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Posted: May 1 2011, 04:47 PM
Member No.: 139
Joined: 9-April 10
A Nato air strike on a house has killed Saif al-Arab Gaddafi, youngest son of the Libyan leader, a Libyan government spokesman has claimed
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Related Hot Topic: Libya
Have your say: Libya
Col Gaddafi and his wife were said to have been in the building at the time on Saturday evening but were unharmed.
Three of his grandsons were also killed and friends and other relatives wounded, said spokesman Moussa Ibrahim.
"The attack resulted in the martyrdom of brother Saif al-Arab Gadhafi, 29 years old, and three of the leader's grandchildren.
"The leader himself wasn't harmed. He is in good health," he said. "This was a direct operation to assassinate the leader of this country."
The loud blast was heard just after 8pm local time at the hotel where international journalists are forced to stay under Libyan government restrictions.
A plume of smoke was seen rising to the west of the Rixos Hotel. At this stage, there was no word on the intended target.
Three hours later, journalists were gathered together and driven 2km to the walled complex of one-story buildings in a residential Tripoli neighbourhood.
One building in the compound had been completely destroyed. A massive crater was surrounded by shattered concrete and twisted metal.
An adjacent building had been partially destroyed but one room remained intact.
On the ground next to the large crater lay a large unexploded missile. Locals brushed the dust from it in a fruitless attempt to identify its origin.
Bizarrely, government officials refused to reveal at this stage whose house it was, who had been inside or who had been killed.
The emergency services could be seen leaving the scene as journalists arrived. There was no sign of any eyewitnesses to interview.
An hour later, back at the hotel, a news conference was called. In Arabic, Col Gaddafi's spokesman Moussa Ibrahim announced that Saif al-Arab Gaddafi had been killed.
Among those gathered were Libyan government officials hearing the news for the first time. There were angry cries of "Allahu Aqbar!" - "God is greatest!"
As news of the attack spread through the Libyan capital, the sound of heavy gunfire and car horns could be heard.
Today there were reports that several foreign embassies and residences have been damaged, including that of the British ambassador.
Foreign Secretary William Hague today said the Libyan ambassador to the UK was being expelled in the wake of the attacks.
Britain has had no diplomatic presence in Tripoli since closing its embassy earlier this year.
The Gaddafi regime claims there has been an attempt to assassinate the Libyan leader, but there is no way of independently verifying reports that he was there or even that his son has been killed.
Nato later said it struck a "command and control building in the Bab al Azizya neighborhood" on Saturday evening.
Following the clams that the building attacked was in a residential area, Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said it would be "naive" to assume that command and control centres would be identified as such by the Libyan military.
He told Sky News' Murnaghan programme: "There are military targets but individuals are not specifically targeted, that's always been the case and that remains the case."
The alliance commander Lt Gen Charles Bouchard said he was aware of "unconfirmed media reports" that Gaddafi family members may have been killed and said any loss of life was regrettable.
British Prime Minister David Cameron said Nato's policy in Libya is not about targeting "particular individuals".
"The targeting policy of Nato and the alliance is absolutely clear," he said.
"It is in line with UN resolution 1973 and it is about preventing a loss of civilian life by targeting Gaddafi's war-making machine.
"That is obviously tanks and guns and rocket launchers but also command and control as well," he told BBC1's Andrew Marr Show.
It is understood British warplanes were not involved in strikes on Libya yesterday.
In the rebel stronghold of Benghazi, people opposed to the Gaddafi regime celebrated in the streets when news of the attack was announced.
Many though have questioned the claims that Saif was killed and that the colonel was in the house.
One anti-Gaddafi activist told Sky News: "Gaddafi killing off his least known son? An attempt to fish for sympathy.
Another said: "He [Gaddafi] is a liar and has done this before to manipulate media and world opinion."
Saif al-Arab Gaddafi was the sixth son of Col Gaddafi and had a lower public profile than his brother Saif al-Islam. He had spent much of his time in Germany in recent years.
The Libyan leader also had an adopted daughter who was killed in a 1986 US airstrike on his Bab al-Aziziya residential compound.
:: Reports say forces loyal to the Libyan leader are trying to advance on the rebel-held town of Zintan, southwest of the capital, and are bombarding it with rockets.
:: Mark Stone is reporting from Tripoli under the supervision of the Libyan authorities
Posted: May 1 2011, 04:50 PM
I use a computer, therefore I am.
Member No.: 70
Joined: 8-March 09
I imagine the son is definately dead. As to how he died? How do we know? They all manipulate the press to suit themselves.
Posted: May 1 2011, 04:58 PM
Member No.: 1
Joined: 3-March 08
Why is it bad? I doubt there is much they can do about it. Don't forget they've been killing their own people.