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Qaddafi safe but three grandchildren, close relatives killed with son Saif

Sunday May 01, 2011 11:46:20 AM, IANS

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Qaddafi's son Saif Al-Arab killed in NATO airstrike

A NATO missile strike killed Muammar Qaddafi's youngest son and three grandchildren on Saturday but the Libyan leader survived, a government spokesman said. Qaddafi and his wife were in the Tripoli house of his 29-year-old son  »

Gaddafi ready for ceasefire but refuses to step down

Tripoli: Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi and his wife survived a NATO air strike at their residence in Tripoli, but his youngest son Saif al-Arab Qaddafi as well as three grandchildren were killed in the missile attack Saturday that badly smashed the house, an official said.

The raid, which occurred around 8.00 p.m. local time (1800 GMT) Saturday, hit Gaddafi's home in the Bab al-Azizya residential area in western Tripoli.

The Libyan leader and his wife were present in the house when it was attacked but they are safe, Government spokesman Mossa Ibrahim said.

Ibrahim took a group of journalists to the site of of the house, Xinhua reported.

The air strike on Qaddafi's house also killed several of his friends and neighbours, RIA Novosti quoted the Libyan state run agency as saying, citing a statement from the government.

The three-storey building was hit by three missiles. It was partially destroyed, with the roof completely caved in at some parts, leaving mangled rods of reinforcing steel hanging down among splintered chunks of concrete, Xinhua said.

While two of the missiles had exploded, the third was seen lying in one of the rooms of the building.

Spokesman Ibrahim described it as an attempt to kill their leader Gaddafi.
"This was a direct act to assassinate the Libyan leader, a violation of international law which has no legal or political justifications," he said.

"We ask the world to look into this carefully because what we have now is the law of the jungle," said Ibrahim.

"How is this helping in the protection of civilians? Mr Saif al-Arab, 29, was a civilian, a student... He was playing and talking to his father and mother and his nieces and nephews and other visitors when he was attacked and killed for no crime he committed."

Meanwhile, a BBC report said NATO confirmed the air strike, without denying or confirming the reported deaths.

A NATO spokesman said the strike had hit a "known command and control building in the Bab al-Azizya neighbourhood".

"All NATO's targets are military in nature... We do not target individuals," said Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard.

On Saturday, the Libyan leader had presented a ceasefire proposal and urged the parties concerned to follow it. He also wanted the NATO forces to stop their attacks.

A total of 14 of the 28 NATO countries are taking part in the operation Unified Protector in Libya, which includes air strikes, a no-fly zone and naval enforcement of an arms embargo.

The UN Security Council adopted a resolution imposing a no-fly zone over Libya March 17, paving the way for a military operation against Gaddafi which began two days later.

The command of the operation was shifted from a US-led international coalition to NATO in late March.





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