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NATO Bombing Civilians in Libya; Gadhaffi calls for "global jihad" against the West

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TRIPOLI, Libya -- Libya's government said NATO warplanes struck a residential neighborhood in the capital Sunday and killed nine civilians, including two children. Hours later, NATO confirmed one of its airstrikes went astray.

The incident gave supporters of Moammar Gadhafi's regime a new rallying point against the international intervention in Libya's civil war. The foreign minister called for a "global jihad" on the West in response.

Early Sunday morning, journalists based in the Libyan capital were rushed by government officials to the damaged building, which appeared to have been partly under construction. Reporters were escorted back to the site during the day, where children's toys, teacups and dust-covered mattresses could be seen amid the rubble.

In a statement issued late Sunday at Brussels headquarters, the trans-Atlantic alliance said air strikes were launched against a military missile site in Tripoli, but "it appears that one weapon did not strike the intended target and that there may have been a weapons system failure which may have caused a number of civilian casualties."

"NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives and takes great care in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens," said Lt. Gen. Charles Bouchard, commander of the anti-Libya operation.

Foreign Minister Abdul-Ati al-Obeidi told reporters nine civilians, including two children, were killed in the explosion and said 18 people were wounded. He said the strike was a "deliberate attack on a civilian neighborhood," and follows other alleged targeting of nonmilitary targets such as a hotel, oxygen factory and civilian vehicles.

It has not always been possible to independently verify the government's reports of strikes on nonmilitary targets since NATO began its air operations in March.

"The deliberate bombing ... is a direct call for all free peoples of the world and for all Muslims to initiate a global jihad against the oppressive, criminal West and never to allow such criminal organizations as NATO to decide the future of other independent and sovereign nations," al-Obeidi said. He did not take questions.

Journalists were shown the bodies of at least four people said to have been killed in the strike, including the two young children. Foreign reporters in Tripoli are not allowed to travel and report freely and are almost always shadowed by government minders.

Salem Ali Garadi, 51, who said his brother and sister were among the victims, said five people were killed. There was no explanation for the discrepancy in death counts.

Before Sunday's alleged strike, Libya's Health Ministry said 856 civilians had been killed in NATO air attacks since they began in March. The figure could not be independently confirmed. Previous government tolls from individual strikes have proven to be exaggerated.

Alliance warplnes struck Tripoli again Sunday afternoon. A number of explosions could be heard in the city, and smoke could be seen rising over the southern part of the capital.

A coalition including France, Britain and the U.S. launched the first strikes against Gadhafi's forces under a U.N. resolution to protect civilians on March 19. NATO, joined by some Arab allies, assumed control of the air campaign over Libya on March 31.

While NATO warplanes have stepped up their campaign against Gadhafi's regime over the past week, fighting has intensified between rebels and government troops outside the port city of Misrata, the main rebel stronghold in western Libya.

For weeks, the rebels had been bottled up in the city, some 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of Tripoli. The eastern third of the country is under rebel control from their de facto capital, Benghazi.

On Sunday, Gadhafi's forces unleashed a heavy barrage of Grad rockets and mortars on the rebel front lines in Dafniya, about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Misrata. A medical official in Misrata hospital said that 10 rebels were killed and 54 wounded in clashes Sunday in Dafniya.

As the barrage continued into the afternoon, a steady stream of pickup trucks rushed casualties to a field hospital in Dafniya, where medics and volunteers quickly unloaded the dead from the back of the pickups and placed the wounded on stretchers. One truck pulled up with three bodies covered in blood.

"They are shelling us really badly today with everything – mortars, Grads, heat-seeking weapons, anything you can imagine," said Mustafa, 30, who was helping drive the wounded from the front.

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Re: NATO Bombing Civilians in Libya; Gadhaffi calls for "global jihad" against the We

The war against Libya is wrong.

It is part of the 'Arab Spring deception' which is plan to destabilise regimes, hang the leaders and pass on the governance to people who will (like Iraq) make a mess of it.

Saddam had Iraq under control. He killed less than the West - and you never heard of a Jihad.

As for the Global jihad - Muslim countries need to put their own houses in order - which they were doing before we bombed them back to relics of another age.

Afghanistan is different in that they already live centuries behind everyone.

War is over if you want it.

For me it is.:biggrin:


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Re: NATO Bombing Civilians in Libya; Gadhaffi calls for "global jihad" against the We

I'm am sick of all these damn wars. I heard Obama is going to be invading Syria soon. If this isn't World War 3 then what the hell is it?

America is a hypocritical nation. I wish we could be a good nation but I think we're going to suffer for what all those people did in the past to other countries. It's really scary.

Does anyone listen to Alex Jones by any chance? He gets really fired up so a word of caution to those who might be frightened. It's intense so I have to walk away and do something else if I get sucked in.
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