TRIPOLI – NATO has admitted “a weapons systems failure” may have led to civilian casualties in Sunday morning’s air strike in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, according to the BBC. The alliance said the intended target was a missile site, but “it appears that one weapon” did not hit it. The Libyan government earlier said NATO had bombed a residential area, killing nine civilians, including two babies.
The commander of operation Unified Protector, Lt Gen Charles Bouchard, said: “NATO regrets the loss of innocent civilian lives and takes great care in conducting strikes against a regime determined to use violence against its own citizens. Although we are still determining the specifics of this event, indications are that a weapons system failure may have caused this incident.”
Yesterday, meanwhile, NATO denied the Libyan government’s claim that 15 people, among them women and children, died early Monday in what was described as an attack in a Tripoli neighborhood, according to the CNN. “We have not been operating in that area at all, so we strongly deny that this is our doing,” said a NATO official who asked not to be quoted by name.
Meanwhile, Libyan rebel leaders said their administration had run out of money as donors’ pledges had not materialised. They told a news conference in the eastern city of Benghazi that they were still waiting for funds that should have been deposited by last week.