Bloomberg News

NATO Denies Libyan Forces’ Claims It Bombed Brega Civilians

June 26, 2011

(Adds background on NATO admission in final paragraph.)

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- NATO denied a claim by Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi’s armed forces that it bombed civilian targets including a bakery and a restaurant in the city of Brega.

North Atlantic Treaty Organization Spokesman Mike Bracken said aircraft struck command-and-control centers near Brega and a radar site and military vehicles in other locations over the past days.

“What we know is that the buildings we hit were occupied and used by pro-Qaddafi forces to direct attacks against civilians around Ajdabiya,” he said in a telephone interview from Brussels. “We have no indications of any civilian casualties in connection to these strikes.”

Libya’s state-news service JANA yesterday cited a military spokesman as saying that NATO attacks in the previous 48 hours killed 20 civilians and wounded more than 20 others in the central coastal city of Brega. NATO said June 19 that its warplanes didn’t all hit their intended targets during a nighttime raid on Tripoli and that it may have caused civilian casualties, its first such admission during the air campaign.

--Editors: Digby Lidstone, Tony Aarons.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net; Maher Chmaytelli in Tripoli at mchmaytelli@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net.


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