Forgotten Tragedy: NATO Killing of 72 Innocent Civilians in Libya
Sunday, May 20, 2012
Libya, Farah Fathi Jfara, Killed by a NATO Bomb at Age 9 (Photo: JfaraFamily, Human Rights Watch)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report this week seeking to call attention to the more than 70 civilians who died as a result of NATO bombings last year in Libya.
After conducting a seven-month investigation, HRW concluded that at least 72 men, women and children were killed in the course of NATO airstrikes on Tripoli, Zlitan, Sorman, Bani Walid, Gurdabiya and Sirte (the former home of dictator Muammar Gadhafi).
The human rights group said in its report that a third of those killed were under the age of 18. The worst incident took place on the night of August 8, 2011, when NATO hit four houses in the village of Majer, killing 34 civilians.
NATO leaders were called upon by HRW to acknowledge the casualties and compensate survivors. An alliance spokesperson expressed regret for any civilian casualties, while adding NATO used “unprecedented care and precision” in attacking Gadhafi’s forces as they battled rebels.
“We have reviewed all the information we hold as an organization and confirmed that the specific targets struck by NATO were legitimate military targets,” said NATO spokeswoman Oana Lungescu.
NATO forces dropped more than 7,700 precision-guided bombs during its seven-month campaign in Libya.
To Learn More:
Libyans Want Answers Over Deadly NATO Airstrikes (by Kim Gamel and Rami al-Shaheibi, Associated Press)
A Bombed Libyan Village Where Nato's "Collateral Damage" Has a Name and a Face (by Benjamin Barthe, Le Monde via Worldcrunch)
Unacknowledged Deaths (Human Rights Watch)
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