in a residential area, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said it would be "naive" to assume that command and control centres would be identified as such by the Libyan military.
He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "There are military targets but individuals are not specifically targeted, that's always been the case and that remains the case."
The alliance commander Lt Gen Charles Bouchard said he was aware of "unconfirmed media reports" that Gaddafi family members may have been killed and said any loss of life was regrettable.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Nato's policy in Libya is not about targeting "particular individuals".

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