Gaddafi ‘directly targeted’ as son, grandchildren killed


The Libyan regime said a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) raid killed Moammer Gaddafi’s youngest son and three grandchildren but the strongman escaped unhurt in what it called a deliberate attempt to assassinate him. NATO said it had staged air strikes in Tripoli but did not confirm the regime claims, and there was no immediate confirmation of the deaths.
The house of Seif al-Arab Gaddafi “was attacked tonight with full power”, government spokesman Mussa Ibrahim told reporters early on Sunday, announcing the deaths from Saturday night raids. “The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Seif al-Arab Moammer Gaddafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader’s grandchildren” who were not identified. NATO said it had targeted a command and control centre.
Gaddafi and his wife were in the building but were not harmed, Ibrahim said, calling the strike “a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country”. “The leader himself is in good health; he wasn’t harmed. His wife is also in good health; she wasn’t harmed, (but) other people were injured,” he added. Ibrahim later said intelligence on Gaddafi’s whereabouts appeared to have been “leaked”. “They knew about him being there, or expected him for some reason,” said the spokesman.
The United States (US) avoided comment on the reported deaths. “We got calls from Libyans saying someone big was hit,” a senior US official told AFP late on Saturday. “But as to who, I have only the same reports as you do.” British Prime Minister David Cameron called NATO’s targeting policy “in line” with the UN resolution authorising the Libya campaign, but the Russian foreign ministry said it had ”serious doubts” the West was not targeting Gaddafi and his family. It called on the Western coalition to “cease fire immediately”, saying “reports of casualties among civilians are being received in Moscow with increasing concern”.
NATO said it continued precision strikes against Gaddafi military installations in Tripoli overnight, “including striking a known command and control building in the Bab al-Aziziya neighbourhood shortly after 1800 GMT (6pm) Saturday evening.” Gaddafi’s residential compound is in Bab al-Aziziya.