Qaddafi's regime paints Libya air strikes as assassination attempt
But some eyewitnesses raised doubt about whether a purported strike last night in Qaddafi’s compound had in fact been the precise target.
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Some eyewitnesses raised doubt about whether the “administration building” in Qaddafi’s compound – not far from the building that was hit by American planes in 1986, and left in ruins since then – had in fact been recently hit.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures Libya no-fly zone
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The script accompanying video footage sent by Reuters stated it could not verify a fresh strike. A photograph of the site by the Associated Press showed what appears to be a small palm tree high in the rubble without dust. A security adviser of a Western television crew who visited the scene said he did not think a new strike had occurred there.
“The facade of a building was clearly in ruin, with rubble strewn about, but there was nothing like smoke, fire or smell to suggest an attack two hours earlier. There was no furniture or broken glass,” Reuters reported.
"I don’t know why there is no smoke. I am not a military expert," said Mr. Ibrahim, the government spokesmen, after Reuters pressed the issue. No one was killed or injured and it is unclear whether Qaddafi was in the compound.
But Libyans at the scene were clearly angry and held up chunks of what appeared to be missile parts and shrapnel, and chanted pro-Qaddafi slogans. The strike capped a day when Qaddafi vowed to wage a “long war, [with] patience that has no limits.”
'Where's the protection?'
Anger was also evident earlier in the day at a funeral turned pro-regime rally in Tripoli for more than two dozen killed in the first night of strikes. Family members wept for an infant and a man in his late 20s, whom family members said were killed during some of the 112 Tomahawk cruise missile strikes conducted on the first night.
Mohammed Salim said his 3-month-old niece Siham Tabib was killed when at home near a military base in the Tajura district. His fingers were covered with dirt after completing the concrete cover over the small grave, which was marked with three carnations – white, pink, and red – and a strip of green cloth.
Two dozen soldiers were also meant to be buried but were never brought to the cemetery on the shore above the Mediterranean Sea. Virtually no mourning family members were evident among those waving green Libyan flags and holding posters of Qaddafi.
They fiercely criticized France and the US as leaders of the military effort to use “all necessary means” – the mandate of the UN Security Council resolution – to protect Libyan civilians from Qaddafi’s recapture of rebel-held territory.
“We see lots of people die and people ask why,” said Firas, a thick-bearded young man in bare feet who was waiting to take part in the burial. The Americans, Europeans and Arab allies “say they came to protect the people. Where’s the protection?”
“This is all our family, our [Libyan] blood is the same blood,” said another man among the hundreds at the cemetery, who identified himself only as a “citizen.” “We need outside governments to stop this war.”