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Libyan Govt Claims 18 Dead in NATO Attack

13 May 2011

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NATO bombs a Libyan government position

The Libyan Government has claimed at least 18 civilians have been killed in a NATO attack in the eastern town of Brega, reports Sky News.
Mussa Ibrahim, a spokesman for the government of Colonel Gaddafi told Sky News that religious leaders were among the dead.
"This is the most horrendous, terrible attack so far." he said. "Last night Libyan TV were broadcasting live from a religious gathering of over 100 people in Brega town.

"After the gathering the religious leaders and civilians left and stayed in a guest house in Brega. Nato attacked the guest house at dawn today."

"We are still counting and identifying the bodies but the dead are in the dozens."
Graphic video has been broadcast on government-run state television.

It shows two rows of bodies partially covered in blankets.
All the dead appear to be young men in civilian clothing. None appear to be wearing religious garments.
A large crater could be seen with rubble all around it. It's not clear what sort of building was destroyed.
State TV quoted what it said was a witness to the attack: "They were a group of Muslim sheikhs were holding a religious ceremony in the area of Brega."

"This is a civilian house.... Look at what the Crusaders have done, what NATO had done."
Asked about the report at a briefing at mission headquarters in Naples, NATO spokesman, Squadron Leader Mike Bracken told reporters: "I can honestly say I do not know any information about an attack or an incident in Brega."
Brega, one of the towns along the eastern costal road in Libya, has changed hands several times as rebels try to push westwards towards Tripoli.
It currently marks the frontline of the fighting.

In Washington, Mustafa Abdel Jalil, the leader of the rebel political wing, met President Obama. He made a plea for the American government to free up $180 million in frozen Gaddafi assets to fund their campaign.

"To those who stand behind Gaddafi they must know his regime is ending. There is no place for Muammar Gaddafi in Libya's future," Jalil told Al Arabiya Television in comments on Friday.
He promised amnesty to anyone who defects from Gaddafi's side.

In a separate development, the International Criminal Court prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo said on Friday that he would seek arrest warrants on May 16 for three people considered most responsible for crimes against humanity in Libya.
It is understood he will name the three individuals. Colonel Gaddafi is likely to be on the list.

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