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NATO jets unleash attacks near Tripoli

17 April 2011 15:08

Latest reports say NATO warplanes have bombed an area southwest of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, despite criticism that such strikes have failed to protect civilians.

Libyan military officials told state TV that NATO warplanes dropped bombs on the area of Al-Hira, 50 km southwest of Tripoli on Sunday.

The troubled region and its surrounding areas have been constantly targeted by NATO jets over the past weeks.

The developments come as Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently said that NATO military intervention in oil-rich Libya has gone far beyond the mandate authorized by the United Nations.

After talks with their NATO counterparts in Berlin on Friday, Lavrov also called for an urgent shift towards a political and diplomatic settlement in Libya.

NATO has already been under fire from Libyan opposition forces for not doing enough to protect civilian lives.

The head of the opposition’s armed forces Gen. Abdul Fattah Younis told reporters in Benghazi in early April that NATO’s inaction has allowed government troops to advance and kill people in Misratah and other cities.

Younis also threatened to ask the United Nations Security Council to suspend the NATO mission in Libya if the military alliance does not do “its work properly.”

He also slammed Western-led forces over the civilian death toll caused by NATO bombing campaigns in the country.

Many civilians have reportedly been killed since the Western-led war on Libya began last month.

NATO has admitted to killing revolutionary fighters and civilians in an airstrike in eastern Libya but has refused to apologize for the deadly bombardment.

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