Friday, March 02, 2012

NATO Killed 60 Civilians in Libya, Says UN Report

NATO killed 60 civilians in Libya: UN report

Sat Mar 3, 2012 1:34AM GMT

A United Nations commission investigating war crimes and human rights abuses in the Libya war has said that NATO airstrikes on the North African country in 2011 killed scores of civilians.

"Amongst the 20 NATO airstrikes investigated, the commission documented five airstrikes where a total of 60 civilians were killed and 55 injured," the International Commission of Inquiry on Libya reported on Friday.

The report also said two other NATO air raids damaged civilian infrastructure, where no military target could be identified.

Elsewhere in the report, the commission accused former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi of exaggerating the number of civilians killed in NATO attacks.

"A number of allegations against NATO investigated by the commission were either exaggerated or a deliberate attempt at misinformation," the report said.

NATO launched a military campaign against Libya on March 19, 2011 after the UN Security Council approved a resolution on March 17, authorizing force by whatever means necessary, with the exception of a ground invasion, to "protect civilians."

From March 19, 2011 to October 31, 2011, NATO warplanes carried out roughly 26,000 sorties, including over 9,600 strike missions, destroying more than 1,000 tanks, vehicles, and heavy guns.

Last year, an expert told Russia Today that Western coalition forces used depleted uranium in their airstrikes on Libya.

Conn Hallinan, a columnist with Foreign Policy in Focus, stated that after examining the damage to tanks in Libya, he was almost certain that depleted uranium was utilized.

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